Mission Drift: Business Lessons From Non-Profit Crisis

Leadership is a sacred trust. Whether you lead departments, divisions, companies, non-profits, families, schools, churches or youth sports teams, your leadership matters. People are hungry for great leadership. One of the pillars of life-giving leadership is charting a course that is on mission.

Mission Drift

Today’s launch of Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches by HOPE International executives Peter Greer and Chris Horst marks a critical opportunity for leaders and stakeholders to revive their thinking about how and why they lead their organizations.

Amazon: "Mission Drift" by Peter Greer & Chris Horst

Mission Drift by Peter Greer & Chris Horst

While the book is geared toward leaders and stakeholders of faith-based non-profits, the authors’ insightful analysis and considerable research will expand the horizons of for-profit leaders as well.

Shadowboxing, Legacy & Significance

In reading my advance copy, I found Mission Drift to be a most beneficial sparring partner in shadowboxing issues of legacy, significance and what it means for an organization to be Mission True today – and for generations to come.

Peter and Chris, CEO and Director of Development, respectively, for HOPE International, give voice to many encouraging stories of great leadership of Mission True organizations. Conversely, they also contrast with cautionary tales of organizations that have decidedly drifted in their mission and the implications of those drifts. However, the book is intentionally not an exposé of errant organizations. The authors strike an appropriate balance with grace and aplomb.

150-Year Mission

In one such example, Dr. Albert Mohler turned a drifting Southern Seminary into a Mission True institution that again became a “beacon” of faithfulness. Soon after taking the helm of Southern Seminary, Dr. Mohler wrote a letter to the seminary’s president 150 years in the future. Imagine writing such a letter for your organization! What a great example of intentional, visionary leadership.

Measuring Mission

In chapter 11, the authors discuss “measuring what matters.” They write, “What’s not measured slowly becomes irrelevant. In our organization, our fascination with metrics has sometimes undermined our effectiveness and outreach. Ironically, it was shortly after this one millionth loan celebration that we uncovered significant operational lapses.”

“It is possible to be successful in the things that ultimately don’t matter to your organization’s success. Using the wrong metrics can be a cause of Mission Drift.”

How do you measure the effectiveness of the pursuit of your organization’s mission? Do you measure more than just the easy-to-measure metrics?

To what extent does your Board of Directors, shareholders or other stakeholders actively shepherd and safeguard your organization’s mission? You can add a comment by clicking here.

Some for-profit leaders will also benefit from the book’s discussion of the importance and influence that Boards of Directors and other stakeholders have in ensuring Mission True organizations.

I highly recommend Mission Drift to leaders of for-profit and non-profit organizations who wish to build a legacy of significance and positive impact.


I invite you to join the conversation.