What is Mission Charisma & How Do You Find an Employer That Has It?

December 28, 2022
Will Melton, National Editor

Mission charisma is a term used to describe an organization that has an unbridled and externally visible passion for pursuing its mission. It’s easy to recognize mission charisma when you come across it, but it can be hard to find employers who have it when searching for a job. So what makes mission charisma so special?

Mission Charisma is more than just a mission statement. It’s the passion and enthusiasm that comes with it, the commitment of those who work there to make their mission a success, and the impact they have on those around them. In organizations with mission charisma, employees are driven and motivated to go above and beyond to achieve the mission. They don’t just talk about making an impact; they actually do it.

So how do you find mission charisma in a potential employer? If you’re actively searching for a new career, you’re likely considering dozens of potential companies, so having a set of criteria to assess them against is a good starting place. Using the process of elimination can help you find the employers that demonstrate the most mission charisma, saving you time and helping you land a job with a company that has what it takes to keep you feeling satisfied. Here are a few things to look for:

Does the Mission Story Inspire?

If you can’t find a company’s mission statement, they likely don’t have one. For companies that do, it’s important to see how their mission statement shows up in their story. One example of a Richmond employer that has an inspiring mission story is Markel Corporation. The insurance giant exemplifies its mission story through The Markel Style, or “a timeless statement of their values and mission.” The company has a venture arm with dozens of companies under its umbrella and the Markel Style shines through to all of them. Markel Ventures subsidiary AMF Bakery Systems presents the Markel Style Awards each year to employees who model the company values and demonstrably pursue its mission.

Tracking down a company’s mission story might take some time, but if you can’t find the first thread on an employer candidate, it might mean it’s time to eliminate them from the list.

Does Their Reputation Jive With Their Story?

A mission statement is only as good as the actions of those who uphold it. If a company talks the talk, but can’t walk the walk, mission charisma won’t be present and you likely won’t feel any connection to their mission. When you ask your colleagues and others in the industry about a company, look for small things like a) have they even heard of the company or b) do they know someone who works there? If a story comes to mind quickly, the contents of the story might be a good indicator.

You can also check online customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or a professional ratings website to see how their clients or customers assess their professionalism. Sites like Glassdoor might also provide testimonials from previous employees – good or bad. Another thing to look for is community involvement. What organizations and nonprofits does the company contribute its time and resources to? Is it working to promote prosperity for the community outside of the walls of its organization?

Is the Organization Led By Charismatic People?

Charismatic leaders are often easy to spot; they are involved, respected, and admired. They lead from the front and set an example for those who follow them. You can usually find charismatic leaders if you look for them in the media, attending events, and speaking at conferences. Who are the leaders of the company or organization you are considering? Not just the CEO, but other senior managers too. Do they have a presence in the community? Are they visible in multiple venues and media outlets? What opinions and professional lessons are they sharing on their own platforms?

How Do They Promote & Elevate Their Employees?

Companies with mission charisma don’t succeed because they are led by charismatic people alone; they succeed because they recognize the value that their people bring to the table and work to promote and elevate them publically. Celebrating the wins of the hardworking people in an organization is a great way to boost morale and show employees that you see them and appreciate their contribution.

Companies that do a good job at touting their employees’ wins on social media, place their aspiring leaders in leadership roles outside of the organization, and regularly promote employees to roles with more responsibility and compensation can typically be counted on to provide ambitious employees with the growth opportunities they demand.

The World of Work is Changing; Don’t Settle For a Dud of an Employer

When mission charisma is present, it’s easy to spot and can make a chosen career much more meaningful. Finding mission charisma takes some effort but if you know what to look for, it can help you find an employer who has what it takes to keep you feeling inspired and motivated in the long run. Don’t settle for a mission-less employer when mission charisma is out there waiting to be found and don’t get duped into working for someone who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

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