When I owned UltiPros Ultimate Academy as a sole proprietor, I’ll admit that my mission and vision statements were fuzzy at best and my values were mainly for show. Here’s what I wrote in my journal in the early days of the business:
In case you can’t read my chicken scratch, I ended up with the following values:
- Be happy where you are today; strive to be better tomorrow.
- Focus on what you can control. Enjoy the process.
- Put the team’s interests above your own.
Check! Step 4 of starting a business was done. I posted them on the website, swept the proverbial dust off my hands and moved on.
But they never felt right. I never felt like I truly embodied them; they were only words on a website. I knew this wasn’t how it was supposed to be so I met with Danie last week, who I hope you know by now is my amazing co-founder, to re-write the Pillars of UltiPros together.
First, our new (thanks to Reiko Mackenzie for her advice on this) vision and mission statement:
“UltiPros Ultimate Academy is a sports and educational organization that provides high-quality Ultimate training programs for youth and resources for coaches, year-round. Our mission is to build a global reputation among the Ultimate and Youth Sports community as an organization that is progressive: one that fights for gender equity, breaks the norm, and is always open to new ideas, philosophies and coaching styles.”
I love that everyday is another opportunity to achieve our mission. Everyday is another opportunity to be a little bit more open-minded, to listen to understand, to do something different and perhaps radically without fear of failure. We are grateful that, although the journey has barely begun, we are well on our way to achieving our mission through our Academy and LIT program.
Having three values/pillars is pretty standard and we thought it would work well with the three peaks on our logo. It should be noted that we expect these values to be embodied by every person that is in the UltiPros system including us (owners), coaches, leaders in training, and players.
Be happy where you are today; strive to be better tomorrow. Allow yourself to enjoy the small victories while knowing you are far from the finish line. Take the middle way. Make the choice to rule your mind and control what you can control: your effort and perseverance.
Be an ambassador of the Sport and Spirit of Ultimate on and off the field. Embody the morals and principles that Ultimate expects of its athletes. Always remember why you play.
Trust that when your teammates, coaches, and friends are giving you feedback, it’s coming from a loving place. More importantly, trust yourself and have faith in the process. Trust in Spirit of the Game and the values it entails.
So there they are, the new, but not set in stone, Pillars of UltiPros Ultimate Academy. These are not just for show and they do not exist because step 4 of starting a business told us to write them. They are our guide for living and running the business; they are the values we want to pass down to younger generations of athletes with the hope that they in turn pass them along. Instilling these values into the future generation is ultimately (pun perhaps intended) why we are in this business at all: to make the world a better place through Ultimate.