The movie Jerry Maguire pivots around Jerry (Tom Cruise) writing his manifesto and boldly sharing it with the whole company. He titles it “the things we think and do not say,” and spells out in it a path for “the future of our business.”  Eventually he leaves to start his own agency to follow those principles.

Many companies and organizations have mission statements that go unheralded, in part because they sound remarkably alike, but Champlain College in Vermont breaks that mold. They publicly share their essence and a manifesto that describes how a Champlain education is different from the rest. 

It is so inspiring that a parent took a photo while visiting campus, brought it back to his office, shared it with others there, including someone who talked about it with me, and I am now adding you to the list of readers. They had me at “a radically pragmatic education”, but here is an excerpt from the rest: 

A radically pragmatic education…We teach them what they want to know and help them understand what they need to know. We provide unparalleled support and revel in the partnerships we create. We offer tools to think and to act, and the opportunity to immediately put them to use. Because learning how to think without knowing what to do is an education half-done…

It’s clear that this isn’t a place for everyone, but for the ones who resonate with their manifesto, I’ll bet it is an easy decision to show them the money and enroll.

Think about what you think but do not say about your organization, your personal brand or your hopes for the future. Do you have the courage to commit your thoughts to paper and share them with the world? It may not be an easy thing to do, but as Jerry says it could be the “ground floor of something real and fun and inspiring and true.”

beth triplett

Thanks Mike for sharing!

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