Mission statements are prominently displayed on most websites and within company literature, but rarely used by the people they were designed for.
Want a dose of mission-statement reality?
Here are 12.5 questions designed to make you think, squirm and reassess your mission and its meaning:
1. Who created your mission statement?
2. What does it mean to you?
3. Do you have it memorized?
4. Do you use it as a guiding light?
5. Do you have it up on the wall in your office?
6. Do you have it on a card in your wallet?
7. Is it your computer wallpaper?
8. Does it in any way affect your corporate behavior?
9. How do your customers benefit from it?
10. Does it inspire you?
11. Does it motivate you to make more sales?
12. Do any of your customers know your mission?
12.5 Or is it just a bunch of BS that your marketing people – or worse, your ad agency, created? Most mission statements are created for PR purposes, purported image, or some other form of business pomposity. Totally bogus.
If the mission statement is so important, and so genuine, why doesn’t EVERY employee commit it to memory, and execute it every day at work?
Pretty sad, huh?
It’s formally called “a mission statement,” but the reality is, IT’S THE MISSION. YOUR MISSION!
Is that how you treat it? Do you walk into a sales call thinking, “I gotta carry out the mission”? Have you ever given a second thought to your mission statement? Or is it just some empty, full-of-crap pablum drawn up by people who have no concept of reality, let alone sales, let alone your mission.
I’d like to have the money giant corporations paid OUTSIDE PEOPLE to “create” their mission statement. Better yet, just give me $10 for every CEO that can’t recite it.
Well, all of that got me thinking about the real mission, and I realized that there are several missions needed for every company. One mission doesn’t fit all.
When I started to list the mission statements needed, it became apparent that these “missions,” if written by the people responsible for their execution, could change the culture of any company for the better.
Here are the missions I came up with:
• Company vision. It’s easier to make missions if you have clear (big picture) vision. Start there. What are you seeking to achieve? Not be the #1 blah, blah. Rather, how will you help, who will benefit, and what will THEIR outcome be? Vision should be two paragraphs: one about people and one about business.