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How To Write A Mission Statement That Rocks

        posted by , May 14, 2013

Mission statements are the rock and roll lyrics of the business world.

They're short memorable, rhythmic phases with deep meaning. Writing your mission statement is a creative and critically important task.

Your mission statement is the basis for everything your business does. It's gives direction to your strategy and tactics. It tells your investors, employees, customers and community stakeholders what you're all about.

That's a lot of work for a few lines of text. Mission statements are as short as a sentence and as long as a paragraph. They need to be memorable — avoid writing a book.

Definition: Mission Statement

A mission statement is a short description of an organization's primary goals.



Why Are Mission Statements So Important?

A mission statement is considered a critical business tool. A business without a mission statement is like a business person who's not wearing shoes (barefoot). It just doesn't seem right.

There are several benefits to writing a mission statement:

  • Investors
    Investors require a mission statement to help them understand your business model. It's considered basic investment information.

  • Employees
    Your mission statement provides direction to your employees. Employees who know where a business is headed are more engaged and productive.

  • Partners
    Your partners will want to understand your goals before inking any deals.

  • Customers
    Your mission statement is your primary slogan. It makes a commitment to customers to deliver compelling value.

  • You
    A mission statement benefits the leadership of a business most of all. Your mission statement is the reason you get out of bed in the morning when your alarm clock goes off.


How To Write A Mission Statement That Rocks

Take time to craft your mission statement. Bounce it off people and tune it. It may take many iterations to get it right. A good mission statement includes 4 key elements:

  1. Why do you exist?
    Your mission statement is the basis for all your strategy going forward. It has to answer the most basic question of all — why do you exist?

  2. How do you contribute?
    How do you fulfill customer needs? Make a commitment to your customers, employees and investors.

  3. What makes you special?
    Your mission statement should convey your unique qualities.

  4. What's your goal?
    Where are you going? Paint a picture of your future.


Mission Statement Checklist

Avoid finalizing your mission statement before it's completely hardened. Does it pass these checks?

  • Admirable
    A good mission statement leaves the impression that you're making the world a better place.

  • Ambitious
    Your mission should be challenging.

  • Clear
    Your mission statement should be clear. Avoid using big words and complex sentence structures. Complex isn't catchy.

  • Descriptive
    Mission statements are informational. Avoid vague statements that leave people scratching their heads.

  • Direct
    You have a few short words to describe everything you do — a mission statement is no place for indirect language. Get to the point.

  • Emotional
    Sell more than ideas, sell a feeling.

  • Ethical
    Many companies and organizations make ethics a focus of their mission statement. Others develop separate ethical principles and post them together with their mission statement.

  • Focused
    Your mission statement is focused on your core business.

  • Functional
    A mission statement should be useful for investor relations, marketing to customers, improving employee engagement and strategic planning.

  • Honest
    An authentic and achievable statement will get you further than exaggerating your plans.

  • Lasting
    Your business will change with time. You'll tweak and change your mission statement once in a while. However, a mission is usually fairly stable. It sends the wrong message to change your mission with the wind.

  • Memorable
    A mission with ring that sticks in your head.

  • Optimistic
    An optimistic tone is essential.


Examples

A few examples of mission statements from top brands.

Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
~ Starbucks


Simplicable's mission is to help people achieve their goals with a relevant, solid guide to business.
~ Simplicable


Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
~ Patagonia


To enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.
~ BBC


To create positive memories for all who touch DQ®
~ Dairy Queen


The mission of the LVMH group is to represent the most refined qualities of Western "Art de Vivre" around the world.
~ LVMH group


The BMW Group is the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.
~ BMW Group


To grow a profitable airline, where people love to fly and where people love to work.
~ Virgin Atlantic


Next: Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement: What's The Difference?




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