Mission Mis-Statements

DSN9164-2-MI recently did a team building event for a company where I was asked to work their mission statement into the program.  It was a fun preparation.  I worked it into several parts of the program.  I enjoyed finding creative ways to challenge them with it.  The statement had been around for years and was clever and catching.  It was easy to remember and pointed in its application.  The only problem was that no one was familiar with it.  In fact, it was foreign to them.  They didn’t know it.  When I used it at their event, most didn’t recognize it.  They were surprised it was their very own mission statement!  My question to myself was; “What good is a mission statement if no one knows, or is even aware, of it?”

Many mission statements have their origins at the top and never really filter down.  These missions are clever, simple, catchy sayings that have little or no relevance the further down the ladder they go.  They sure look good on the webpage and company propaganda.  Getting these mission statements playtime with the actual employees is the problem.  The statement may give a very succinct declaration concerning the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of a company.  Still, it takes great leadership to take these company missions and give them a ‘how’.

Mission statements are important, whether they are called ‘mission’, ‘vision’, ‘purpose’ or anything else.  It really doesn’t matter if you have them or what you call them if they are just a forgotten phrase. Some companies have a mission, vision and purpose statement. That’s great, – but not if it stops with the proclamations.

Good leaders take their organization’s mission and carry it through into plans.  Projections are not enough.  There must be a concrete blueprint as to how it is going to be accomplished.  Great leadership recognizes the how of mission, purpose and vision statements.  Leaders find ways for every person to integrate company ideals into the fiber of everyday work and action.

Points to Ponder –

Without hesitation give your company’s mission statement.

Think of three mission statements you are aware of from advertising.

On a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being low and 10 being high, how would you rate the importance of mission, vision, purpose statements?  Why?

Copyright 2013 LeadersBridge


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