I often see articles on mission statements and have come to believe that most times these articles miss the point. A mission statement tells those around you what’s important in your business and your life.
In your personal life your mission statement should be communicated to your family and good friends. In your business a mission statement should be known and integrated in everything your company does.
I’ve found that building a mission statement is not something that is difficult to do and it shouldn’t take a lot of time. Below are some rules I find that are helpful in building a personal, family and business mission statement:
Your mission statement should be short. Mission statements that are more than seven to ten words are too long. Your mission statement should be short and to the point.
A mission statement should be able to be answered with a yes or no. Your mission statement should be a declarative statement that can be answered with a yes or no. For example, my personal mission statement is to do interesting things with interesting people. It’s easy for me to know whether I’m following through on my personal mission with this statement.
A mission statement should be integrated with all who deal with you or your business. We all have stakeholders in our life and our business. It’s important for your stakeholders to know what your mission is. When others are clear on what your mission is they can help you achieve this mission through vision, values and goals.
Developing a mission statement is not a group activity. I find one person develops the best mission statements. When one person develops a mission statement, the statement is likely to be short and to the point. I also find it easy for others to sign on when the statement is clear and provides direction in thought and actions.
It always starts with mission. Once a mission statement is built, you can start talking about your vision, values and goals. It’s important that your vision, values and goals support your mission. Congruence in all four of these areas is important. When you start with mission this congruence is easy to accomplish.
One of my favorite activities is helping others develop mission statements. Have you thought about what your statement should be? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com.
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