Your Mission Statement: A Portrait In Purpose

Who are you? Why are you here? What is your destiny? Such cosmic-sounding questions can pin down important guiding principles when applied to a business’s mission statement.

There are many potential benefits to creating a written mission. It can define who you are as a company, convey the corporate culture, keep management focused on the big picture and inspire team members to work the plan and share in the success.

So how do you get from a blank piece of paper to a profound statement of purpose? The good news is, developing a mission statement doesn’t have to take enormous amounts of time and energy.  Here are a few tips to craft something informative, meaningful, and most of all, true to your vision.

  • Reflect on why you decided to start a business. If you can recapture the initial motivating spark, your mission statement will most likely exhibit that magic combination of passion, humanity and ambition.
  • Use fresh, active words and phrases that have the power to inspire. The statement must engage and encourage your staff to work hard, embrace key values and goals, and recognize that they are part of something special.
  • Pick the principles you live by and want your business to replicate. Integrity? Trustworthiness? Adding value? Write them down and build your company standards around them.
  • Avoid corporate-speak. A wordy, overly formal message won’t ring true or connect on a personal level. Keep it simple and to the point, with a tone that mirrors how people talk to each other in everyday conversation.
  • Sum it all up in 50 words or fewer, sharpen it over the course of a few days or weeks, and your mission statement will be ready to represent your company’s unique character.

Author Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” For companies competing to secure customers, brand exposure and a stable path through the twist and turns of the business world, a mission statement is like a reliable GPS. It keeps you sure of your route and prepared to go the distance.

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