What is a Mission Statement?

When we define mission it sets a course that impacts not only your thinking but also the thinking and actions of your staff and customers. Like Stephen Covey famously said, “We begin with the end in mind.” Everything begins in the mind of someone. A business mission is not much different than a personal mission. The process for the mission of a company may involve more people than an individual or family mission statement, but the thinking through and putting words to paper is key to both.

Our Mission Statement Definition

The mission defines the present condition of the organization. A mission should answer three key questions: what we do, who we do it for, and how we do it.

 

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Here’s a list of just a few categories of mission statements in our library. Click on each link to go directly to the pages. You’ll find many additional categories from the main library link here.

Eight questions that help define what is a mission statement

When we work with clients, we often ask them to imagine they’ve met us in an elevator. “Tell me in 60 seconds what you do,” we ask. Try that on someone. Tell them what you do as succinctly and high-level as possible.

What is your mission? Go through these questions:
  1. Have you conducted a strategic plan?
  2. Do you intend to develop a vision and mission statement?
  3. Why are you in business?
  4. What does your business look like in the future? (casting vision)
  5. What and who makes your business/organization run today?
  6. What does your business mean to you personally and how does this relate to your own personal value system?
  7. Describe your company’s culture and style.
  8. How are you different from your competitors? How do you stand out? What makes you special and unique as a company?

Six Key Elements of the Mission Statements

A mission statement identifies the most important aspects of your organization. It’s about the elements that set you apart and drive the organization forward. There could be one core product (such as, “we make the world’s best paper clips”) or many things.

Defining what is a mission statement is best approached methodically and in pieces. In essence, the mission statement answers the most important question: “What do we do?”

As you drill down into the process for mission and vision statement development, you’ll want to identify the various activities that comprise what your organization does.

Here are the most typical categories of company activities that, together, constitute the organization’s core operations.

  1. The overall goal of everything that we do as it relates to our community.
  2. The goods or services that we create to meet this goal.
  3. The values that guide us as we do business.
  4. The strategies that we use to meet our goals.
  5. Specific responsibilities we have to the shareholders, community, etc.
  6. The tangible results that we hope to see as the result of our efforts.

Is a mission statement general or specific?

The mission statement must be agreeable to a large number of people in most cases. Therefore, many companies use vague and generalized wording. That’s okay to an extent. But if it’s too vague, you won’t have anything meaningful to work with.

For example, if your mission statement is to make a profit, obey the law, and be ethical, that could fit with any business.

If you think about what is a mission statement, it inherently feels like something with a bit more detail – who, what, why, where, and when.

We advise that you don’t get bogged down in internal politics or needless detail. Do get with colleagues and even friends or family for input.

A mission statement should also be short and to the point. Don’t go on for more than three sentences. We always attempt to encapsulate the essence of a mission or vision statement in one solid sentence.

Whatever you include in defining your mission statement, make sure the words and intention are an integral part of the organization’s growth and success for at least the next five years.

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Here’s a great example from DeCrescente Distributing Company, a distributor of beer and beverages in Upstate New York. They have a very short mission statement followed by four key principles as bullet points, followed by a list of values.

Our Mission

To be recognized by our Customers, Suppliers and Employees as the Premier Company in the Beverage Industry.

We will accomplish this by focusing on four key principles:

  1. Exceptional Customer Service

We believe our customers are the core of everything we do; without them, our company has no reason to exist.

  1. Commitment to Exceed Supplier Expectations

We will engage with our suppliers to build brands and surpass our mutually-agreed upon goals by consistently excelling at retail.

  1. Superior Quality of Life for All Our Employees

We are determined to win while encouraging and supporting a healthy work-life balance.

  1. Meaningful Community Involvement

We will be an active, positive influence in the communities where we live and work by dedicating our time, resources, and support.

Our Values

Integrity – Adhere to sound moral and ethical principles, trusting ourselves and our teammates to never compromise what is right

Pride – Aspire to be the best in all our endeavors

Candor – Demonstrate and encourage open, honest communication in a professional manner and always in the spirit of helping the company to improve

Respect – Treat others the way we want to be treated and ensure proper recognition of each other’s contributions

Loyalty – Demonstrate commitment and trust in our company, the products we distribute and, most importantly, each other

Leadership – Have the confidence to challenge ourselves and the courage to make difficult decisions

Accountability – Prioritize our individual responsibilities, take personal ownership of our commitments, and deliver on our promises

Responsibility – Guide responsible and legal consumption when promoting or consuming the products we represent

 

DeCrescente Distributing Company

Get Professional Help Writing a Great Mission Statement

We are here at missionstatements.com to help you write a great mission statement, vision statement, or anything else you need help crafting to tell the world in words and images about your business or organization. Contact us here today.

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See Hundreds of Mission Statements in Our Library

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

Starbucks Corp.

Our Values: Our company’s foundation is built on our values, which distinguish us and guide our actions. We conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner. We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment, and benefit the communities where we work.

-Integrity

-Trust

-Partnership

-Diversity

-Ingenuity

-Protecting People and the Environment

-High Performance

Chevron Corp.

DIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT

To sharpen our competitive advantage by drawing on the strengths of a diverse work force in order to enhance innovation, growth and customer satisfaction.

DIVERSITY POLICY

Panasonic recognizes that diversity is a business necessity and also an opportunity to achieve greater business success. Accordingly, we are committed to the development of a work force that re&ects the diversity of its customers, business partners and communities.

 Panasonic Corp. of North America

 

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