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January 26, 2015

3 questions to ask when writing a mission statement

A mission statement should be a living document that is regularly revisited and updated as needed.

Your mission statement should reflect your company’s values, objectives and culture.

While many of the training courses we offer focus on the nitty-gritty of daily operations — conflict management, employee safety, etc. — we also believe it is important to keep in mind the big picture. Developing, maintaining and sustaining a long-term vision is critical to success, both as an individual and an organization. One of the best ways to define your corporate or personal vision is by writing a mission statement that articulates your values and objectives in a succinct and compelling way.

A good mission statement can help you stay focused and on track. It can also play an enormous role in building a company culture of which you are proud, that promotes rather than undermines your team’s goals.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when crafting a mission statement of your own:

  • Why do you do what you do? Whether you are writing a personal or a corporate mission statement, this is arguably the most important question you will ask yourself. Put another way: What gets you out of bed in the morning? The answer will likely speak to some important big picture ideals and values that should be included in your writing.
  • Whom do you serve? Even if your main objective is to make a profit (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that), the means to that end likely involves meeting someone’s needs. Perhaps your are a software development company who serves small to mid-sized businesses. Or maybe you are a construction firm that builds large-scale projects such as stadiums, schools and office buildings. Regardless, take a moment to reflect on who your work is meant to influence or help.
  • What image do you want to project? Your mission statement should represent not only your deeply held values, but also the image you hope to project to the world. What value do you bring to the table that no one else does or can? How would you describe the culture of your company? Are you fresh and innovative, or traditional and reliable? Does your brand boast a fun irreverent quality, or more of a dignified gravitas? The mission statement should make the answers to all of those questions clear.

Remember to keep your mission statement powerful but brief. It should be easy to read and understand in just a few moments, packing a lot of meaning into a handful of carefully chosen words. They say that good writing is in the rewriting, so don’t get frustrated! Keep editing and revising until you have a final product that you are happy with. If you hit a wall, sleep on it and return to your task the next morning when your mind is fresh.

For more advice on cultivating vision, whether for your company, department or self, browse MasteryTCN’s‘ training and employee development course catalog today.

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