Mission 101 Series
Mission statements are similar but different from vision statements.
Here’s why. Mission statements are present-oriented. Vision statements are future-oriented.
Let me explain.
Mission statements give meaning to the actions of your organization right now. They are present-oriented.
Mission statements give context to the things you do today as your work towards the goals you have set for your organization.
Let’s consider my company, Awesome Motive, as an example. Our mission statement is:
To empower people to succeed.
It is short, simple and memorable. It is also very powerful. A catalyst for proper thinking, it compels people in our company to consider this question: how can I empower someone to succeed today?
Mission statements set a common strategic focus across your organization. They guide decision making and create positive frameworks for the behaviors you desire.
Vision statements, on the other hand, give meaning to the actions of your organization in the future. They are future-oriented.
Vision statements describe a desired future position of your organization.
Vision statements are the solution to the equation: x + y = z. x is your mission statement, y are the actions you take in light of your mission statement, and z is the final fulfillment, culminating in the achievement of your vision statement.
We can consider a vision statement from one of my companies, OptinMonster.
Generating 1 billion+ leads per year for happy customers.
It’s a clear target with a desired result, and although it’s not fulfilled today, it sets a definitive picture of what the future of the company looks like.
Vision statements are important because they offer a big picture view of the small actions taken every day.
Spotting the Difference
As you can see from above, there is a clear difference when comparing a mission statement vs. a vision statement.
Mission statements are present-oriented. Vision statements are future-oriented.
If you don’t have either, that’s ok. Start at the beginning of this series to learn how to create an inspiring mission statement.
If you have just one, or both, read them carefully and ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a clear difference between my mission and vision statements?
- Is my mission statement present-oriented?
- Is my vision statement future-oriented?
- Are they both short, simple and memorable?
If you answered no to any of the above questions, I encourage you to set aside time and carefully consider how you can change that no to a resounding “YES”.
The current and future success of your organization depends on it.
You are now ready to write your own inspiring mission statement. You know what it takes to create an inspiring mission statement, you are clear on what a mission statement actually is, and you are clear on the difference between a mission statement vs. a vision statement.
We’re halfway through this Mission 101 series. Are you ready to take your organization to the next level?
In the articles left in the series, you will take decisive action for the good of your organization:
- 17 Mission Statement Examples From World-Class Organizations We will take a deeper look into mission statements from 17 different organizations and uncover the WHY behind them. I’ll give you some additional ideas that you can take when working on your own mission statement.
- How to Write a Mission Statement (and Make It Compelling) It’s time to compose your mission statement. I’ll include some helpful templates to give you a starting point, and by the end, you should have all the tools you need to write a compelling mission statement.
- How to Maximize the Impact of Your Mission Statement (7 Ideas) If nobody listens, you’ve wasted your time. Once your mission statement is ready, your work has just begun. We now need to explore the work required to elevate the impact of your mission statement.
Sign up here to receive the rest of the articles in this series. You’ll also subscribe to my newsletter called The Better Leader Newsletter. It’s filled with leadership insights, must-read articles and other high-quality, engaging content designed to help you flourish as a leader.
I have one simple favor to ask: share this series with others. We need more great organizations with a compelling mission.
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See you in the next article,