How to write a mission statement
How to write a mission statement
These three guidelines will tell you how write a mission statement, AND they will also help you to use your mission as a leadership tool.
Is your Team on a Mission?
Or ... is your Team, Mission-lessness?
Today most organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit) have a Mission Statement.
But if you take a random sample and read some of them, you will find that many organizations have Mission Statements that are abstract, too long, and ... with pretentious declarations that are difficult to be acted on, can be misremembered, or are simply ignored by employees.
To use your Mission as an effective leadership tool in order to help you attract the right of the best talent, motivate them, and align and optimize your team’s performance, you must follow three guidelines.
Three guidelines to write a mission statement
FIRST guideline about how to write a mission statement:
You must know why your team exists; what is its contribution to the rest of the organization; what is the value it creates for your internal and/or external customers. The Mission of your team is its most fundamental reason for being.
I am not talking about WHAT your team does—I am talking about WHY your team does what it does. This is not about what you deliver—this is about what you stand for.
Do you know what is the purpose of your team?
SECOND guideline about how to write a mission statement:
Once you know what the Mission of your team is—then and only then—you may write it as a Mission Statement.
Please note: Some of the best performing organizations don't have written Mission Statements—but boy, are they on a Mission.
If you decide to write it as a Mission Statement, make sure you make it straightforward, crystal-clear, and concise. The shorter the better—some people claim that it should have no more than eight words, using the format: Verb, target, and outcome.
THIRD guideline about how to write a mission statement:
Whether you wrote your Mission Statement or not, but once you know what the Mission of your team is, then your job is to translate your team’s Mission into a noble purpose in the eyes of your direct reports—you have to be able to get to the point where your direct reports visualize your team’s Mission as a dignified purpose that rises above any short-term results.
The real force of your team’s Mission is not found in the Mission itself, nor in your written Mission Statement, but in your capacity to transform your team’s Mission into a living force embodied in every behavior of every single direct report.
The strength of your team’s Mission resides in your employees' conviction, passion, and aligned behaviors with such purpose.
The fuel of your Mission is when your direct reports identify themselves with the Mission of your team, they feel passionate about it, and they understand it as a reason worth working for that transcends any temporary financial gains—remember, making just a return in the stockholders' interest does not motivate anyone.
Your team’s Mission is a powerful leadership tool to build high performance.
Is your team on a Mission?
Or despite your team’s ostentatious Mission Statement, is it Mission-lessness?
Mission is about passion—mission is about intrinsic motivation—mission is about employee engagement.
If you want to acquire key leadership tools to boost your direct reports' intrinsic motivation—beyond your team's mission—get your FREE Personal Leadership Development Plan.
This Plan will teach you three must-have people management competencies that will enable you to increase your direct reports' performance. Check it out here!