Measure Success Against the Vision and the Mission



“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” — Bill Cosby

How do you measure your success if your goal isn’t about making money?

This is a problem that many organizations face.  Even teams within a money making Enterprise where their goal is about winning mind-share or growing adoption, they still have to figure out how they measure success.

The best advice I’ve found is to measure your success against your mission and vision.  It’s a great way to stay on track.

In A Simple Statement: A Guide to Nonprofit Arts Management and Leadership, James Grady writes about measuring success.

Key Takeaways

Here are my key takeaways:

  • Measure your success against your mission and vision. Use progress against your vision as a yardstick to measure success.
  • Your vision is an image of success. This is a reminder that your success, begins with the vision.

Measure Success Against the Mission and Vision

Grady writes:

“For a nonprofit organization, making a profit is not necessarily the definitive measure of success, nor is an increased budget size or staff.

The evaluation of success lies in the mission and vision statements and is particular to that organization.

Success may represent an increase in audience, in the number of people served by a particular program, or in artistic quality.

Success is also measured by the progress the company has made in fulfilling its vision.

Success is measured in the short term by the accomplishments of goals and objectives and how those accomplishments have moved the organization closer to its vision. “

The key point here is that you can use the mission and vision as a way to measure and guide your success.

Vision is an Image of Success

Grady writes:

“Vision statements give the organization and its employees an image of success.

Without the need to succeed, people and organizations would never reach their full potential.

Reaching the company’s full potential is what a vision statement is all about.”

I like the framing here about setting the sights on your full potential.

You Might Like

Management is Doing Things Right, Leadership is Doing the Right Things
How To Make a Mission Statement that Matters
Corporate Culture: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
How To Figure Out Your Organization’s Values


  1. @ Alik — Thank you. The book is actually really short too, and yet amazingly insightful. The author answers some very cutting questions, and he knows his stuff from driving non-profit success.

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