“A man with money is no match against a man on a mission.” — Doyle Brunson
A mission is an organization’s core reason for existing.
The mission is a declaration of the core purpose and focus. Some think of a mission as a calling.
In A Simple Statement: A Guide to Nonprofit Arts Management and Leadership, Jamie Grady shares what he’s learned about mission statements over the years.
Here are my key takeaways:
- Use your mission statement to gauge your success. The biggest thing for me here is that the mission statement acts as a gauge for success.
- Keep mission statements simple. I’m a fan of simple, repeatable mission statements over elaborate or verbose ones.
- Make it a group thing to get skin in the game. I like the point on getting skin in the game by using a group process for the mission statement.
What Is a Mission Statement
A mission statement is about who you are as an organization: your philosophy, beliefs, values, and principles.
- A mission statement is a single sentence or short paragraph that states
the company’s central philosophy, beliefs, values, and principles.
- It clarifies the work of the organization.
- It needs to be the single device with which a company measures its success.
The Keys to an Effective Mission Statement
There are several keys to an effective mission statement. A quick test is whether it stands out and creates buzz.
- It should be recognizable, unique, exciting, and inspiring.
- It is a simple expression of why the organization was created and what it will accomplish.
- Individuals who are not familiar with the organization should be able to quickly and accurately understand its purpose by reading the mission statement.
- Mission statements should be powerful and compelling in order to bring people together to work toward a common goal. A compelling sense of purpose brings people together to achieve great goals.
- If an organization wants every action to be based upon its mission statement, it should create a statement that can be easily memorized.
- A mission statement needs to be brief in order for it to be easily placed in the minds of those who need it most – organizations, employees, patrons, donors, and vendors.
- As with any important declaration, it is vital to allow time for revision and discussion about the statement’s appropriateness and effectiveness.
Create the Mission Statement Together
Co-create the mission statement with your group. This helps create buy-in right from the start.
“The creation of the mission statement can be completed by one person or a core group.
Usually the statement will be more effective, powerful, and embraced if it is formed by a small group of people rather than a single person.
If the mission statement is developed through a successful group process, each member of that group will have a personal stake in the success of the mission and that of the organization.
The more people working toward a focused purpose, and sharing that focus, the greater chance they will have in accomplishing that purpose.”
Man on a Mission – a blog dedicated to mission statements.
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