Leadership: The Mission Statement and Vision


I had a great conversation yesterday with a pastor friend. As we discussed several things one of the prevailing topics was about mission and vision for the future. Our discussion brought us both to the already accepted notion that mission and vision are critical for the success of any leader. May I simply define them and give a few thoughts about creating an effective mission and vision statement?

I would define mission statement as the core reason for existing. It’s the definition of why we do what we do. It’s what we bring to the table in services, resources and action for others. A Vision statement is the perceived outcome of the mission statement. It’s what the future looks like because of the accomplished mission!

Leaders have to not only generate a nice sounding, coherent, do-able mission and vision statement but they have to live them! The scripture is clear in Proverbs 29:18

18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
    but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Vision and Mission are not only necessary to forming an organization but they are essential to living and fulfilling God’s plan for us as individuals. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when forming personal and even corporate mission and vision statements.

1) Believe it.

There has to be personal belief and buy in if you want others to believe it. Simply being a wordsmith is not enough. There has to be personal attachment, sacrifice and demonstrative emotional connection to each part of your mission and vision statement. Passion will take you and others far in accomplishing mission and vision! Don’t use catchphrases or popular buzzwords. Simply craft a vision and mission that is easy to remember but heartfelt. Keeping it simple but real is the best way to get others on board with your mission and vision!

2) Say it.

You have to communicate your vision and mission well. Keeping it simple helps in this regard. However, you have to share it with others. People have to know where you are going if they are going be able to know how to contribute. They have to be able to understand and come to believe in the vision and mission themselves. This only happens as they hear the passion in your voice and see it in your life!

3) See it.

Seeing is believing. It doesn’t take long for people to figure out whether your mission and vision is a hoax or not. It will be evidenced by your lifestyle and choices others see you making. If you vision and mission is clear, choices, decisions and practices within your organization and personal lifestyle will reflect those core values and others will exhibit good faith in you and your organization.

4) Do it.

I was amused this morning as I was reading through some news article and it pointed out that in the 1960s Nike’s mission statement was clear and concise: “Crush Adidas”. The writer said he was conducting his own unscientific research by looking through a recent copy of Sports Illustrated. His results were conclusive: Nike 64    Adidas 8

There’s much to be said about “Just doing it” to borrow from Nike. If you want others to know your mission and vision, you gotta get out there and do it. Talk is cheap and action is expensive but the results from action on the mission and vision bring a wealth untold!

What’s your mission and vision statement? Can you articulate them within a minute to someone who doesn’t know you?

Are they clear and concise?

Do they reflect your passion(s)?

Do you try to “sell” your vision and mission or do you “live” them? Is it possible to do both well?




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