What’s the Point?
Mission and vision statements articulate as clearly and vividly as possible why an organization exists, and put into words the desired “future state” of the organization. A vision statement is a stated desired future that provides direction, aligns the key players and energizes people to achieve common goals. It states your organizational dream — it stretches the imagination and motivates people to rethink what is possible.
Well known is the old proverb, “Without a vision the people perish.” Clear mission and vision statements are the most critical elements of a successful organization-wide transformation and are the heart of every enterprise’s strategic plan. Mission and vision statements should be completely representative of the business you are in. They will clearly state your goals and ideals, and concisely communicate these points to your marketplace, suppliers and employees.
What’s the Benefit?
While a mission statement communicates the purpose of your organization, your vision statement concentrates on the future with an optimistic but realistic perspective. A vision communicates values; it is literally a possible dream. Some inherent benefits of confirmed mission and vision statements:
- They empower an enterprise
- They build on the past
- They are a vehicle for developing and communicating common values throughout the organization
- They result in an increased and more meaningful commitment from management and workers
- They unify people at all levels toward a common goal
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Zig Ziglar, famed motivational speaker and prolific author died last year but many of his famous quips and quotes will remain popular long into the future. Zig Ziglar cultivated a devoted following by saying success hinges upon attitude and motivation.
I have put my favorite top ten quotes and truisms of Zig Ziglar’s together – they are all ideal to review as we enter the start of a New Year:
- “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”
- “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
- “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
- “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
- “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
- “A goal properly set is halfway reached”
- “People often say motivation doesn’t last; neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
- “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
- “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
Best wishes to you in 2013!
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The only kind of leadership worth following is based on vision writes Don Midgett, author of Mission and Vision Statements: Your Path to a Successful Business Future. For a business to succeed in the unpredictable and competitive 21st century it’s important to have leaders with vision; leaders are responsible for what happens in the future. It is in their leadership that they will develop a vision statement which serves as the heart of any size company—from the self-employed to a department of a multi-tiered organizational conglomerate.
Todd Buchholtz, in New Ideas from Dead CEOs: Lasting Lessons from the Corner Office writes of the experiences of the most revered business leaders of the 20th century; their ups and downs, effects on their given industries and their relationship to modern day management practices. The singular characteristic present in his choices was their passion for something newly created, either in product or way of business. It was their passion to create something new “to excel in their chosen industry behind something they fervently believed in” above a need for wealth or power. They, like other visionaries, understood their mission and desired future or vision for their company.
A businessman named Fred Smith had an idea to deliver important documents over night. He imagined airplanes from all over the country flying in to a central hub city after midnight, sorting their cargoes and flying off. He named his business Federal Express, Fed-Ex for short. His vision statement: “A vision of truly reliable mail service.”
For Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer it was to “start a revolution in the way the average person processes information.” With the successful Nordstrom family it was to “create an experience with our stores”
“It is the business visionary who, having focused his passion on the mission of his business and created a mission statement, then seeks to formulate and implement his desired future with a clearly stated vision statement. This is followed by effective communication, clarity and commitment, to both his management team and employees,” said Midgett. It is very important for leadership to have a mission statement that clearly defines one’s purpose, as well as a vision statement that unmistakably defines the company’s desired future.
For additional information on the importance of mission and vision statements to leadership and tools to help anyone better understand mission and vision statements and how to use them effectively, go to www.missionvisionstatement.com/leadership now.