Updated: Mar 17
Successful organizations have mission statements that explain who they are and what they can do. These organizations also have vision statements that describe where they want to go to achieve success in their field. Mission and vision work together. What they have in common is:
To create a firm foundation for behavioral norms
To clarify goals
To encourage the determination to succeed
Mission statements are generally on corporate web sites where they create a strategy for organizational identity. They define two important characteristics: who the company is and what it does. The mission statement must define leadership and company goals and how to attain these critical factors. The message addresses the customers, the employees, stakeholders, community, and all other participants. Professionals also need to understand their place in their particular area of expertise.
Vision statements project the corporate identity into the future and compel the participants to work together toward the shared organization vision. The vision statement projects clarity on what can be achieved over a certain period of time. It describes the source of direction and gives encouragement, confidence, and a sense of fulfillment to its members. It should help employees understand how much they influence and contribute toward attaining long term desired goals. The message should be succinct and inspirational so that employees offer more of themselves above and beyond making profits. It has been said that the function of vision statements should link the present to the much brighter future.
Vision statements are not only valuable at the leadership level, but give every person the promise of a future role that affords a sense of achievement that we all strive for. Vision is fluid. It will change and grow over time for both organizations and individuals. A clear vision makes success more easily attained and satisfaction in careers more sustainable. It must emphasize the equality of men and women in the workplace. Both are equally needed and vital to the evolution of organizations. It should be clear that there are no limitations when gender equality is undeniable and success is based on merit. Opportunities exist for anyone who believes in the mission and can devote his or her energy and talent to achieve success.
If you, as an independent professional or as an employee of a large organization, have been dissatisfied with some aspect of your career, now is the ideal opportunity to do something about it. Begin by creating your own personal mission or purpose statement. This will require a personal audit of your own passion, values, and strengths. Arruda, co-author of Career Distinction offers a template that includes three elements: the value you produce + who you are producing it for + the expected outcome. An example: “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world,” a personal mission statement of Amanda Steinberg, founder of dailyworth.com (Vozza, 2014). A professional coach will help you explore and complete a personal audit to help identify unique elements needed to create your own personal mission statement. This will be an ever-evolving process, as it needs to be updated yearly or sooner. It will work as your guiding star to maintain your unique identity and aspirations.
President Theodore Roosevelt, whose vision for our national park system preserved America’s natural wonders, inspired future generations with these words: “I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender. Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life.”
Roosevelt articulates a compelling vision to youths for a successful life, and it serves as a guide to triumph in the future. Without such a clear vision, followers will eventually become discouraged and will be more inclined to join another organization that inspires and provides the energy they need for commitment. Human nature generally desires to be a part of something good and meaningful. Vision statements institute a standard of greatness and veracity by challenging individuals and requiring them to do their best.
The Road to Success with Mission and Vision
Every organization, indeed everyone in the organization or any professional, needs this approach to be able to measure the effort to succeed. Without mission and vision, it is hard to stay on the road to success.
No one can deny that personal fulfillment helps a person or an organization build success brick by brick, level by level, achievement upon achievement. This is the firm foundation that begins with mission and vision. Strengthen your talents and set your goals. Don’t look back on your career and say you should have tried harder. Do it now, with the help of an experienced coach.
Leadership & Executive Coach
Eileen Pawlowski, Editor
Arruda, W., & Dixson, K. (2007). Career distinction: Stand out by building your brand. Hoboken: Wiley.
Vozza, S. (2014, December 31). Personal Mission Statements Of 5 Famous CEOs (And Why You Should Write One Too). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3026791/personal-mission-statements-of-5-famous-ceos-and-why-you-should-write-one-too