What’s the big deal about a mission statement?
You see them on walls in company lobby areas and inside promotional brochures. But do they really mean anything? Do people actually care about mission statements?
Well…yeah. Just ask Dave Ramsey.
Along with his lead counselor, Dave drafted his company’s mission statement nearly two decades ago. This one sentence drives everything his organization does. The statement is simple and straightforward:
We provide biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.
Dave’s mission statement gives a quick summary of exactly what you can expect from his company. Every word is intentional. The sentence has no unneeded words, no tacked-on principles. It is clear and concise.
Every organization needs a mission statement. It’s the driving force of the company, not just a brochure-filler. It says exactly who the company is—and who they are not.
If the goal of a project doesn’t fit within the confines of their statement, then the organization shouldn’t follow through with it. Something may be a cool idea, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring it into the company. Follow your strengths and “dance with the one who brought you.”
Dave says that a good mission statement becomes an out-of-bounds marker for your ideas. If your company builds lawn mowers, then is interior design really a good thought? Be real with yourself. Examine why you started the business, and don’t set yourself up for failure.
Organizations fail because they lack clear goals and focus. They run down too many rabbit trails and lose sight of how they became successful in the first place. In other words, they ignore their mission statement. But any long-term successful organization will have a rock-solid vision—clearly spelled out in the mission statement.
Not only that, but each team member should have their own personal mission statement that guides them. When companies bring the right people on board, the goals of each team member should naturally flow into the goals of the organization as a whole.
That’s the type of unity that helps organizations succeed. And it can only come when everyone on the team knows which direction the train is moving and why it is moving there. That stems from leadership and the mission statement.
If your organization is struggling with its direction, re-examine your mission statement. And if you have never written or verbalized one, then what are you waiting for?
Learn more from Dave about growing your business out of your mission statement at his business conference, EntreLeadership.
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