Most organizations (and many successful people) have mission and vision statements. If you don’t have one—or one that resonates with you—then you probably don’t have much vision. And without a clear vision, neither you or your organization will succeed.
We often see many companies trying to be all things for all people. That is a recipe for disaster. The more refined focus you have, the better result you’ll produce.
So what makes a good mission statement (personal or professional)? Here are five guidelines to consider:
- Make it six words or less—This is called “thinking in billboard or business card” format. You should be able to put your mission statement on a business card and not have it in small print.
- Make it real—Avoid using overly flowery words that don’t mean anything. If you read your mission statement to your first grader or your teenager, would they “get” it?
- Make it active—Use words that are doing something. Examples include helping, serving and making. Don’t use the passive tense because you don’t want to be a passive person.
- Make it broad—Cast a wide net; don’t limit yourself when it comes to your mission statement. Thinking huge means having a huge personal and professional mission statement.
- Make it personal—It has to be something that fires you up and inspires you. If it doesn’t excite you, it’s not going to excite someone else.
Having that clear vision doesn’t mean we won’t get lost from time to time. However, a clearly defined vision improves your chances of success both personally and professionally.