The CEO of Rock Blog

The Quest of a Student/Entrepreneur to Add Value in Music and Business

The Cheesy Mission Statement

I don’t want to see another mission statement whose words were designed to win playing Scrabble.

But, Señor, What Are Mission Statements?

Mission statements are simple, one to four sentence long phrases. Companies use them in advertising to bring in customers, raise funding from investors, and keep their employees working towards the same objective no matter what tool or task they may be working on.

They also can sound business-like, and boring. In fact, it is possible to read some mission statements and still not know what an organization actually does, or what to expect. Here are some examples:

Our challenge is to assertively network economically sound methods of empowerment so that we may continually negotiate performance-based infrastructures. (Dilbert’s Automatic Mission Statement Generator)

Respect, integrity, communication, and excellence. (Enron)

If your eyes glazed over reading that, or if your brain stopped working at “assertively network”, I understand and expected it. Notice the difference between those, and Amazon’s Kindle statement:

Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.

This one is more reasonable. You know exactly what Amazon wants to do, and you may have even hoped for their success. Same goes with Apple’s “1000 songs in your pocket” Ipod idea.

Why YOU need a mission statement

  • It lays out what your goal is. When you know and see what you are trying to do, it is easier to do it.
  • It keeps you on track – avoiding decisions that take you further away from your goals.
  • Other people can read it and know what you want to do, as well as how they might help you.
  • Maybe you have more than one passion – a statement that tells you what you want to achieve can help you choose which passions to follow and which ones are best left for time off/vacation..
  • Potential team members who want to accomplish the same thing will follow or join you if you follow a statement that attracts them.

My advice: avoid traditional, fortune 500 style business statements.

Maybe you are working by yourself, or in a team. You could also be in a succeeding band, or involved in several different businesses. You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile (couldn’t help it).

Your mission statement, when you write it, should do what you want it to do. For example, here is mine:

My mission statement: Taking creative minds from a place of obscurity to a place where they lead, and even change, our culture.

As you can see, I do not have huge words like “infrustructure” or “empowerment for our future”. In short, if you can hear it in an oil company commercial or during a shareholder meeting, I will try not to include it in my statement. In addition to it being better-worded (in my opinion), it gives me a path to work towards in everything I am interested in (from music and business to technology and politics). Regardless of what stage I am at, I can look at that sentence and instantly create goals (action specific mission statements) that will get me there.

It is not without its flaws as well. My statement has absolutely no measurable points to let me know whether I have reached it or not. But then again, It is a path and not a destination. It is like saying I want to start a fire. The fire is working whether it is on the edge of a match or a Californian forest. Bad example…think of it instead as a creative, constructive, sexy fire.

You are more than welcome to comment if you think my statement is cool or bullshit. What is your mission statement? I would like to see what it is based on who YOU are.

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November 29, 2009 - Posted by | Business, Productivity/Goal Setting | ,

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