Mission Statement

1 minute read

After reading Performance Leadership by Frank Buytendijk it occurred to me that a good mission statement might not only be beneficial for organizations. The same idea could also be applied to people.

As a professional motto, a personal mission statement could give coworkers and employers an idea of what drives you to perform and perhaps provide some guidance to your career. It could give others an idea of the kind of person you are, without immediately baring your entire soul in public.

A personal mission statement could be an elevator pitch for your personality.

Frank’s book has a few pointers for creating a good mission statement.

Of course an effective mission statement is not about clever writing, but rather the implementation. However, if a mission statement doesn’t follow a few basic guidelines, it won’t work. First, a mission statement should be to the point. In many cases this means the the statement will be short, but this is not necessarily the case. Furthermore, mission statements need to have external focus; missions statements describe a company’s basic function in society. Next, mission statements must be both specific and broad at the same time. It is vital to be specific on how a company adds value, but in the broader terms of what the products and services achieve for the customers. Lastly, a mission statement needs to be inspiring and truthful; it needs to invite stakeholders to buy into the value the company offers.

In short, a mission statement should be to the point, have external focus; it should be specific and broad, inspiring and truthful. Sounds simple enough, but proves difficult in practice.

After some thought and much introspection, I came up with the following mission statement or myself.

Forever learning and helping machines do the same.

What do you think? Do you have a mission statement?