Mission Critical…


Twenty five years or so ago… Mission Statements were all the rage.

Sold by consultants, every company worth its salt was suddenly scheduling executive time for six to fifteen months with “strategists” who would guide the leaders through a process of discovering just why they were in business.

The experts, of course, had cookie-cutter forms to follow and sets of questions designed to make them look like the smartest people in the room.

Often, they took a simple exercise and made it very complicated… playing one personality against another all along the way.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m NOT saying that ALL Mission Statements are a waste of time. I’m saying that MOST are.

You see… there is a BIG difference between having a Mission Statement, and having a team that truly understands its mission.

The first is often shallow… the second is invaluable. To be sure, no successful business has ever launched without someone (usually the founders, investors, or owners) fully aware of WHY they were doing WHAT they were doing.

However, in the past… that mission was one of the most closely held secrets (and valuable assets) that a business possessed. You would never tip your hand, or show those cards… to the competition.


The problem of the eighties and nineties was that it became mainstream to incorporate the company’s Mission Statement into its marketing efforts and communications.

It has no place there.

Instead of being the secret sauce, or the glue that held the organization together… rather than keeping its players “on purpose”, or guiding internal decision making… the Mission Statement often became nothing more than a “fluff piece”.

At best, it frequently consisted of something that simply sounded good to an executive team (or, yikes!… an ad agency).

At worst, it was vague and ambiguous and difficult to remember, grounded in PR as opposed to values. In other words… useless.


Decisions are simple when you understand your mission, and delegation is easy when every member of your team shares your vision. We simply ask…is this activity necessary to the mission? Does it push us toward the goal, keep us locked in one place, or distract us from reaching our objectives.

A clear and precise statement… born of values, built on strategy, and backed by metrics… provides executives and managers with a tool to stay on course. Anything less… is unworthy of our time.

I look forward to speaking with you.

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