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Corporate Mission


The first step in developing a Corporate Foundation is the creation of your Corporate Mission. Your Corporate Mission is loosely comparable to your Personal Mission in that it answers the question, “Why does your business exist?” It gives your business a purpose beyond that of simply making money. You can get that from any job, but a business with a Corporate Mission offers much more to the lives of those it touches. It offers something everyone can get behind. It offers purpose. Your Corporate Mission will give your employees a compelling reason to come to work. While making a pile of money might be fairly high up on your list of priorities, your personal financial well being may not be the first consideration of your employees. They need something more from their work, and in reality, so do you. After all, money is just a means to an end; it’s not the end in itself.

A Corporate Mission will also give your lenders and your suppliers a greater sense of purpose concerning doing business with you. It will foster customer loyalty and give potential customers even more reason to choose your business over the alternatives. Most importantly, it will ensure that your business exists to fulfill its founding purpose, that is, to serve your Personal Foundation and move you toward your Personal Mission.

Tangible Benefits of a Corporate Mission


A well-defined and properly used Corporate Mission can have a positive effect on your bottom line in four specific areas.

  1. Your People: If your employees feel their work has purpose then they'll feel better, maybe even inspired, about performing it. As a result, their stress levels will go down, their sick days will decrease and their productivity will increase.
  2. Your Customers: Not only does an inspired company present themselves more favourably to their customers, but customers also feel better about doing business with an organization whose purpose goes beyond profit.
  3. Your Suppliers: A company that lives by a worthwhile Mission Statement lets your suppliers know that they are dealing with a stable company with a future. That’s the kind of message that results in improved relationships with all of your suppliers, now and in the future. Positive relationships with your suppliers can have a positive effect on your purchasing credit, delivery times, and general quality of service.
  4. Your Lenders: A business with a clearly defined purpose sends a message of stability and security to its lenders. This will inevitably lead to a relationship built on trust and respect. What better type of relationship could you possibly ask for with your lenders?

Mission Statement


Your Mission Statement is the document which represents your Corporate Mission to the world. It is typically no more than a paragraph in length, but there are no hard and fast rules here. It should be long enough to accurately represent your Corporate Mission, yet concise enough to be read and understood quickly and easily.

The creation of a Mission Statement for your business begins with you. Think back to why you started your business in the first place. What did you want to accomplish? Sure you wanted to make money, but there are an unlimited number of ways to make money. What led you to start this particular business?

If your business is a partnership, you should still do some individual work before you get together. If your business is large enough, it may make sense to involve your senior staff early on in the process, but do a little soul searching on your own first. The reason for this is two-fold.

First, as the owner, your Corporate Mission Statement must work for you. It must fit with your Personal Foundation. It’s your company, so if it doesn’t work for you, there’s very little point having one.

Second, large groups can waste a tremendous amount of time and energy going around in circles if the agenda is too wide open. It is much more efficient to solicit feedback and input, based on something concrete than begin with an open-ended question. Give your people a starting point.

That having been said, a Mission Statement that only serves the interests of the owner is as good as no Mission Statement at all.

Maybe even worse. It can cause resentment (the owners care only about themselves), indifference (I can’t remember our Mission Statement and I don’t care), or even a loss of respect (we waste time on these Mission things and nothing ever changes). So it's extremely important that everyone be given the chance to offer feedback. A Mission Statement that's composed in the ivory towers of management and simply passed down through the organization will not work. The final decision will be yours, but everyone needs to feel part of it. Not everyone will agree, that’s life, but everyone should have the opportunity to voice their opinion.

When all is said and done and your final draft is complete, make a big deal out of it. Have a celebration, put it on your wall, print it on your stationery, print it on your brochures and put it on your website. All too often a business will draft a Mission Statement and then leave it in the binder it was drafted in. If you don’t treat your Mission Statement with respect, neither will anyone else.

It's possible that some of your employees may decide that your Mission Statement does not fit with their lives. They may simply need reassuring that despite all of the impending changes they are still important, or it may be time for them to move on. The good news is that those who truly support your Mission will all be on the same wave length. Your goal is to have your whole company moving the same direction, not just part of it. Just think of the awesome potential of this. It’s not a simple challenge, but if you succeed, the results will be worth more than the effort.

freebirdHere is an example of a company`s mission statement that not only spells out their intentions with words, but demonstrates what it looks like graphically. For your mission statement to be powerful, it is important that it live in a place where it will be seen by your employees, customers, suppliers, and any other stakeholders. This is how you communicate to the world what you're all about.

Is a Mission Statement still valuable if your company is young?

Absolutely, maybe even more so. Every business should have a purpose. A carefully designed and implemented Mission Statement will benefit a business in any stage of maturity. Even if your business is young and growing, a Mission Statement will keep your business moving in the right direction, help with the decision-making process, give direction to your marketing programs, help you to hire the right kind of people when you need them, and generally make your business more fulfilling for everyone involved, including yourself.

Wardell: Our Mission

Wardell is a progressive organization, dedicated to helping people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

Develop Your Mission Statement

The following set of questions will help you develop a mission statement for your business. Answer them on your own and then use the appropriate ones as the basis for a group discussion.

1. Why did you start your business? (owner question only)

2. If you no longer needed money, what would your business goals be? (owner question only)

3. What do you love about your business? (owner and/or group question)

4. What do other people love about your business? (owner and/or group question)

5. What has your business done well in the past? (owner and/or group question)

6. How can you leverage this for the future? (owner and/or group question)

7. What has your business done poorly in the past? (owner and/or group question)

8. How can you learn from this for the future? (owner and/or group question)

9. Now try writing your Corporate Mission Statement. What is the purpose of your business? (owner and/or group question)

10. Now re-examine your Corporate Mission Statement and ask yourself, “Could I imagine my business without this?” If the answer is yes, then give it one more try. There is a good chance that your true Mission is hidden someplace in the words you wrote above.

It would be a mistake to simply rework someone else’s Mission Statement to use as your own. Much of the value of a good Mission Statement comes from the thought process and the discussions that go into its creation. There's little value in a Mission Statement that does not come from the heart.

What will you do to make sure that your Corporate Mission Statement is more than just words on a page, filed away in a manual somewhere? Do all stakeholders (employees, shareholders, partners, etc.) have access to this document? What else can you do to bring it to life?

The details and assembling of your Business Manual are covered in book two of this series “Management: The Art and Science of Getting Things Done.”

Getting and Keeping Your People On-Board


This is the job of management. Management must walk the talk. If they only pay lip service to your Mission; if once the party is over and the plaque is on the wall it’s back to business as usual, then the whole process has been nothing but a waste of time and resources. If you want your Mission Statement to live up to its potential, it has got to permeate your organization at all levels.

In this chapter you should have designed, shared, and made a plan to review your:

  • Personal Mission.
  • Corporate Mission Statement.
  • Having trouble creating your corporate mission? Get free samples of corporate mission statements from brands you know to help you get started.