Does Your Mission Statement Mean Anything to Anyone?

The problem with mission statements is they are overwhelmingly meaningless outcomes of multi-day offsite meetings, where a small group of people sit and hammer one out because it’s on the agenda. They have to write a mission statement because it needs to be disseminated to the employees upon their return. Once read at an all hands meeting, the company or organization can go back to whatever they were doing.

Most mission statements are logged in corporate history and dusted off for inclusion in annual reports. If you asked an employee to cite their company or team’s mission statement you’d probably get a blank look or some mumbling on being number 1 in some market most don’t understand.

Companies and organizations that put the words tier 1, world class, and giving 110% anywhere in their mission statements are doomed for failure. What do any of those words mean? Do they mean anything at all to a customer or employee? If you asked 100 people to give you a definition of what is means to be a world class, tier 1 company that gives 110%, you’d get 100 different answers.

Why don’t all companies define themselves and their organizations by the value and benefits they offer their customers? Why not have a mission statement that means something to customers and guides employees as to their greatest objective? Could your mission statement be used to actually grow your business?

What are the best and worst mission statements you’ve seen?

David Lee

David Lee

David is a serial entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. He has built and exited successful businesses and is now focused on investing. He holds a master's in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.