Words on a wall. Fancy signs. Snazzy sales and marketing copy. Recruiting tactics. Buzzwords that are spoken during an all-hands meeting. Corporate jargon. These are among the typical responses you’ll get when you ask someone, “What is a mission or vision statement?”
The implication is that mission and vision statements are fluff pieces that offer more vanity than value.
While that’s frequently true, it doesn’t have to be.
When carefully crafted, mission and vision statements provide remarkable conviction of purpose, clarity of direction, and confidence in decision making and actions. When they’re not, well, then they’re duds.
I like to think about strong versus weak mission and vision statements as a matter of opposites…
Fluff versus substance
Vanity versus integrity
Generality versus originality