This article was originally written an exclusive resource for the participants in my workshops at 2015 Haiti Entrepreneurship Camp. Thinking through it further, I realized that it is a helpful resource for just about anyone.
One of the things that I am incredibly grateful for is the fact that I get to wake up each day and do work that I truly love. I’m excited to get out bed each morning, start my workday, and serve people.
My mission statement is “to inspire hope and make it easier for people to bond”. Professionally, I do this through my work as a mental health speaker and a corporate drumming event facilitator. Personally, I strive to do this in all my relationships. My vision statement is much more detailed and just as clear as my mission statement.
As you read further, you will learn the difference between a mission and a vision statement. Next, you will get to look at sample mission and vision statements from popular companies. Finally, you will learn about 7 books that have helped me cultivate my mission and vision statements. This work involved is some of the most important work you can do for yourself. I encourage you to read each book, take notes, and reflect.
The Difference Between a Mission and a Vision Statement
In my experience and opinion a mission statement is a one sentence statement that defines what you do, who you do it for and how you do it.
A vision statement is a detailed mental picture of what your life (or business) looks like when it’s finished.
Vision and Mission Statement Examples
Sample Mission Statements
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Our company has packed a lot into a relatively young life.
Make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation.
To embrace the human spirit and let it fly.
Sample Vision Statements
Diversity is an essential element of the Yale School of Management’s mission to educate leaders for business and society, and of our distinctive model of values based leadership. An effective leader for business and society is one who is able to hear, understand and communicate with people from all segments of society. In order to educate such leaders, Yale SOM is committed to promoting diversity and creating a community that cultivates a wealth of perspectives. Leaders from Yale SOM are comfortable with difference, believe in the value of diverse perspectives and aspire to lead organizations and communities across boundaries.
We are committed to building a Yale School of Management community that is diverse across many dimensions, including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, political opinion, education, and professional experience and aspirations. While a breadth of perspectives is important, we are especially concerned with having the most difficult conversations, hearing the voices least heard and providing leadership where it is urgently needed.
The vision of the ASPCA is that the United States is a humane community in which all animals are treated with respect and kindness.
As stated in its new motto, Samsung Electronics’ vision for the new decade is, “Inspire the World, Create the Future.”
This new vision reflects Samsung Electronics’ commitment to inspiring its communities by leveraging Samsung’s three key strengths: “New Technology,” “Innovative Products,” and “Creative Solutions.” — and to promoting new value for Samsung’s core networks — Industry, Partners, and Employees. Through these efforts, Samsung hopes to contribute to a better world and a richer experience for all.
As part of this vision, Samsung has mapped out a specific plan of reaching $400 billion in revenue and becoming one of the world’s top five brands by 2020. To this end, Samsung has also established three strategic approaches in its management: “Creativity,” “Partnership,” and “Talent.”
Samsung is excited about the future. As we build on our previous accomplishments, we look forward to exploring new territories, including health, medicine, and biotechnology. Samsung is committed to being a creative leader in new markets and becoming a truly No. 1 business going forward.
7 Books on Mission and Vision Statements
1. The Purpose Driven Life
In my opinion, before you can begin working on a vision for your life, a mission for your business, and a vision for your business, you have to first get clear about your personal mission. This book offers a great process for exploring your mission. One of the challenges for some people is that the book is by Rick Warren, an evangelical Christian pastor. While it has references and examples that represent his Christian beliefs I found, as a person who is a non-Christian, I was able to put that aside and apply the points to my life.
2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
This book provides a simple, yet powerful blueprint for living life. I first read it back in 1997 when I was entering college. The second habit, Begin with the End in Mind, provides some profound insight into why a profound sense of mission and vision is so critical to success in life. It’s a tough read and it gets really deep. If you are looking to do some real work on yourself, this book is an excellent place to start. It’s on my list of books to reread annually.
3. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
As I am writing this article, I’m in the process of reading this book. It’s another one that I reread annually. This book has taught me that growth in life isn’t something that just happens to you. Growth is intentional and comes from having a growth plan. The book is by John Maxwell. John’s books are full of practical knowledge and I would suggest reading all of them.
4. The E-Myth Revisited
This book is required reading for every entrepreneur. Many consider The E-Myth Revisited to be the most important small business book of all time. Through a short story, it has incredible insight into the core challenge that growing businesses face and how to overcome it. Through reading this book on my parents front steps, I began to see a real vision for business and it motivated me to become the entrepreneur that I am today.
5. One Word That Will Change Your Life
I learned about this book through The Entreleadership Podcast and learned so much through it’s very focused concept. The idea behind this book is to simply the mission and vision of your life into one word. Typing that sentence gave me chills. It’s simple, honest, and to the point. It’s also a reminder about the power of language and how we can use it to our advantage.
6. The ONE Thing
Similiar to One Word That Will Change Your Life, this book really helped me not only focus on what’s most important, but gave a framework for how to manage my time around it. One of the key concepts that I learned from this book was that it’s important to schedule your free time during the day before scheduling anything else.
7. 6 Months to 6 Figures
Let me be honest and admit that I purchased this book because of the title. It appealed to my emotions and desitre to make more money as quickly as possible. It helped me learn how to get clear about what I was trying to do by asking some tough questions.
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