Jul 20 2012

You got 20/20 Vision? Hmmm, what’s your Mission?

Is Your Vision Statement A Mission?

Does Your Mission Statement Have Vision?


It’s the 4th Quarter and you’re confused? Gee, hard to imagine . . .


Just because the media and politicians tell us the economy is getting better? Just because we’re looking at a healthcare reform that has absolutely nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with costing business more money? Just because enemy combatant terrorist situations surface from those we’re told are not really terrorists, and from circumstances that we’re assured do not exist? Just because global-warming hoaxers have us running to refrigeration investments?


We’re probably feeling like confusion is nothing new, right? So why not live with a little more?

Well, here’s why: The business you own or manage doesn’t need to be as misguided and convoluted as politicians and the media. Remember they get paid for creating confusion. Your success depends on keeping things simple.

Keeping things simple starts with a foundation of mutual trust, an integrity attitude, tenacious awareness, and consistent hard work.

First off, don’t let anyone tell you to work smarter and not harder. That’s baloney! Every business success comes from hard work. Next, don’t let people confuse you about the characteristics and values of Mission and Vision Statements. [No, they are NOT the same!]

A Mission statement is essentially a declaration of intent, challenge and pursuit. It is your goal statement that clearly and succinctly explains what you plan to accomplish over what specific period of time and by what means. It is action-focused. Its ultimate success will be determined by the extent to which you cultivate mutual Trust among those you work with and oversee.

And, like every meaningful goal, your Mission Statement needs t0 be specific, flexible, realistic, have a due date, and be in writing. [Without all five criteria, you’ve nothing more than a fantasyland wishlist!]

A Vision statement is a heart-and-soul summation of where you see your business in 5-10 years. It is a picture you paint in your mind and share with others. It answers the question: If you succeed in your mission, where will you be? Its success is determined by your practice of —and ultimately your reputation for— high Integrity on a consistent day-to-day basis.

Your Vision Statement is a set of words that best describes what you imagine your future state of existence to be, and how you expect (hope) to be viewed by others: your employees, associates, vendors, customers, markets, industry or profession, and community. It is dream-focused. Its primary value is to inspire pursuit of your Mission.

What’s your Mission for next year? What’s your Vision for  five years out? For beyond 2020?

Oh, and in the same fashion that it helps to start ANY mission with 20/20 vision, it is often most useful to put your 2020 Vision on the table (to keep focused on it) while you develop your present Mission (or while you think up the ways to get where you want to end up).

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National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jan 23 2009


“You can’t build a reputation


on what you’re going to do.”



We’ve talked before about the definition of integrity being doing the right thing even when nobody else is looking.  The dictionary says it’s “the quality of having strong moral principles,” and “the state of being whole, unified and sound, without corruption.” 

I mention it here because integrity is the best kind of reputation to have.  Some customers flock to some businesses because they offer the lowest price.  Some seek only to have quality at any price.  But in today’s volitile marketplace, integrity (“HIGH TRUST”) is what sells most consistently and most profoundly.  It’s what anchors that elusive customer characteristic: loyalty! 

Consumers have been duped and led to slaughter for too many years.  Consumers are tired of hearing about businesses that make empty promises, that fallaciously attach themselves to worthy causes but fail to walk the walk when it comes to the moment of truth.  

As proverbially expressed, deeds and action speak louder than words.  

Consumers are demonstrating, across the boards, that they do not any longer want to deal with “low-trust” talk-the-talk businesses. 

     What separates “HIGH” from “LOW” trust?  Integrity. 

     How does a business gain integrity?  By gaining respect. 

     How does a business win respect?  By establishing a reputation. 

     How does one build a reputation? 

  • By consistent demonstration of honesty and fairness with both internal and external customers, and appreciation that the two need to be viewed as interchangeable. 

  • By recognition that the customer is always right and that there are never any exceptions to that short of legal violations or physical violence. 

  • By (back to the proverbs) practicing what you preach! 

Being partly honest in business is like being partly pregnant in life. 

If your assessments of your business and the spin you’ve been putting out to the public (or, more correctly,  to your marketplace) are filled with um’s and er’s and maybe’s and sometimes’ and occasionally’s, you’re not kidding anyone but yourself! 

Are you and your business, for example, making token donations to charities, or are you and your employees getting into the trenches and helping charitable organizations to raise money and move forward?

It may be time to step back and revisit your mission as well as the services you perform and that you provide both inside your doors and out.  Today’s a good day for that.  Think about it. 

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