Your company’s mission is the unique experience you are delivering every day. It is what you do every day to accomplish the vision. Your mission is different from your vision. Your vision is where you are going. Your mission is how you get there. Many times vision and mission is used interchangeably because your vision is that you are delivering on the mission and by delivering the mission, you reach your vision.
For our purpose of learning together, we will define vision as being more about the goals, the destination, where we are going (remember GPS?). Your mission is about what you do every day; every hour you should have your mission in mind.
The Benefits of a Clear, Compelling Mission
- Your mission reveals who your target market is. Does everyone want the most outstanding service experience? No, some people want the lowest price. Does everyone feel like a slave to their business? No. Does everyone want the finest coffee in the world? No. If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anybody. (See the chapter on phenomenal marketing systems to see how mission affects marketing.)
- Your mission dictates what kind of marketing you do. Does every kind of marketing attract the target market that wants what you want to deliver? No.
- Your mission engages your prospects and clients. Your mission makes it clear what you are actually providing—an experience, not just a functional product or service.
- Your mission helps your staff make the right client decisions. This is possibly the biggest reason for a mission. Although your goal in building systems is to document every step that happens in the business, the fact is that we live in the real world and your staff must be empowered to make decisions when the lines are grey. How do your employees make that decision? With the mission in mind. Obviously we can’t deliver the mission without making a profit (an important part of the vision), but the mission helps them make the right decision.
- Your mission determines what image you project. Your mission will determine how your materials look, what kind of dress code you have, what kind of facility you have, and many other decisions regarding the image of your company. For example, if my target market is corporate America, my image has to be corporate. If my target market is small business owners, it can be a little more down to earth, as they want to see authenticity.
- Your mission helps you adopt the right customer service policies. One of the biggest disconnects in small business is when the mission doesn’t match the message. If the message says you provide the most outstanding service experience ever, but you set policies that limit your staff from actually delivering that, you hurt the brand.
- Your mission leads you to the right procedures and training processes. Your people can have hearts as big as Texas, but if they don’t have the training and the systems to work with, they can’t deliver even if they wanted to.
- Your mission tells you what kind of people you should hire (or not). If your people aren’t passionate about the mission, you are going nowhere fast. As Jim Collins says in Good to Great, “Get the right people on the bus and then figure out what seat to put them in.” (More about this in phenomenal leadership systems.)
- Your mission is the focus of coaching and discipline. When team members miss the mark and you have to take them into a coaching situation, the entire conversation is about mission, vision, and purpose. This takes the conversation away from “me versus you.” It’s about the mission. This takes the negative emotion out of the equation.
When you have a mission that is understood, you can “check” every decision that is made. A clear mission helps you “rally the troops” and gives you a context for coaching. When an employee doesn’t follow procedure, you can simply tie the correct behavior to the “why” behind the procedure—which is the mission.
Read more in my latest book! On Sale Now
5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business