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.
For our purpose of learning together, we will define vision as being more about your goals, the destination, where we are going (remember GPS?). Your mission is about what you do every day.
For example, the mission of my service company is to provide the most outstanding service experience ever. The mission of my training company is to help small business owners stop being a slave to their business.
Starbucks’s mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one per- son, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time. World Famous Pike Place Fish Market became “world famous” by adopting the mission of treating everyone like they’re world famous.
Notice that each of these statements is only one sentence and easy to remember. An effective mission statement is not some long boring paragraph in a frame on the wall that no one knows. The receptionist sitting ten feet away who sees it every day can’t even tell you what is says. The owner who cooked it up in a business planning session with a consultant quickly forgot about it after the conference. Until you simplify it and transfer it into the hearts of your employees and clients, it won’t help you.
Speaking of heart and the reason mission is the first component of build- ing systems in your business, a system without a heart is just a lifeless corpse. If you think about the human body, as intricate as it is, without a heart pumping, there is no life. You can have the bones, the flesh, and all the intri- cate systems, but without blood flow, you have nothing.
Some organizations are alive, but that’s about all. The next step is to make your mission inspirational. Your mission needs to be unique, meaning- ful, and engaging so that your employees feel good about delivering it and your clients get an experience that makes them feel good.
Whether you’re a doctor or you sell a product online, what is the unique experience you want your clients, members, or patients to feel? A mission is not a slogan necessarily, it’s what you actually deliver. But you do want to teach it to your clients so they know what they are getting. This helps you attract the kinds of clients you want. See more about that in the chapter on phenomenal marketing systems.
For example, the mission of my service company (to provide the most outstanding service experience ever) means we stand out from the crowd. Clients get a “wow” experience that makes them feel important. It makes them feel special. It makes them happy! Zappos created a phenomenal online business by making customers happy!
Instead of just providing a functional service, we offer an outstanding, engaging, meaningful service experience that leaves them with their jaws on the ground. Our goal is to leave them with the feeling that no one cares like we do. No one has ever provided that level of experience.
The first thing a new hire learns is our mission. In fact, they learn it in the interview process and agree to help us provide it before we even hire them. We have a five-page document on the mission that is the first part of the new hire training manual. It covers what the “most outstanding service experience ever” means. It not only talks about being on time and doing a good job, those kinds of things are blow the minimum standard.
The document teaches that success is only achieved when clients feel they have received the most outstanding service experience they have ever received from any service provider in any industry! It doesn’t matter if we did every- thing we were “supposed” to do, we didn’t accomplish the mission unless we can clearly see that they feel that way.
The Ritz-Carlton does a phenomenal job with this. They have a credo card that each one of their “Ladies and Gentlemen” carries. It has their credo, motto, and three steps of service on it. Read all about it in my friend Joseph Michelli’s book, The New Gold Standard.
In my membership program, our mission is to provide the most phenom- enal community experience ever. We found that when people feel like they belong to an organization that shares the same vision and values, they feel accepted, appreciated, and supported.
When they feel accepted, appreciated, and supported, they implement! The number one reason that small business owners don’t grow is FTI (Failure To Implement)! We move them from being a slave to their business into a community of supporters, encouragers, and cheerleaders, and then on to implementation, infrastructure, and significant business growth.