Don’t have a Mission Statement. Be On A Mission.
[ Originally published November 24, 2014 on the easyDNS blog and included here to build up some base material ahead of launch – markjr]
The 800lb Gorilla in your space has a Mission Statement. Possibly complimented by a Vision Statement and maybe even a Values/Ethics Statement for good measure.
These were either outsourced to a consulting firm or dreamed up in a series of team-building workshops.
They encapsulate values of ethics, morality, diversity, commitment to excellence, customer service and a dedication to quality.
When employees of the Gorilla hear the Mission Statement, their eyes glaze over. By the end of the Values/Ethic Statement they are comatose.
Most of the people inside the Gorilla company couldn’t tell you the Mission Statement if you asked them and none of these statements have any impact on what actually goes on inside the company.
By contrast, you are On A Mission. You have a singular purpose that drives your every move. It is what Jim Collins calls “your hedgehog concept”. It gets you up in the morning. It keeps you awake at night. You live and breathe your mission and you let nothing distract you from it. Your mission is your obsession.
Our mission easyDNS (my company) has always been “To Drive A Stake Through The Heart of Lock-In In All Its Forms”.
When my partners and I started the company back in ’98, “lock-in” was the perpetual bogeyman that made our lives, and the lives of our customers miserable. So we set out to kill lock-in. Nearly 20 years later almost every strategic move we make can still be reduced to that same core principle:
Does it set our customers free? Then we do it. Does it box them in? Then we don’t. That’s a mission.