Why Have a Mission and Vision Anyway? And What Does It All Mean?

Creating a mission and vision statement can be a formidable task. Large companies spend weeks and months on the process. When used to full advantage, a mission and vision truly underlie a company’s business model and become what employees and clients/customers align to. If someone is not excited about the company’s mission and vision, that person is not a good fit for the organization.

ActionCOACH, my business coaching company, defines vision as strategic intent—why the entity exists; it is a statement against which all decisions can be measured. Mission, by comparison, is a practical description of how the ultimate vision will be achieved.

Of course you can have a mission and vision whether you are a job seeker or a business owner. As you read the story of The Essay Expert’s mission and vision, I invite you to consider what your mission and vision would be. If you create one you like, please share it in the comments.

The Essay Expert’s Mission and Vision Journey

The Essay Expert did not have a mission statement for probably its first year. When I created one, it sounded right and it stuck (it also was a relatively easy process given that I was the only person who had to approve of it!). Here it is:

The Essay Expert works intensively and personally with job seekers, college applicants and companies, to create powerfully written job search and marketing content. Our clients achieve unprecedented success in moving their careers, education and businesses to the next level.

That mission statement does state how my company will achieve its ultimate goal. But without a vision statement, that ultimate goal was not defined. Then, last year in a business coaching meeting, Susan Thomson encouraged me to craft a vision statement to complement the mission. The vision I created was this:

To empower people and companies to be confident and unstoppable in reaching their goals.

This seemed like a statement with a higher purpose and goal that I believe in. And I have been using it. Each time I have considered bringing in a new writer, I have read this mission to them and ask for their thoughts on it, introducing them to the culture of my company.

Inevitably, the writers I have chosen for my team have been very committed to contributing to the success of The Essay Expert’s clients. They have been truly aligned with my mission and vision, and I have never had a problem with a writer not being fully committed to The Essay Expert’s clients.

Be Careful What You Vision For…

However, I have also encountered some issues when I have demanded more time and corrections from my writers than some other resume writing companies they have worked with. Why was this happening? Why were my writers feeling frustrated with my commitment to excellence?

Two weeks ago, I discovered through a brief coaching session with Dr. Bob Wright that my company’s mission and vision were part of the problem. They were all about our company’s clients, and not about our team! This was a blind spot for me up until Bob pointed it out, and it was quite a revelation.

I now realize that my company’s mission and vision must be not just about the work we do, but about who we are as a company and as human beings working together. To that end, my new vision and mission are “in progress” and will include something like this:

We bring out the best in our clients and each other as a team of writers. We are committed to excellence. We strive to write more effectively, communicate more effectively, and showcase the brilliance in ourselves and in everyone we touch.

Can you imagine a company where everyone is aligned with this philosophy? Where we are all working together toward excellence, becoming our best selves while supporting our clients to do the same?

That’s a company I would want to work for!

What is your mission and vision for yourself or your company? Please share below.


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