Yesterday evening I was out with a friend talking about our respective businesses and at some point she told me that one of the clients she was working with had taken a break because they were working with someone on their ‘Mission’ and ‘Vision’. And before I knew I heard myself say “Mission and vision are such nonsense!”.
I was a bit taken aback with it coming out of my mouth but yes, I totally believe ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ are totally overrated!
Mission and vision
For those who don’t know: mission and vision is something you write in your business plan that doesn’t really tell you anything. Mission is ment to tell you why you do what you do and vision is where you want to go with the company. The problem with either of them is that most of the time the end up as statements that don’t really say a thing! You can use them for about half the companies in the world since they ‘want to deliver good customer service, really help clients and make the world a better place’.
Most missions you see out there are interchangeble and that doesn’t really work for me. Does it work for you?
Visions are where you want to go with your business. Because these days it is still very logical to know where the world, your company and you are in 10 years from now… Right? No.
Not to mention most of the time those missions and visions are hard to read because they talk about stuff you don’t even know they do yet. I read a business plan last week written by a fantastic woman with a great business idea but her plan started with her mission and vision, because her coach had asked for that, and I couldn’t make sense of it till I got further down and really understood what she wanted to do.
Would she have started with her dream, that was so obvious and clear, than it would have all made sense instantly!
When I work with clients I start by asking them about their dream and their why. Their dream is what they want to achieve. This is much much much bigger than just within the company. It’s about you as a whole person.
How do you want to live? What is your ultimate dream? Who do you really want to help?
I really love hearing the stories of people wanting to start a womens center in Africa to improve their lives or to show more people how movement can improve so much more than just your health.
In their dreams you can already find their why: why they do what they do, what makes them tick.
As long as money isn’t your ultimate goal (and it probably isn’t since you are reading my blog and not someone else’s) you should be able to write down a beautiful why that really tells people what you want to do.
It might be that you want to beautify the world. You might want to improve the lives of women in the third world by using the leverage of the woman in the first world. You might feel that everyone should be able to show their talents and gifts to the world. Whatever it is: that is very important.
Together the dream and the why make for such a great statement.
Let’s ditch the out-dated, uncomprehensible statements in mission and vision and embrace the dream!