Developing your mission

“The best Leader is one who knows how to pick good people to do what he or she wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Heidi Richards –

Mission statements describe the purpose of an organization or a sub-group of it. It is a general description of what it is that the team is there to do. It grows out of the Vision. It describes the organization’s purpose. It tends to be general with objectives often accompanying it. The mission provides the “framework” for goals and objectives. It also provides guidance for the major decisions officers and board members need to make. Identifying or updating the mission is usually done during strategic planning.

Developing a mission statement can be approached using varying methods:

Participants may use highly analytical and rational exercises such as focused discussions or highly creative and divergent approaches through daydreaming, sharing stories, etc.

In the wording process consider the products, services, values, market and concern for the public image of the organization.

The mission should be brief enough (one or two sentences) that everyone in the organization can learn it and recite verbatim.

Adding or removing a word, which may also further define the scope of products and services of the organization, can accomplish refining the mission.

The mission should include sufficient description so that it clearly separates the mission of the organization from other organizations.

It is a good idea to revisit the mission from time to time to make sure it is relevant to the organization’s current situation.

To stimulate thinking the group should consider the functions of the organization, who the organization serves (the customer) and how the organization will fulfill the functions (the activities, methods and technologies).

About the author
© 2005 – Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is the owner of Eden Florist & Gift Baskets – and the Founder & CEO of the Women’s ECommerce Association, International (pronounced wee-kî) – an Internet organization that “Helps Women Do Business on the WEB.” Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at or