Mission Statements: Good Vs. Bad

I’ve had a roll in writing about a half dozen mission statements over the course of my career, and every one of them was terrible. They were too long. They were filled with adjectives and they were designed by committee. I can’t remember a single one of them, and I doubt anyone else does either. In my opinion, a mission statement should be short, absolute and focused on exactly what you want to accomplish. Here are some phrases that you should never use in a mission statement.

  • Build shareholder value (really anything that has to do with shareholders)
  • Constantly strive to implement the critical initiatives
  • Enable individuals and businesses
  • Create long-term value

Here are some mission statements that I think are good. Not a single one last longer than a sentence. The CVS one is probably the best because the goal is clear and customer focued.

  • To unlock the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. – ADM
  • To be America’s best run, most profitable automotive retailer. – AutoNation
  • Our Goal is to provide the best claim service in the industry. – Auto-Owners Insurance
  • We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use. – CVS Corporation
  • Undisputed Marketplace Leadership – The Hershey Company

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