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101 Mission Statements from Top Companies: Plus Guidelines for Writing Your Own Mission Statement Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2007
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From the Publisher
* A powerful collection of mission statements selected from the most successful businesses and recognizable brands in North America.
* Features a step-by-step guide to developing your own mission statement, including a list of key words.
* Jeffrey Abrahams's THE MISSION STATEMENT BOOK was hailed by the Washington Post as a landmark volume.
About the Author
JEFFREY ABRAHAMS is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, a former journalist, and an award-winning advertising and marketing copywriter for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Oakland, California.
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This resource book delivers the "positioning statements" (vision, core values, brand promises, objectives, etc.) of 101 companies in one-page snippets. It's fun reading. "The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone it touches." That's inspiring! Pepsico's mission statement isn't. The shortest is from Amgen Inc.--"To serve patients."
How about your mission statement? No one disagrees that everything you do must flow out of your mission statement. Your programs must be aligned with your mission statement. Your branding must enhance your mission statement.
Yet! When I facilitate management workshops, based on my book, Mastering The Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Non-profit, I always poll the audience. "Please stand up if you can put your hand on your heart and recite your organization's mission statement by memory." That's when I get the deer-in-the-headlights look and otherwise bright leaders and managers break all eye contact with me. Usually, less than five percent of my workshop participants can pass the test. What's the deal here?
I've concluded that most mission statements are too wordy, too boring and don't inspire. They don't energize staff members, board members or volunteers. And few CEOs take the time to connect the mission statement with real-life-in-the-trenches. The mission statement is a dusty plaque on the wall, not a daily inspiration.
Jeffrey Abrahams writes, "People, by their very nature, seem to ennoble a task by endowing it with a stated mission." If it's time to dust off your mission statement, as part of your annual three-year rolling strategic plan process, here's a great resource.
The book includes a list of 75 key words (many are powerful and compelling) that the author has captured from some of the best mission statements. He begins with 10 short pages on how to use the book. The variety of corporate expressions is stunning--with examples to fit almost any culture. My opinion: about two-thirds are still too long, but the gems on numerous pages are worth the journey. This book is a no-brainer addition to any leader's toolkit.
And speaking of basketball, I came across this extraordinary mission statement from the NBA's Orlando Magic organization: "To be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way." Wow--that's a Gr-r-reat mission statement!