It's Greek to Me: How to Create Your Mission and Vision Statement
By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.
The ancient Greek aphorism "Gnothi Sauton" or "Know Thyself" often ascribed to Socrates, is a good starting point for developing the mission and vision of your company. Why? Because for all the business books, sage advice, and theory out there, the success or failure of your company still comes down to answering one simple question: What drives you? And that question is answered by knowing what you value. And values are what form the basis of your mission and vision.
Successful entrepreneurs and small businesses know what they are about. They are undergirded by a set of values that give direction to the decisions and everyday work of employees. These companies have between 3 and 5 values that guide their every major decision and form the basis of their mission (how they articulate their purpose) and vision (how they see their future).
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner and need to develop a mission and vision statement, think back to those times in your life when something or someone really inspired you. Ask yourself what it was about that time that changed you, gave you clarity, or moved you to action. Your answers will form the basis of the values you will need to form your mission and vision. This Gnosis, or knowledge, which the ancient Greeks talked about was critical for any successful endeavor. So as you reflect upon your life and the values that drive your ambition and enthusiasm, find 3 that are representative of what you want your business to look like.
In my next post, I'll show you how to take those 3 values and create a memorable one sentence mission and vision statement.