Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept


No matter where you are in business, it’s time to define your WHY. WHY, as in why do you exist? Why do you do what you do? What kind of impact do you want to have?

The foundation of your WHY starts with your core values. Your values should lay the path for any business and any industry you are involved in. These are the compass and guiding principles that will allow you to attract the right team, speak to the right clients, and make the best decisions for your business.


Do you have these values written down or are they floating around in your head somewhere? Does your team know what they are? Are their values aligned? What about your mission statement? Vision? My guess is you shook your head “no” on at least one of those items. You may have even silently said, “what’s the difference?”

We got you.

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Mission:

The REASON your company exists

- Definition: A mission statement defines the purpose and primary objectives related to your customer needs. It speaks to your company’s business, it’s objectives, and it’s approach to reach those objectives; in other words, HOW you will get to where you want to be and WHY are you in existence.
- Famous Example: Patagonia: "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."



Vision:

A Source of inspiration and motivation
- Definition: A vision statement clarifies your ideal future state for the business. It communicates your purpose and core values. In other words, WHERE do you want to be?
Here's a Famous Example:

The Coca Cola Company: To achieve our mission, we have developed a set of goals, which we will work with our bottlers to deliver:

PEOPLE: Inspiring each other to be the best we can by providing a great place to work

PORTFOLIO: Offering the world a portfolio of drinks brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs

PARTNERS: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty

PLANET: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference by helping to build and support sustainable communities

PROFIT: Maximizing long-term return to shareholders, while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

PRODUCTIVITY: Being a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organisation.

**Your mission statement should describe what you want to do NOW, while the vision statement outlines what you want to do in the future.

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Culture Statement:


- Definition: “A blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time. Whether written as a mission statement, spoken or merely understood, corporate culture describes and governs the ways a company's owners and employees think, feel and act.” - Entrepreneur.com

Here's a Famous Example:

NETFLIX:

Like all great companies, we strive to hire the best and we value integrity, excellence, respect, and collaboration. What is special about Netflix, though, is how much we:

Encourage independent decision-making by employees

Share information openly, broadly and deliberately

Are extraordinarily candid with each other

Keep only our highly effective people

Avoid rules

Our core philosophy is people over process. More specifically, we have great people working together as a dream team. With this approach, we are a more flexible, fun, stimulating, creative, and successful organization.

Real Values:

Many companies have value statements, but often these written values are vague and ignored. The real values of a firm are shown by who gets rewarded or let go. Below are our real values, the specific behaviors and skills we care about most. The more these sound like you, and describe people you want to work with, the more likely you will thrive at Netflix.

Judgment:

You make wise decisions despite ambiguity

You identify root causes, and get beyond treating symptoms

You think strategically, and can articulate what you are, and are not, trying to do

You are good at using data to inform your intuition

You make decisions based on the long-term, not near-term

Communication:

You are concise and articulate in speech and writing

You listen well and seek to understand before reacting

You maintain calm poise in stressful situations to draw out the clearest thinking

You adapt your communication style to work well with people from around the world who may not share your native language

You provide candid, timely feedback to colleagues

Curiosity:

You learn rapidly and eagerly

You contribute effectively outside of your specialty

You make connections that others miss

You seek to understand our members around the world, and how we entertain them

You seek alternate perspectives

Courage:

You say what you think, when it’s in the best interest of Netflix, even if it is uncomfortable

You are willing to be critical of the status quo

You make tough decisions without agonizing

You take smart risks and are open to possible failure

You question actions inconsistent with our values

You are able to be vulnerable, in search of truth

Passion:

You inspire others with your thirst for excellence

You care intensely about our members and Netflix‘s success

You are tenacious and optimistic

You are quietly confident and openly humble

Selflessness:

You seek what is best for Netflix, rather than what is best for yourself or your group

You are open-minded in search of the best ideas

You make time to help colleagues

You share information openly and proactively

Innovation:

You create new ideas that prove useful

You re-conceptualize issues to discover solutions to hard problems

You challenge prevailing assumptions and suggest better approaches

You keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify

You thrive on change

Inclusion:

You collaborate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures

You nurture and embrace differing perspectives to make better decisions

You focus on talent and our values, rather than a person’s similarity to yourself

You are curious about how our different backgrounds affect us at work, rather than pretending they don’t affect us

You recognize we all have biases, and work to grow past them

You intervene if someone else is being marginalized

Integrity:

You are known for candor, authenticity, transparency, and being non-political

You only say things about fellow employees that you say to their face

You admit mistakes freely and openly

You treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you

Impact:

You accomplish amazing amounts of important work

You demonstrate consistently strong performance so colleagues can rely upon you

You make your colleagues better

You focus on results over process

** You can also create a culture code, a handbook to include your mission, values, how to work and live by your values, company traditions, and additionally shared beliefs. Or the famous  Netflix Core Values document.

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Core Values:

Your company’s compass
-Definition: The guiding tenets of a company, supporting the vision and identity of the company.  They are timeless, enduring, and intrinsically important.
Here's a famous example:

Facebook:

Focus on Impact

If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but we think most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. We expect everyone at Facebook to be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.

Move Fast

Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they're more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We have a saying: 'Move fast and break things.' The idea is that if you never break anything, you're probably not moving fast enough.

Be Bold

Building great things means taking risks. This can be scary and prevents most companies from doing the bold things they should. However, in a world that's changing so quickly, you're guaranteed to fail if you don't take any risks. We have another saying: 'The riskiest thing is to take no risks.' We encourage everyone to make bold decisions, even if that means being wrong some of the time.

Be Open

We believe that a more open world is a better world because people with more information can make better decisions and have a greater impact. That goes for running our company as well. We work hard to make sure everyone at Facebook has access to as much information as possible about every part of the company so they can make the best decisions and have the greatest impact.

Build Social Value

Once again, Facebook exists to make the world more open and connected, and not just to build a company. We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.

"The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe." - Simon Sinek

Not sure where to start on these? One of the most overlooked and underappreciated aspects of a business are their core values. They’re hard to define and even harder to communicate organization-wide, but the most successful companies are the ones who hire both on skill level and value fit for their organization.

Sign up for our NEWSLETTER to Download our core values worksheet to get started on your definitions today!

Jordan Lacenski