Mission, Vision, Core Values in Entrepreneurial Leadership

Thousands of books have been written about the mission, vision, and core values of a business.

We’ve read thousands of mission and vision statements from organizations around the world. Many of them have been lengthy, and don’t appear to understand the difference between a mission and a vision.

One of the goals of our blogs, as many of you know, is to oversimplify the big terms heard in the economic development arena and the entrepreneurship ecosystem development. With that in mind, we offer these definitions:

mission is what the organization does every single day.

vision is what the organization would like to be in the future.

mission is something tangible that we could all relate to and understand.

vision is something admirable.

Consider this example, which I use in many of the trainings we offer around the globe:

Our mission is to feed five hungry families every single hour. Our vision is to end world hunger. We all know ending world hunger is a big goal and we might never ever get there, but that is where we would like to go.

What is it that your organization does every single day?

You might say, “We offer IT solutions,” but what does that really mean?

It might mean that you fix five computers every day, which allows people within an organization to do their work — whatever their work is.

That would be your mission.

What would be your vision?

We’ve seen some that say, “End IT suffering.” That’s a good vision statement. Of course, the statement should explain what that really means, but the vision can be as direct as “Ending World Hunger,” or “Ending IT Suffering,” or “Connecting People Around the World.”

BEFORE YOU GO:

We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.

  1. What does your mission tell people about your business today?

  2. What does your vision tell people about your business in the future?

  3. What tools have you used to draft a mission/vision/core value statement for your business to promote?

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Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.

Faris Alami