In 1996, British Airways was preparing to release a new mission statement. After nearly two years of debating, the management team had produced the following: ‘To be number one in world travel.’
How inspirational was this mission statement for employees? It wasn’t. In fact, the statement left questions.
For an airline what does being number one in world travel mean? Was the airline going to get into the hotel industry, or maybe car rentals? Could that also include travel agencies? Just what did being ‘number one in travel’ mean?
Employees value being able to connect with an inspiring mission statement. Your staff will appreciate a mission statement that gives them purpose, meaning and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
The best mission statements remind employees why the company is in business. Employees also like knowing how their work contributes to the mission. When staff can connect with the reason why the company exists, they will be more committed.
Below are mission statements from startup companies valued at more than $1 billion.
The Power Of A Mission
In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke these words, “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” Now that is a mission statement that inspired people.
There is a story of Kennedy visiting NASA during the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission. Kennedy stopped to talk with a man who was holding a mop. “And what do you do?”, He asked. The custodian replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon, sir.”
What are your employees doing? Have you given them a clear and inspiring mission? Have you given them a strong ‘why’?