Why having a slogan for a mission statement won’t help you create an effective strategy.
Consider this a lesson in Humanistic Leadership. In order to lead, you have to know where you are going and more importantly, why you are going there. Having a mission statement or goal is a good way to direct your activities towards achieving your goals. The problem is that all too often groups create a mission statement that is more of a slogan that an actual statement of their goals and objectives.
The reason this is a problem is because without an actual mission, you can’t create an effective strategy to get there. I am working with a group right now that has a great slogan for a project they are working on but it’s empty. No one can tell me what they are trying to accomplish with the project. Sure, they have a catchy slogan, but not much else. They can’t even tell me what the slogan means. As a result, none of the activity they are doing is even remotely related to their slogan. There is a disconnect and it’s impacting their ability to connect with their members and fans effectively.
There is a huge different between having a slogan and having a strategy. Don’t make the mistake of creating a meaningless mission statement. Spend some time thinking about what you really want to accomplish and more importantly why you want to accomplish it.
The why is your real mission. When you understand why you are doing the things you do it becomes easier to do them and you can better focus on that which accomplishes your true mission and avoid activities that steer you off course. Understanding your real mission or goals provides clarity and helps people rally to your cause because they understand what your cause is. In short it helps you to be more strategic in your actions instead of doing something and hoping for the best. And that’s always a good thing.
I keep saying this but it doesn’t seem to stick. Critical thinking isn’t just for debunking religion. It is for helping you solve your problems more effectively by helping you not only define what your real problem is, but also it helps you find solutions that will actually work so you don’t waste your time on activities that don’t work. This is just as true for business strategies as it is for scientific endeavors.
So please don’t create meaningless slogans because it is easier than doing the hard work of actually thinking strategically about who you are and what you really want to do and accomplish. The hard work of thinking through your objectives on the front end will save you a tremendous amount of wasted time and energy that doesn’t accomplish anything because it is ultimately directionless because your slogan was just that, a slogan and not a call to action.