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Mission 'Statement' Impossible

By Kim A. Castle
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dant dant da da dant dant da da. Dant dant da da dant dant da da. (That's the theme from "Mission Impossible"...)FADE IN.

Your mission, should you chose to accept it is to create a fail-proof proclamation, a road map, that not only serves ALL your business needs but also provides you an endless source of fuel so you can thrive in your business. Beware of the well- intentioned imposter called "the mission statement." Should you choose to accept this mission... this article will self-destruct in... you get the point.

If you've been is business in any sort of formal sense or have come out of a MBA or business school, no doubt you have been told to "write a mission statement" to assure that your business achieves the success that you want for it. So as any good success-orientated business owners would do, you did as you were told and wrote one; only to find yourself with a hard earned paragraph (or a page) that's not giving you the power you thought it would. Well no wonder, you sent the wrong agent to do the right job.

The inherent problem with writing a business mission statement is that it's an external communication of what your business is about and what it could do. It's used to communicate your business' mission to someone else. This power-zapping situation has been created because you either:

a) you wrote it because someone told you that's the way business is done,

b) OR more often than not you wrote it to prove to someone else that you deserve to get something, usually money or some other assistance for your business. This type of purpose is easily manipulated to paint a certain picture. Any picture you chose.

Some may teach that doing a mission statement is about communicating your choice to others, therefore giving you the 'illusion' of power. Where's the power in the 'illusion'? Certainly not in you, where it should be!

The mission statement communication point is focused externally on the receiver so in essence you are giving the receiver the power of your communication. That's marketing! Which is all said and good if and only if your internal communication, to yourself and your team, is built and is solid. If it's not, creating a mission statement only is like throwing a huge party in your penthouse when you haven't even laid in the concrete foundation of the building.

Don't worry. It's an easy fix. It's as simple as calling that 'mission statement agent' back in, saving it for the right job, and training a new agent for the job.

The first and the most important part of developing any business with a big business vision (a brand) is developing a solid, and I mean bullet-proof, brand statement -- which is your business' internal reason to be.

in_ter_nal adj

1. located within or affecting the inside of something,

2. involving or existing within the mind or spirit

rea_son n

1. an explanation or justification for something

2. a motive or cause for acting or thinking in a particular way

3. a cause that explains a particular phenomenon

Your brand statement must be concise & clear, anchored in your passion & to your vision of what you are bringing to the world. It is so completely anchored internally that it actually becomes the ruler by which you measure every business decision. (Important distinction to note is that your brand statement is an internal communication and is not for public use.)

Without your business' core internal brand statement firmly in place, every time you communicate your well-intentioned mission statement, verbally or in-print, you will essentially be giving your power away. No amount of re-phrasing or creating catchy 30-second elevator speech or "round-robins" will change that.

Makes sense doesn't it? Without really knowing your business' brand statement, even shouting your mission statement off Mount Everest will still feel... empty.

I receive dozens of e-mails every day from people who've personal and business lives have changed by working solely on this amazing statement.

So, you can begin today. Focus on your brand statement before of wondering why your mission statement is serving you. You will be astonished at the power, clarity and financial success it will bring you.

You and your business will experience the phenomenon known as financial success when your "internal" house is in order and it provides the foundation for ALL your external communication.

Good luck on your new mission!

About the Author
Written by Kim Castle, the Co-founder of BrandU™ — the home of only step-by- step process for developing your business as a brand from the inside out!

To get information on upcoming BrandU one-day workshops: ( Get your Why You?!(sm) monthly ezine for easy-to-read tips and informative insights on branding. To subscribe: (

“BrandU™ — Big Business Success No Matter Your Size”


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