There is that moment in an executive’s leadership life when they look around the office and think; what in the world are we doing?

The symptoms leading up to that moment are usually: inconsistent operations, office silos, and a general feeling that while much is being done, not much is actually being accomplished. The cliché for this situation is the rudderless ship that lacks a clear direction. I also liken it to a beginning swimmer who kicks up tons of water but barely moves two feet forward.

Understandably, organizations with their heavy workloads and varying needs get swept up into day-to-day activity and find it difficult to take time to plan. 

Time is at a premium. 

Mission, Vision, and Values to the Rescue

There is a rapid fix to getting back on track. It is the creation of three pillars that are often misunderstood: Mission, Vision, and Values. These concepts build the basis for the company road map, and they shine a guiding light on the pathway to goals-oriented success. In short, these three pillars are the foundation for clear direction. 

According to HR professionals of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the definitions of Mission, Vision, and Values can be defined as: 

A mission statement is the “what” of a company – its reason for being. 

 “A mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization’s reason for existence. It describes the organization’s purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.”

Here are examples of two highly regarded mission statements: 

Facebook: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Starbucks: Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. 

When well written, the mission statement can settle disagreements about priorities. 

The vision statement is the “why” of a company – its defined purpose.

“A vision statement looks forward and creates a mental image of the ideal state that the organization wishes to achieve. It is inspirational and aspirational and should challenge employees.”

Among those vision statements called incredible are these two examples: 

Amazon: Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

LinkedIn: Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

When well written, a vision statement reminds management and staff where the company is going and what problems they are trying to solve. 

A statement of values speaks to your organization’s culture and standards. 

“A values statement lists the core principles that guide and direct the organization and its culture. In a values-led organization, the values create a moral compass for the organization and its employees. It guides decision-making and establishes a standard against which actions can be assessed. These core values are an internalized framework that is shared and acted on by leadership.” 

Here are the lists of values for two well-known companies


  • Genuine
  • Exceptional
  • Innovative
  • Involved

American Express:

  • Customer Commitment
  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Respect for People
  • Good Citizenship
  • A Will to Win
  • Personal Accountability

When effectively constructed, company values answer questions of conduct, operations and the unique values of the organization.

“What’s going on in the inside shows on the outside.” – Earl Nightingale

In addition to the internal benefits of the establishing mission, vision and values are the brand benefits. Essentially, what happens inside of a company is reflected on the outside. Whatever internally is happening manifests to customers, stakeholders, and the public, impacting the brand and all operations associated with the brand. 

MVV is Your Company MVP 

Statements and commitments of Mission, Vision, and Values affect each aspect of business operations and are why these pillars are taken seriously in the business world. 

There is a method to establishing your Mission, Vision, and Values to best serve your organization. If we can help guide your process and add that proverbial rudder to your ship, contact us.