Monday, July 28, 2014

“Mission Statement”

If your mission statement sounds like this — if it has even one line in common with this new “Weird Al” Yankovic song — you should withdraw it and not make a new attempt until you discover what your mission is. It’s not that it is bad to sound like classic Crosby Stills Nash & Young, far from it, but if your mission statement doesn’t sound mainly like you — if it’s mostly copied from or in imitation of other sources — then it’s obviously not your unique mission, is it?

And one more thing, since it’s in the song: an honest mission statement does not contain the word “synergy.” This is not because “synergy” is an overused buzzword, but because synergy represents a way of going in two directions at once, which is not what a mission statement is about. Synergy may provide a quick buck along the way while you’re doing something more focused, if you’re thinking opportunistically. But opportunism is the opposite of having a mission. Taking advantage of situations that come up by accident can’t be your core mission — unless, I guess, your real mission is just to roll the dice well enough to stay in business.