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Consistently delivering a simple, memorable, and concise vision can make the difference between a successful business and a failing business. Not a mission statement, but a vision. I’m about to suggest an idea that might stir up heated debate in offices across the U.S. but will guarantee to free up thousands of hours that can be applied to improving the business. Lose the mission statement. That’s right. Throw it out and throw out all of the meetings and e-mails that go along with it.
As a longtime communications coach, I have worked with thousands of top executives in a variety of industries. I’ve got news for you—nobody can repeat the mission statement. No one. A mission statement is a long, convoluted paragraph, typically arrived at by committee and destined to be tucked away in a desk and forgotten. A vision is different. A vision is a vivid image of a brighter future that can be articulated in 10 words or less. It is repeatable and consistent. A vision can fit on the back of a napkin.
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