What is the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?

This seems to be a question that torments organizations of all kinds and size.

What is the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?

Here’s how we explain it to clients:

Your mission is what you do best every single day, and your vision is what the future will be like because you deliver on that mission so brilliantly every day.

Each one should be no more than 10 words apiece.  No long paragraphs, no lengthy missives.  Not 3 things or 5 things.

10 words for each.

Can you do it?

 

 

Comments

  1. AnnaLou says

    Now i understand a lot about vision and mission difference…Thank you!

    • says

      ‘Thanks Drew for the challenge! As they say – easier said than done – now I just need to nail it’. (Part of my Cert IV Small Business Management certification – Business Plan). Cheers Ros. Brinkley

  2. says

    Drew,
    It is so important to know the difference between your vision and your mission. Thanks for the clarification.

    Wendy

  3. Ellai says

    Hi Drew…I think this can help a lot of people here…Thanks a lot!

  4. Adam says

    ThIs is the best explanation of the difference between the two that I have ever read. It’s long term vs. short term. Very important distinction!!!

  5. Destiny Cyrus says

    Well a vision is what you wish to accomplish at the end of the year while the mission is what you must do every day, while doing so your vision will come true.

  6. says

    This is a very simple but relevant explanation.
    My mission is to “Make all the members feel like family”
    My vision is to “Grow this membership to improve quality advertising for all members”

    • says

      Catherine,

      Almost — but state your vision as though it has already happened. Describe the future like it’s here.

      Drew

  7. says

    Finally! I hear a lot of companies talk about their mission and vision statements, but I really have no idea what is that! This article gives me a clearer picture about the two.

  8. Chandika Ruwan says

    Thank You very much. Now I can understand the difference.

  9. says

    Great post Drew. I love the simplicity of what you suggest. I also believe that from the mission and then vision should come the objectives and specific strategies. All should flow from the ultimate mission to create the most effective and consistent strategies and eventual results!

    • Dr. A says

      I teach MBA students here in South East Asia.

      I add another point – Vision and Mission are critical to get and keep you, the owner of the business, and your employees well focused, as well as making a valuable statement to your clients and all stakeholders.

  10. Rita T says

    well explained .The distiction is clear

  11. says

    Thank you. I’ve been researching differing opinions on visions and missions. I appreciate your clear concise explanation.

  12. A.B Malere says

    with this clear distinction, I will pass my interview

    Thanks and cheers

  13. Amanullah says

    There is strong correlation between two, a vision can not exist without a mission

    • says

      I believe that it can; I had a vision of where I want to be long before I really knew what my mission was! Also I run these as two separate processes for my clients; firstly to create the vision and then develop the mission

      • says

        Chris,

        In your work with your clients, what’s the time frame between creating the vision and mission statements?

        Drew

  14. says

    Drew,
    Another great post – my mission also know as true life purpose is

    Being the best I can to help you be the best you can (13 words)

      • says

        Drew,
        Well after a long time wondering what I am doing, it was a process I went through as part of my NLP Practitioner training which it total is about 2-3 hours and is something I am now qualified to take others through for them to develop their true life purpose/mission

        Chris

        • says

          Chris,

          That sounds like incredibly rewarding work! Think of the impact your efforts will have, through all of those people who can now truly honor their own purpose.

          Drew

  15. says

    a vision is a broad statement as compared to mission. mission helps is to achieved the vision.

    • says

      I think their employees won’t remember them, won’t live them out and won’t bring them to life for the customer.

      Drew

  16. says

    Hi Drew,

    You provide an explanation that is to the point and anyone can implement.

    Cecilia

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