Mission statements can be valuable if they articulate real targets. Otherwise, they sound too much like a corporate Hallmark card.
For example, consider Microsoft’s big goal of “A computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software.” Or Amazon’s goal for the Kindle: “Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.”
Both statements do something crucial: They quantify the goal.
Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something, suggests that leaders write a mission statement with a goal that’s an action, not a sentiment.
“If you’re trying to sell a product, how and how many? If you’re trying to change lives, how and whose?” she says. “Take your wonky mission statement and rip it to shreds. Then write and rewrite the thing until it reflects—in real, printable words and figures—the difference that you want to make.”
--Adapted from "How to Write a Mission Statement That Isn't Dumb," Nancy Lublin, Fast Company.