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Creating Successful Leaders

By Margaret Smith, UXL:


I was fascinated by a recent article, titled A Powerful (Mission) Statement, I read in Inc Magazine about a previously unknown company in New York that went viral due to its—yep—mission statement.

The article explains:

“Most mission statements contain words like value and service but often fail to explain what the founders truly care about, much less inspire anyone else to care, Holstee’s mission statement is an exception. The Brooklyn, New York-based company, which sells eco-friendly clothing and accessories, rose from obscurity last year after its statement, dubbed the Holstee Manifesto, went viral. The document has been viewed online more than 50 million times and translated into 12 languages.”

The Holstee Manifesto:

The story above really got me to thinking about mission statements and how important it is that your mission statement aligns with the essence of all that you do. It’s not only important that your mission statement means something to you, but it also needs to mean something to your customers and employees, and should differentiate you from the masses.

Creative Ideas for a Better Mission Statement

Start with a question (or 5!):

Does your mission statement…

add value to your company?

explain why you exist?

inspire and encourage employees?

seem realistic/plausible?

get specific and relevant to your reality?

Your mission statement should be 1-2 sentences maximum. Don’t hesitate to revise or renew your statement according to the natural evolution of your business, your priorities, and the needs of your customers.

As a final piece of food for thought, consider whether or not your statement quantifies your goal, such as Microsoft’s well-known goal:

“A computer on every desk and in every home, all running on Microsoft software.”

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