Your Mission Statement: To Be.

I am often annoyed by mission statements. I saw one recently that used the non-word “actioning” and paired it with an insider word of unclear meaning and a phrase that used two multisyllabic words that are rarely paired together, and served in this example to further cloud the meaning of the whole thing. In fact, the clearest thing about the statement was the non-word “actioning.” Doesn’t make for a good elevator pitch if you ask me.

Once in a group drafting their own mission statement, I had to fight constantly to get the statement reworded into the active voice… and most in the group relented with a “whatever” kind of attitude because they simply didn’t get it. I accept that most people won’t perceive this consciously, but subtle wording variations leave a subconscious impression which creates a mood or feeling toward the perception of your mission.

Passive voice is one of the most common problems with mission statements. If you insist on writing your mission statement in the passive voice, you’ll most likely end up trying to promote an expressed purpose whose stripped-down meaning is simply “to be.” Not very inspiring, is it?