What’s Your Mantra?

Guy Kawasaki has a suggestion for those out there working diligently to build mission statements that matter. Don’t do it. That’s right, drop the two day offsite and the fifty thousand dollar consultant-generated mission statement that no one reads or can remember. Here’s Wendy’s mission statement:

“The mission of Wendy’s is to deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation, and partnerships.”

I had no idea buying a hamburger at Wendy’s included participating in leadership innovation. You could save yourself the two-day offsite and the consultant fees and try the corporate mission statement generator. I pulled the handle and got:

“We are in the business of improving a long-term commitment to stakeholder value by support through personal goals exceeding all expectations.”

Guy has different advice. Create not a mission statement, but a mantra. A mantra is three, four words tops and goes straight to the heart of what you are all about.

Try these:

  • The happiest place on earth – Disneyland
  • Relax, it’s FedEx – FedEx
  • It keeps going, and going, and going… – Energizer
  • The miracles of science – DuPont
  • They’re g-r-r-r-eat! – Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes

You get the idea. What can you say about yourself or your business that speaks to the heart of who you are. Creating your own mantra requires distilling three things down to something as brief as a haiku: what you believe in, are good at, and can make a difference at.