20 mission statements. 10 succeed and 10 suck for guiding decisions

Mission Statement
A mission statement is the reason for being for a company, organization or person.
Mission statement are meant to be big, inspirational but also specific blazing a trail for an actionable plan. That’s because the purpose of a mission statement is to:

  • Spell out goals
  • Identify customers
  • Define the industry
  • Establish competitive differentiation
  • State values

Why create a mission statement? To guide better decision making and action.
Do they?
Here are 20 mission statements. Do they succeed or suck for making better decisions?
10 MISSION STATEMENTS THAT SUCK: These examples are generic and vague. In a number, the industry isn’t even mentioned so they could apply to any number of companies. They are interchangeable. Can you even match the mission statements with the companies?

  1. To maximize long-term stockholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards.
  2. Serving Others For Customers A Better Life For Shareholders A Superior Return For Employees Respect and Opportunity
  3. To be the leader in every market we serve, to the benefit of our customers and our shareholders.
  4. To help all people live healthy lives
  5. We are committed to attracting, developing, and keeping a diverse work force that reflects the nature of our global business.
  6. We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit, and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.
  7. Undisputed Marketing Leadership
  8. We will continue to build a corporate culture that respects and values the unique strengths and cultural differences of our associates, customers and community.
  9. To supply outstanding service and solutions through dedication and excellence.
  10. The Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee exercises general oversight with respect to the governance of the Board of Directors.


  • Becton, Dickinson
  • Dean Food Corporation
  • Dollar General Corporation
  • Dover Corporation
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Gillette
  • Hershey
  • Hughes Supply, Inc.
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Mutual of Omaha

10 MISSION STATEMENTS THAT SUCCEED: These examples have clarity about goals, industries and competitive advantages. The values here inspire and guide actions that establish higher standards of conduct. Is it easier to match the mission statements with the companies behind them here?

  1. We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.
  2. We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.
  3. To make the world’s information universally accessible and useful.
  4. To provide better care of the sick, investigation into their problems, and further education of those who serve.
  5. We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere.
  6. We are a proud family with a proud heritage passionately committed to providing personal mobility for people around the world.
  7. To provide our policyholders with as near perfect protection, as near perfect service as is humanly possible and to do so at the lowest possible cost.
  8. To build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
  9. To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
  10. People love our clothes and trust our company. We will market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing in the world. We will clothe the world.


  • Amazon
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • CVS
  • Disney
  • Ford
  • Erie Insurance Group
  • Google
  • Levi-Strauss
  • Nike

Do you agree with the mission statements that succeed and suck? Does this help you to evaluate or create a mission statement for your organization or personal brand that succeeds?
If you’re interested in knowing the mission statements for the companies, here are the answers.
SUCK: 1. Dean Foods, 2. Dollar General, 3. Dover, 4. Becton, Dickson, 5. Eaton, 6. Gillette, 7. Hershey, 8. Hughes, 9. Mutual of Omaha, 10. JPMorgan Chase
SUCCEED: 1. Harley-Davidson, 2. CVS, 3. Google, 4. Cleveland Clinic, 5. Disney, 6. Ford, 7. Erie, 8. Amazon, 9. Nike, 10. Levi-Strauss

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