Mission Statements That Work

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: SP 111

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If the moon is the vision, the mission will get you there. Mission statements define what, in the broadest terms, that the organization or individual plans to do to achieve the vision. If living by the Sea of Tranquility is the vision, is the mission to get more funding for NASA? Renaming the pond in the back yard? Or perfecting teleportation or an antigravity machine?


  • Introduction: Does It Matter What You Call It?
  • The Key Idea: Keep It Simple, Concrete, Big, And Compelling
  • The First Step Towards Actual Implementation: Reality Versus Dream
  • Big Choices Set Details And Inform Better Choices
  • Explain Your Mission To An Eleven-Year-Old
  • Ethical Codes, Budgets, Assumptions, And Other Tools
  • Can You Accomplish Your Mission With The People You Have?


  • Make choices to direct resources and attention.
  • Provide managers with frameworks for goals, strategies, and tactics.
  • Improve accountability with mission statements that offer clear directions and parameters.

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