Contrary to what most people think, a vision statement and mission statement are two very different things. Although they may be related to one another, they each serve a different purpose for a company.
A vision statement answers the question, “where does our company want to go?”. When you’re creating your vision statement you want it to convey what your dreams and hopes for your business are. It should describe what you are trying to achieve or build with your company in the future. However, a vision statement should not be a roadmap of what your company is doing to reach that future goal. When Elon Musk started SpaceX his vision was to travel to Mars and eventually colonize it. He didn’t talk about the spaceship schematics as the vision or how his team of engineers will eventually lead to us getting to Mars.
A mission statement is what drives a company. It’s what you’re doing day to day that makes your mission statement. Essentially, it acts as the written purpose of your business. A mission statement should discuss your company’s objectives and what it takes to reach these objectives, as well as help shape your company’s culture. Just like the previous example with Elon Musk, Tesla’s mission statement is “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. This is a great example of a mission statement because it flat out says what Tesla is wanting to do and what they are actually striving for on a daily basis.
The main difference between the two, mission and vision, is that the vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what an organization wants to become and accomplish in the future. The mission statement focuses on the current day and what that company or organization does on any given day. A lot of companies use their vision and mission interchangeably, so it’s important that they promote a common goal. Additionally, one won’t work without the other because having a purpose is important for any business to succeed in what they do.
Examples of Mission and Vision Statements
Mission: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
Vision: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Mission: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Vision: A love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet.
Mission: Uber’s mission is to bring transportation — for everyone, everywhere.
Vision: Smarter transportation with fewer cars and greater access. Transportation that’s safer, cheaper, and more reliable; transportation that creates more job opportunities and higher incomes for drivers.
Company: Southwest Airlines
Mission: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Vision: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
-Written by Jonah Ericksen