12 min read

Defining your Vision, Mission, Values and Culture

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Vision, Mission, Values…

Culture Eats strategy for breakfast - Peter Drucker

I could go on about the importance of understanding vision, and mission, but IYKYK…instead I'm just going to post the frameworks below and include some random quotes throughout the article you can post on your Instagram for click farming🙂

“If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but 2 players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent.” 
- Steven Covey

The golden circle

“The real question is not, “Why greatness?” but “What work makes you feel compelled to create greatness?” If you ask the question, “Why should we try to make it great? Isn’t success enough?” then you are probably engaged in the wrong line of work.” 
– Jim Collins, Good To Great.

The most successful and influential companies and leaders begin with the "why" of their business, rather than just focusing on the "what" and "how." By prioritizing purpose and beliefs, companies can craft a distinct and compelling message that deeply connects with both their customers and employees.

Simon Sinek introduces a method for identifying and communicating a company's purpose, known as the "Golden Circle.

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Totally different, right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. I just reversed the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”
— “Simon Sinek”


“Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” 
- Simon Sinek.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Disney – “To make people happy.”

As you can see it has nothing to do with, cartoons, Mickey mouse, Amusement Parks and the specific products and services Disney offers. Imagine if Disney’s core purpose was to make cartoons only, we would not have Disney Land.

Facebook – “to make the world more open and connected.”

Imagine if Facebooks’ core purpose was to spy on your college friends and see if they were single. It may sound crass but that was one of the main applications when it was first introduced. When Facebook understood its core purpose of connecting the world, it opened up incredible opportunities for growth. Millions of people around the world questioned why Facebook would buy out WhatsApp and Instagram for billions, now knowing the core purpose it suddenly makes sense.

Proctor and Gamble – “We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. “

Amazon (when they first started) – Every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds 

Starbucks – Become the most recognized & respected consumer brand in the world 

Microsoft – A computer on every desk in every home 

Stanford University – Become the Harvard of the west 

Amazon (when they first started) – Every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds 

Starbucks – Become the most recognized & respected consumer brand in the world 

Microsoft – A computer on every desk in every home 

LinkedIn - To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

Twitter - To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.

TripAdvisor - To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.

Tesla - To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.

Sweetgreen - To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.

Stanford University – Become the Harvard of the west 

John F. Kennedy – Land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. $25-billion was spent on the first moon landing with over half a billion people who worked on it. The greatest adventure of human kind came to fruition because it was driven by a compelling vision that focused half a billion people to one goal.

Extra notes…

Your SHOULD make people feel UNCOMFERTABLE to work for you if they don't hold the same vision….

“No one cares about what you write on the walls, they only care about what they see in the halls.”

Nike does not have a formal purpose that it has articulated; however, it still holds core ideologies like values, beliefs, purpose and vision close to its heart and throughout the company. When you enter Nike headquarters you are inundated with the feeling of competitive spirit; from pictures, plaques, statues of famous sports heroes to inspiring quotes about never giving up. For anyone that does not 100% bleed sport and competitive action, Nike’s headquarters would be deeply uncomfortable and uninspiring. At the same time the company attracts those that truly share in its ideologies.

Apple does not strictly have a clear cut purpose written on the walls which they have communicated with the general public. However, after looking at every action the company has taken in the past, I would suggest it is something along the lines of “Bringing technology, simplicity and beautiful design together into the hands of the consumer”. 

What Apple has done over and over again is take a technology that is confusing, complicated but essential to the world and put its own spin on it. It delivers this technology to society in a simple, easy to use way that is designed beautifully. It made the computer, MP3, mobile phone, tablet and smart watch simple and elegant. It was not the pioneer in any of these industries and they don’t pretend to be, that is not their purpose. 

Tell them about your vision for the company, encourage them to live and breathe your vision, and reward those who do.
– Jack Welch

Creating a rallying cry with your vision.


Your vision should become your rally cry.

Even if your mission is not altruistic you can find the true alturistic need for it... EG. Imagine you are an advisor that loves growing businesses....
Your vision could be to “create $1-trillion in business growth value”......

Not very inspiring right?

.... but by turning it into a rallying cry you can start to inspire coordinated action....

“I believe human progress is driven by hereatic entreperuers of the world... which means when these entreperuners grow it is actually world growth....."

..."This is why my vision is to create a $1-trillion dollars worth of growth by 2035”

Now this will elicit far more help than just saying “I’m a consultant that grows businesses”

What ever your goals or vision you MUST wrap it up in a higher purpose social mission as well! 

Everyone…Including your cleaners should know your vsion

Whenever Walt Disney wanted to talk about how Disney did thing and why they did it that way would bring in everyone to remind them EVEN the earth mover people from the construction company. EVERYONE including the cleaners should know why. 

Questions to discover your vision

  1. Does it inspire you and your team members? Is it something your whole company can rally behind?
  2. Is it clear? Clear enough for a 12-year-old to understand?
  3. Is it daunting, but at the same time achievable if everyone works in unity?
  4. In your wildest dreams what would you like to accomplish?
  5. What is the ultimate picture of success?
  6. What will your company look like when it is operating at that level?
  7. How much revenue, how many team members, etc will your company have?


"My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings." 
- Steve Jobs

A mission statement is a simple and clear statement - Measurable and achievable milestones (not a finish line) and Bridges the gap between who you are and who you want to be (eg vision) across a 2-5 year timeline 

He will win whose army is animated with the same spirit throughout all his rank 
-  Sun Tzu, art of war

Elements of a mission statement 

  1. COMMON ENEMY - Your mission statement should leverage the “value of a common enemy”
  2. MILESTONE - Clearly explain the major milestone you hop eto achieve in 2-5 years
  3. MECHANSIM - How will you achieve your milestone statement
  4. CLEAR TIMELINE - provide when you will hit specific milestones

We will defeat “A” enemy by achieving “B” milestone, by doing “C” activities within “D” time period

“We will Annihilate the control of centralised governments by creating a censorship resistant currency that overtakes “gold” as the number one store of value investment for retail users by 2035

Its’ all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business. And giving them good work. Then getting out of their way. And trusting them. You have to get out of the way so you can fous on the bigger vision. That’s important. And here’s the main thing you must make them see their work as a mission.
– Richard branson.

Extra notes

Your mission may change…

Unlike your values and purpose your mission will change once you have achieved it. Remember you don’t know what you don’t know. At the time Microsoft or Amazons’ mission would have felt daunting, however as they progressed and new developments came to pass they were able to achieve their vision. When John F. Kennedy announced the vision and mission of the moon landing; the technology wasn’t there; but they knew if they started on the path, the road would become clearer. You don’t need to know exactly how you will achieve it right now, it just has to be something that compels you to want to start on the path towards it.

Mission vs strategy

Your mission should remain constant it should provide inspiration for generations of employees why your strategy is just the current tactical ways you go about executing on that mission for example Mackenzie might have a mission to improve business efficiency at the moment it's through management consulting in the future it could be something else and that's where strategy comes into place but the overarching mission and vision is always the same

“You must evangelize to the people who work for you, to your investors and to your customers. You must truly communicate your cause, your enthusiasm and excitement. If you want to grow a company quickly and get to market fast, you must spend half your time evangelizing and the other half actually managing day-to-day tasks.”
– Sabeer Bhatia, founder, Hotmail


"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
- Peter Marshall
  • The inherit and natural traits of the leadership or founding team
  • Permeates the company – it’s decisions, it policies, its actions 
  • The fundamental motivating principles 
  • You as the leader of the company define what is important in both business and life. 
  • The core values and beliefs come from inside you – they must be absolutely authentic of what you hold in your gut 
  • It isn’t “what values and beliefs should we have?” but rather “what values and beliefs do we actually hold in our gut?”

Zappos Family Core Values

As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the ten core values that we live by:

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

Questions to discover your values

  • What values would you want passed on to your children? 
  • If you had enough money to retire tomorrow, what values would you continue to hold? 
  • What values can you see being valid 100 years from now in your company? 
  • What would you hold, a core value, even if it became a disadvantage? 
  • What values would you take to a totally new organization in another industry if you started a new company?


“We’ve actually passed on a lot of really smart, talented people that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line, but if they’re not good for the company culture, we won’t hire them for that reason alone,”
- Tony Hsieh

Customer service.

Team work.



These were some of Enron’s core values; a company that managed to fool, lie and cheat millions of people and regulators with fake, off-the-books corporations for so long.

No one cares about what you write on the walls, they only care about what they see in the halls.

Once you have identified your core values and beliefs it is imperative that they define company culture and behavior. It is simply not enough to put them on a plaque and expect everyone to adhere to them. Remember the three types of learning; information, comprehension and instinctual.

Your core values must become core behaviors in your team members and must become instinctual to them. You must be able to define the levels of behavioral expectations required under each value into at least three categories.

  1. Below expectation
  2. Meets expectations
  3. Exceeds expectations

Do not let your company culture be determined by default. Do not mistake this as being a tyrannical company that is led by the Grinch; remember those who extol the values you prioritize will have no trouble.

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“We’re willing to give up short-term profits or revenue growth to make sure we have the best culture. In fact, after orientation we offer people $2,000 not to work at Zappos. The ones who stay are right for our culture.”
- Tony Hsieh

Translating Values Into Behaviors…

Once you have established your values, then you must translate them into behaviors in order to get the maximum benefit for your business.

These should be used in performance reviews, and reviewed continuously to foster alignment 

Define what is expected by giving behavioral examples under the 3 categories: 

– Below expectations – Meets expectations – Exceeds expectations -

Three Behavioral Levels 

Example: Teamwork and Cooperation 

Examples of “Below Expectations” Behavior: 

• Fails to take initiative to help the team

• Demonstrates lack of understanding of role in relation to the team

• Goes around an employee to their supervisor rather than trying to solve the problem first by one-to-one contact 

Examples of “Meets Expectations” Behavior: 

• Keeps others informed of decisions, changes, or new information that may impact them, without having to be asked

• Proactively responds to requests for help, guidance, or support from team members

• Acknowledges the merits of others’ perspectives and ideas, regardless of background, experience, and communication style, and takes an active role in ensuring that they are not dismissed

• When work is backed up, talks with others to find a solution

Examples of “Exceeds Expectations” Behavior: 

• Enhances the efforts of the “team” within the office or division while also enhancing the work of the larger “team” outside of the office or division

• Helps others complete their tasks and achieve their goals without being asked; publicly credits outstanding team members

• Genuinely values others’ input and expertise; solicits ideas and opinions from others (including subordinates and peers) to help form specific decisions or plans

• Places team objectives ahead of one’s personal agenda when working within a group setting

• Offers time and/or resources to another department in order to benefit the overall organization


“Any organization, in order to survive and achieve success, must have a sound set of beliefs on which it premises all its policies and actions. I believe the most important single factor in corporate success is faithful adherence to those beliefs. Finally, the organization must be prepared to change everything about itself except those beliefs”
- Thomas Watson, Jr.

The next alignment tool are core company beliefs.

Beliefs are concepts that we hold to be true.

Values are ideas that we hold to be important. Values govern the way we behave, communicate and interact with others

Beliefs and values combined determine our attitudes and opinions.

Values are what the company is, what is important to the company, the company’s nature and character. 

Beliefs give a real sense of connection the company has with its products and services to its clients. It expresses why the company believes their work is so important, why clients need your service or product, why your approach is superior.

Hallmark example

  • Excellence in all we do.
  • High standards of ethics and integrity.
  • Caring and responsible corporate citizenship for Kansas City and for each community in which we operate.

The 111-year-old-company’s Beliefs are

  • That our products and services must enrich people’s lives.
  • That creativity and quality – in our products, services, and all that we do – are essential to our success.
  • That innovation in all areas of our business is essential to attaining and sustaining leadership.
  • That the people of Hallmark are our company’s most valuable resource.
  • That distinguished financial performance is imperative to accomplish our broader purpose.
  • That our private ownership must be preserved.
"One day three bricklayers were asked,
"What are you doing?
The first says, "I am laying bricks."
The second says, "I am building a church."
And the third says, "I am building the house of God."
The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling.

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