Vision & Mission – What’s the Difference?


Does that clear things up?

Having a clear vision and mission in your work can make a powerful difference in how easily you’re able to move ahead. Think about it: a calendar full of tasks will never get anyone to spring out of bed in anticipation, but a compelling vision and clear mission will.

Are you one of the many people who are unsure about the difference between your vision and your mission? This question comes up from time to time when I teach business planning classes. Here’s how I explain it:

Simply, your mission is what you promise to do every day. If you don’t fulfill your mission, your customers are justified in asking for their money back.

So for example, if you’re a tree surgeon, your mission may be to skillfully remove dead wood and shape living wood to enhance a tree’s beauty, health, and safety. That’s what you do every time someone hires you.

Your vision answers the question, if I keep fulfilling my mission every day, how do I hope the world will change as a result?

So our tree surgeon may hold as her vision that everyone in the world will live surrounded by the beauty, shade, and clean air that healthy trees provide. That vision may never completely be fulfilled, but if just one tree surgeon pursues his mission every day, the world will be nudged closer to that vision.

Remember, your mission is what you promise to do every day. Your vision is how you hope the world will change if you fulfill your mission.

My mission is to help professionals want to get rid of clutter and have more time. My vision is that people everywhere will experience ease, joy, and success in their work, able to fully contribute their unique gifts to the world and experience the rewards of their work.

Not everyone has a clear vision or even a clear mission. A 30 year-old oncology nurse once told me, “I feel so lucky to have found exactly what I want to do so early in my life!” while a successful business man nearing retirement said, “I really don’t know what my mission is or was. I wish I did.” What if you don’t know what your mission is?

If you don’t have a mission that feels compelling and true, borrow the “universal default mission” to use until you figure out something better. Here is the universal default mission: My mission is to joyfully participate in life. Go forward with that one until something better emerges for you, however long it takes.

Where Can You Find More Help Like This?

My recorded teleclass “Plan to Thrive Express” provides solutions and resources to guide you to the business you really want. Learn more and get the instant download here.

Leave a reply

Copyright © 2009-2014 Margaret Lukens