Ranting about a cliché

Yesterday I read that the expression, “values, mission, and vision” was a cliché’. Today I’m on a rant!

I lead in what some experts consider the most difficult leadership arena, the not for profit world. Three key reasons people in the organization I lead follow are shared values, mission, and vision (VMV).

In the nonprofit world VMV are not a cliché. They are the life blood of organizational success. Without them organizations drift and eventually die.

Most organizations have VMV statements. Sadly, few employees know or care about these essential documents. Furthermore, fewer still are motivated by these “cliché’s.” Why?

The Sad Truth

Organizations that aren’t values grounded, mission guided, and vision driven have resorted to lower expediencies for guidance and motivation. In many cases, leaders control employees because they provide benefits and pay. Put bluntly, people show up and do their jobs because they get paid.

Research indicates that up to a point, money does buy happiness and motivate. You can read about American’s, money and happiness, in the Los Angeles Times.

However, Daniel Pink’s research indicates, money doesn’t always enhance productivity. Surprisingly more money may inhibit productivity.

Who’s at fault for making VMV a cliché’? Leaders! If your Mission Statement is gathering dust like grandma’s wedding album, blame yourself.


1. Can you repeat from memory your company’s mission or vision statements?

2. When was the last time you publicly articulated statements from your VMV?

3. If you burned the VMV statements would anyone care? Would anything change?

More than organizations

What’s good for the organization is good for individuals. Can you articulate your personal VMV statements or are you selling yourself short? Without VMV, I believe, life slips through our fingers. We may be busy but we aren’t effective.


What tips can you offer for both crafting and communicating VMV?