What’s mantra got to do with it?

What’s your mission statement? If we were to hazard a guess, it would be a long thesis statement that is posted on your website and maybe hanging on your office wall. It was something you and your team worked hard on crafting. It probably included an offsite team retreat and includes loads of inspirational words and non-committal statements. It’s completion was celebrated, and it gets pulled out from time-to-time, tacked into a job posting or on an annual report without even a solid dusting. And while you did it and have it, we’d also guess that none of your employees could recite it to us, let alone tell us what it means, both for the business and to them.

While many people talk about the importance of a meaningful organizational vision, it’s Guy Kawasaki who really doesn’t spare any punches. Instead of a mission statement, Guy argues that businesses need to write a mantra.

What’s the difference? Words + meaning.

A great mantra, Guy explains, should be no more than a few words, and easy enough for anyone at your company (be it Trixie or Biff) to both recite and understand. Think Different. Just do it. Be awesome.

To drive the point about mantras home, let’s look at an example.

Change the world.

Three simple words, full of action and inspiration. And it’s how we’re guided each and every day. At BarnRaising Associates our one and only goal is to make the world better.

How do we do that? By giving a shit. We work only with like-minded do-gooders and changemakers. People who are passionate about making even just their one small corner of the world better. We invest ourselves in their projects, instil the strategy they need to keep on doing what they’re doing, then move on to the next gig.

A mantra is a rallying cry. Something that an entire team – not just employees, but clients and customers too – can get behind. So, with that – go after your mantra. Create it. Own it. Live it.

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