What Is the Difference Between a Mission and a Purpose Statement?

Mission and vision statements can be powerful forces. The good ones can have a tremendous impact on virtually all aspects of the organization. From the words in their ads to the people they hire… even the materials they use in their products and who vendors they work with. In a complicated world, mission and vision statements provide a level of clarity and focus that organizations need to assert their place in the world and keep on track.

The number one challenge with Mission and Vision statements is understanding the difference between the two. Much like goals and objectives (that’s a blog for another day), mission and vision statements are often used together. And because they tend to cover much of the same ground, it can be a bit confusing for those who don’t write them for a living.

For simplicity’s sake, a vision statement really describes where you want to be once you’ve achieved your mission. It has to do with impact, and how you’ll leave...

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