What's the difference between a mission, vision, & value statement?

During the strategic planning process, many companies detail their mission, vision, and values. Even though the three are similar and are often confused, each statement has a different objective.


A mission statement defines your company’s purpose. A mission statement is concise and focuses on the company’s reason for existence. The mission details what the company is doing right now to get to its future vision. Ask yourself, “Why was our company founded?” and “What is our purpose?”


A vision statement describes where the company will be years from now. It is supposed to be inspirational and highlight the direction the company is headed. The vision details where the company is going. Ask yourself, “Where is the company headed?” and “Where will the company be in 5-10 years from now?”.


A value statement details what the company stands for. These core principles directly influence the company’s culture and guide decision-making. The values serve as a moral code. Ask yourself, “What values should guide decisions and operations?” and “Which values should employees hold?”

Simply defining the mission, vision, and values is not enough. Rather, leadership needs to lead by example and embody the values to encourage employee’s to follow in their shoes.