Chapter 4. The Customer-Centered Mission Statement

What Contribution Do You Make to Your Customers' Lives? (6 minutes)

A mission statement is defined as "a long awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly." All good companies have one.

Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

Making a distinctive difference in the lives of individuals and society is the mission—the organization's purpose and very reason for being.

Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management

The Ritz-Carlton is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.

Ritz-Carlton Mission Statement


A mission statement is a clear and compelling statement of why your organization exists. A good mission defines the ultimate benefit, the unique contribution you make to your customers' lives.

Henry Ford—A Man with a Mission

Henry Ford formed the Ford Motor Company in 1903. By 1907, it was one of about 30 automobile manufacturers in the United States. Ford had captured 15 percent market share when he declared his mission: "[To] build a motor car for the great multitude... It will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces...everybody will be able to afford one, and everyone will have one."

This inspiring customer-centered mission statement ignited the creative energy of Ford's design team. Within a couple decades, Ford Motor Company became the market leader. ...

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