Don't wander off your guidepost path. You could get into trouble!

In business, we often hear about these obscure statements; Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Core Values. In many businesses, these statements are written for the sake of the business plan and then stuck in a drawer and forgotten about. This is a big mistake.

Our Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Core Value statements are, in fact, guideposts for decision making. These statements should be prominently posted and the entire team should know them. These guideposts are what help the entire team make difficult decisions. We wish every situation were black and white, but the reality is there is a lot of grey areas. When we encounter such a situation, it is these guideposts that can provide the direction and courage we need to make the difficult decisions; the correct decisions.

We have seen an abandonment of the guideposts over and over. Most recently, Well Fargo and United Airlines have provided sad examples. My guess is, that both of these companies had some form of proclamation about taking care of the customer. Had they gone back, read, and adhered to that statement, they most likely would not have made the decisions they made. Most of the time, our Purpose, Vision, Mission and Core Value statements guide us towards making the harder decision; the one that is not the easy way out. But, we can count on the fact it will be the correct decision.

Lastly, we have to consider the true cost of ignoring our guideposts. The long term cost to companies that destroy their reputation in the marketplace is innumerable.

Your Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Core Value statements establish the culture of your organization. They exemplify how everyone should behave. Rather than sitting in a drawer, they should be posted, promoted, and perpetuated. When faced with difficult and confusing situations, the team should be encouraged to refer to these guideposts for direction. This is the best way to stay out of trouble and preserve your good reputation.


Dulcee Loehn

Certified Business Coach

Dulcee can be reached at


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