Case breakdown: Movie Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) plays the role of a sports agent in the movie. One night, he is inspired to write a ‘mission statement’. He writes a 25-page mission statement titled ‘The Things we think and do not say: The future of our business.‘ Maguire also called it a love letter to the business I truly love. His beliefs eventually forced him to quit his sports agent gig and start his own agency.
In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of a mission statement.
What is a Mission Statement?
Mission Statement is generally written by people who want to make a difference in the world of business through their work. These people are authentic by nature and want to create an imprint on the world.
The mission statement explains the purpose of the company in a concise manner. It describes what the company does and will do for its customers and how it plans to serve them. It describes the goals of the company and where it is headed.
Mission statements can’t be generic. It needs to cater to your specific business. It gives transparency to the customers, investors, clients, and employees of the company.
So, how does one begin writing their mission statement? Below are some key points that might help.
Who is the target audience?
Understanding your business is essential and who you cater to is even more essential. So defining the right customer is critical in the mission statement. It also tells people what this business doesn’t do.
Defining what the business does for the target customer?
TATA steel puts it like this in its mission statement: “Tata Steel strives to strengthen India’s industrial base through effective utilization of staff and materials. The means envisaged to achieve this are cutting-edge technology and high productivity, consistent with modern management practices.”
Here, they clearly outline that they want to strengthen India’s industrial base through the effective utilization of staff and materials. This would be done by relying on its core values.
What are the core values of the business?
For any business to operate, it needs to define some of its core values, similar to the scene we saw, Jerry starts the statement by saying ‘
‘We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business.’
Forming real connections and relationships is one of the values that he speaks about. He wishes to cultivate this value when he writes “few clients, less money”.
TATA group’s values are Integrity, responsibility, excellence, pioneering, and unity. India today, which is booming with start-ups, should learn from leaders such as Ratan Tata and Jamshedji Tata who have created a legacy for us to witness.
Tata group’s mission statement says the following:
“Business, as I have seen it, places one great demand on you: it needs you to self-impose a framework of ethics, values, fairness, and objectivity on yourself at all times.” – Ratan N Tata, 2006
The best mission statements come out at the time of change. The crisis is a powerful point for transformation, every time you allow a problem in your life, you are actually at a point of transformation as said by Maguire’s father in the movie.