The 100 year old company whose products will kill you with a smile on your face


I walked in this morning, willingly, (with my kids) to a company whose products will most certainly lead to my demise if I were to consume them every day

Every single employee was in lock step, clearly focused on one single outcome. The process was smooth, the delivery was impeccable, the products were almost flawless. But how is that they make a product that will literally kill me, yet everyone is still excited to pour through the doors with cash in hand

Their mission statement is simple:

    To make the most awesome {product} on the planet every single day

Pretty bold statement, right? But, they will literally kill you. I just did my research and here are the risks:

  • Increases obesity
  • High risk of heart troubles
  • May increase risk for cancer

 When I tell you the name of the company it will all make perfect sense. But, how did the company get everyone rowing in the same direction? It wasn’t some incredible marketing program, and frankly it isn’t even that great of a product, though they do make it extremely well and very consistently.

 What makes this company great, and almost a 1 billion dollar company, is a commitment to their mission.  No fluff, no frills, just making the most awesome product on the planet every day.

Would I be able to clearly say that about your company?  know I can’t say it about mine!

 The name of the company? 

Krispy Kreme

Did you guess it?

There was a time in my life that every single employee of the organization was completely aligned with the mission

I wish that I could even go so far as to say that it was in my company. But, having actual buy in to the mission of the organization is a lot more difficult than just writing the mission statement on the wall. Frankly, I don’t even know what the actual words of the mission statement were, but I know the intent. What I also know is there were almost 50 people that were in complete alignment and fully committed to the outcome.

The outcomes weren’t measured in dollars, or hours worked, or in any specific KPI that we would consider common place in any business.

Whats the financial upside when everyone on the team shares in the mission success? Whats the cost when there is no buy in and everyone goes their own way? You see, the organization Im talking about was a fighter squadron in the US Air Force.

The mission was very simple- Fly, Fight, Win. There’s not a whole lot of ambiguity in the mission.

Getting buy in from a group of people that are willing to literally give their life in defense of the mission was quite the monumental task for any leader. Perhaps in the years that have followed I have found that developing a mission that could get everyone rowing in the same direction was a little bit harder than the shared mission as a fighter pilot.

But, it doesn’t mean that I go after it with any less tenacity or commitment . Each year I take a look at the mission statements- for myself, my family, and my business interests.

((That’s right, you heard that correctly, my family even has a mission statement))



5 Critical Components of a Winning Mission Statement

Do you have a mission statement? Is it any good?

Does it embody the characteristics of your company and the audience that you serve? And frankly, how do you know?  Did you ask anyone for their feedback?  Customers, employees? Those questions aren’t meant to put a finger in anyone's chest, but more to be critical of the message that we are sending our employees and our customers.

Creating a mission statement isn’t about the poster on the wall, it’s about having a “root system” for everything to grow upon. If you look at your mission statement does it speak to:

  • Your target audience?
  • The contribution you make (product or service)?
  • Differentiation between you and the rest of the world?

When developing a mission statement that unifies a team, here are 5 things to remember:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Think Long Term
  3. Make it Big
  4. Ask your Employees
  5. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

It doesn’t have to take a two day retreat to develop a good mission statement (though that does sound like a good idea, Miami anyone?!) While not specifically about writing mission statements, Start with Why is a must read for entrepreneurs to get clear about who they are and who they serve.


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