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Sum Up Your Mission In Six… D’oh!

Can you sum up your executive-team credo in just six words? An exercise in management prioritization, communication.
Sum up your mission statement in 6 words

"Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure"

Seven years ago, journalist Larry Smith and entrepreneur Tim Barkow founded SMITH, a little magazine obsessed with storytelling. At launch, it partnered with a quirky 5-month-old start-up called Twitter to power a reader contest: Tell us your life in six words and enter to win an iPod.

We all know which venture obtained the higher name recognition; nonetheless, the six-word memoir championed by SMITH has blossomed into books, events, t-shirts, comics, games, and ancillary publications. Millions of people have penned six-word memoirs, including Stephen Colbert (“Well, I thought it was funny.”) and Arianna Huffington (“Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention.”), among others.

Why do we mention this? Because at a time when companies are losing up to $4,100 per employee annually due to poor written communications, perhaps your senior team should try a variant: Distill your mission to just six words. Share. Discuss.

SMITH editor Rachel Fershleiser offers six tips to get started:

1. Be specific.
2. Be honest.
3. Forget the thesaurus.
4. Use your speaking voice.
5. Experiment with structure.
6. Stop trying so hard.


Go ahead, give it a try. Submit your six-word mission statement in the Comments section below. All submissions made before November 9, 2012 will be considered for publication in the winter catalog of Build.


  1. “Improve Employees Lives; Simplify Customers Jobs.”

    - Concord Tank Corporation

  2. Concepts NYC= delivering the right product/place/time

    Concepts NYC Inc.

  3. “Inspire Success, Reward Performance”



  5. “For the joy of causing improvement.”
    - KG Information Systems Private Limited

  6. Let energy vision and commerce flow

  7. “Help clients set direction, manage change”

    Jim Kerr
    Managing Partner,

  8. “Your world for all things western.”

    -NRS (National Roper’s Supply)

  9. “Empowering people to create meaningful lives.”

    - The Management Group, Inc.

  10. “We help turn challenges into opportunities.”
    -The Read Group, Seatle, Washington

  11. “Loyal customers; Enthusiastic Employees; Stronger Community”

    - North Middlesex Savings Bank

  12. MailGapp “Because checking for mail sucks!”
    Resource Suites “Digitall: No more bricks and mortar!”
    All-Pro Hawaii “We are an Office for Offices!”

  13. From Patricia Stevenson of Superior Metal Framing Systems, LLC
    “Committed to Superior Steel Fabrication/Erection”

  14. Well designed Buildings grow Business Success

    A Plus Design Group Architects, Dallas Texas

  15. Drive results by crushing marketing inefficiences

    - Blast Analytics & Marketing

  16. drjimharris

    The Impact 500
    Broadcasting Biblically-based business excellence

  17. “Helping Africa Help Itself”
    Joint Aid Management International (www.jamint.com)

  18. Building people, creating values, lifting society


  19. Be the best workplace for nerds

    - The Nerdery

  20. Equal respect for employees and customers

    - C.A. Franklin Training

  21. To be the antidote for disengagement

  22. “All hustle. No hassle. Done right.”

  23. To provide excellent healthcare.

    Charlevoix Area Hospital
    (It’s been our mission for years)

  24. Let relentless pursuit of fun reign.

  25. thought leadership + design language = stronger brand

  26. work short rather than hire stupid

  27. Outplacement Excellence. Custom Approach. Individualized Attention

    – Power Connections is a boutique national outplacement firm

  28. Make the weakest link stronger.

  29. Do my best, follow my heart.

  30. “Nourish the you in your life.”

  31. Simplify the Business of Life – Intuit
    Never having to ask for help – team

  32. “You can say anything in six…”

  33. Find a need and Fill It

  34. Strategy Rocks When Telling Your Story

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