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Missed Mission

Watch out! If your mission statement is a joke, Enron may be the punchline.

By Chris Penttila • Apr 4, 2012 Originally published May 5, 2002

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The last few months have been a wild ride as some of the nation's largest businesses have come apart at the seams. The largest of these, of course, is Enron, whose mission statement noted that the company prided itself on four key values: respect, integrity, communication and excellence. Among other things, all business dealings at Enron were supposed to be "open and fair." As Enron's story unfolds in Congress, it's obvious the former seventh-largest U.S. company wasn't living its own mission statement. Now the question is: Are you living yours?

"I suspect the majority of mission statements don't reflect reality, and I think it's apparent to employees," says Lin Grensing-Pophal, a Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, consultant and the author of HR Essentials: Your Guide to Starting and Running the HR Function.

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