Do mission statements

Unit 26
Do mission statements really matter?

Workplace English/Workplace Communication


Share your ideas with your teacher and try to make sentences.

What is your mission in life?


Repeat  these  sentences  after  your  teacher.

1. mission statement (n.) 使命宣言,宗旨說明
Please read the company’s mission statement.

2. resonated (v.) 引起共鳴
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt’s call to war resonated throughout the nation.

3. jargon (n.) 行話,行業術語
Do not use jargons so we can understand you.

4. embodies (v.) 體現
Your mission embodies your purpose in life.

5. empowered (adj.)給(某人)做… 的權力;使自主
Mr. Chen’s words empowered me.

6. alignment (n.) 校準;一致
Make sure your shape alignment is correct.

7. on the ground (n.) 實際
Can you do 50 push ups on the ground?

8. lofty (adj.) 崇高的,高尚的
He is a man of lofty ideals.


Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.

Hey Billy, did you finish the survey about choosing our new mission statement?

Yeah I wonder if they’re going to go with the Amazon-style “be customer-centric” one.

“Maintaining principles while growing” like Starbucks really resonated with me.

In any case, do you think it really matters what empty jargon we put up on the walls?

Absolutely. I’m here for more than just a paycheck. I want to work for a company that embodies my values.
當然重要。 我來這兒工作不僅是為了薪水。 我是希望可以在與我的價值觀相吻合的公司裡工作。

But are you actually empowered to live the values? Our statement has zero alignment with any of the work actually done here.
但你真的能實踐公司的價值觀嗎? 我們的使命宣言和我們實際在做的工作完全不符啊。

That’s why we’re changing it: To reflect the situation on the ground, instead of just some lofty ideals.

I still think we should come out and say “Make more money by selling more things.”

It’s pithy, to be sure! But maybe you’d prefer it to say “be as cynical as possible.”
這當然很精闢! 但是或許換個說法,改成”利益至上”更好。

If that were our company’s ethos, I’d be CEO by now!


The suffix “-centric”

In today’s lesson we learnt that part of Amazon’s mission statement is to be customer-centric. What they mean is that they believe in putting the customer first, or regarding the customer as the most important.

Centric is used quite commonly in physics and astronomy. In ancient times, people believed that all of the stars and planets revolved around the Earth. This is what is known as the “geocentric” model. A model where the Earth revolves around the Sun by contrast is called “heliocentric.“

Whenever you want to express putting someone or something first, putting them in the center, or regarding them as the most important thing, you can use “-centric.” It doesn‘t really matter if you use a hyphen or not, although if you are being creative and making your own word, it’s usually safer to use one.

1. Before the end of the Qing Dynasty, East Asian international relations were Sinocentric.

2. There are those who argue that our society is too child-centric.

3. 21st century hospitals are becoming more patient-centric through the use of technology.


Make a conversation with your teacher.

1.What do you think is the purpose of having a mission or a goal in life?