One of my friends was asked to provide feedback in writing to management on a new process in his workplace. This process had been so poorly implemented that it had divided segments of the workforce, torn apart well-functioning teams, and created mistrust by favoring some employees. My friend was upset about what had happened and recognized the problems that could have been avoided with a different approach, but was struggling with the exact words to write and had not decided whether to sign his name (optional).

Then he remembered that part of the mission statement was printed on the company shirts. Key words included teamwork and integrity. He wrote “the words on our shirts don’t match what’s in your hearts” and he signed his name. WOW!

This statement is SO PROFOUND and sums up a root cause of cultural problems in many companies. It also reveals what employees see every day about management’s motivation and how different management choices could inspire people on the receiving end of management’s actions to feel very differently about the corporate culture.


Actions reflect what you really care about, regardless of what you tell others you care about. If you supervise people, do your actions match the words on your company’s hats, shirts, mission statement, etc.? If the answer is “no” or “not always”, I can guarantee that there is conflict and mistrust within your department, division and/or organization. Want to send a message that inspires your people and motivates them to a new level of performance? Then make sure your words and actions match, even when it comes to the mission statement.