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This Element is an excerpt from Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence (9780137047659) by Barry Dym, Susan Egmont and Laura Watkins. Available in print and digital formats. Why mission and vision are so crucial to non-profits, why so many fall short-and how to overcome this problem. The fundamental challenge for all leaders is to align their organizations in the service of their mission and vision, reflected in concrete objectives, realized in strategically developed operations, embedded in culture, and exemplified in their own being. Leadership, then, begins with mission and vision. These "soft" disciplines steady, orient, and drive the leader. When taken seriously, they provide discipline, inspiration, and guideposts for everything organizations do....