“Three words to guide your actions to match your goals for the coming year.” ~ Chris Brogan
Feliz año nuevo,
I hope you’ve emerged from the holiday season healthy, refreshed, and excited about new opportunities ahead.
Really, is there anyone who’s not happy to see 2021 end? While we know dramatic change doesn’t happen on January 1st, I think most of us are glad to metaphorically turn the page to a fresh year; focus on the future; and plan new accomplishments.
For the last eight years, one way I’ve looked forward is to choose three words to guide me through the coming year. I started this after reading Chris Brogan’s blog. Since 2006, Chris has encouraged people to choose three words to frame their goals and intentions for the year.
In 2021, my three words were: trust, local, and CTA. They inspired questions that drove my thinking and work throughout the year.
Trust: This is critical to my work with clients and with my relationships with my family. Embedded in trust is empathy — the ability to feel clients’ and family members’ emotions — which creates connection. Part of that connection is the creation of stories. Also, trust implied that commitments are kept.
Local: I tend to be a strategic thinker and consider issues from a global perspective. Local reminded me to focus on the “non-global.” To focus on local/individual issues and concerns that I could impact — both for individuals and my community. By focusing my energy on local factors, I change the world. Kind of a “think globally, act locally” approach.
CTA: This was a bit of a hack — a cheat. It’s an acronym for three words: Call To Action. It was a reminder to ensure action in every interaction. Action needs to be at the heart of every encounter. Sometimes that action is just listening; sometimes it’s asking questions that move someone forward. Every action should leave the person feeling that they received value from the connection.
Three Words of Years Past
Here are some of the words I’ve used in the past few years:
2016: Focus, Connect, Launch
2017: Serve, Engage, Partner
2018: Listen, Inspire, Actualize
2019: Stewardship, Pivot, Community
2020: Vision, Clarity, Empower
And for 2022…
Choosing my three words for 2022 was interesting. They grew out of a casual conversation, with my friend Wayland, about how people respond to change. We were at the skate park with his kids and just shooting the breeze. Wayland mentioned how hard it was for folks to embrace change that could improve their lives. As we talked, the three words just came together.
Reframe: This is about telling stories about your professional value in ways that matter to people who matter — the people who will pay you for the value you bring — bosses, hiring managers, clients, customers.
It’s essential to frame one’s leadership voice — one’s unique value — in a way that decision-makers see you as a strategic asset to the organization, not as a subject matter expert commodity. At some point, it’s not a value to be the smartest one in the room. It’s of more value to be the wisest person in the room. That’s a whole different skill set.
Algorithms: These are defined processes to guide you in new ways of thinking about the value you bring to an organization and in developing the stories that demonstrate their value.
If we’ve worked together, we’ve most likely used worksheets to help you define your specific needs. Those worksheets — which are in continuous improvement — are the algorithms that result in customized strategies to accomplish your goals.
Wayfinding: This is about getting comfortable with with idea that there is no one answer in solving problems or creating change. It isn’t about where you need to go, it’s about acknowledging that you may not have just one destination.
For most of us, planning — or designing — a career is wayfinding. There’s no one ideal job for us. The best we can do is to find out what we need to consider for the next 2 to 5 years. And we do this throughout our careers.
These words will frame the work I do in 2022 as I hone the tools and programs that help you achieve your goals for the year. Whether you’re a client or a collaborator, I look forward to continuing to do great work together. If you’re a friend, thanks for your support, it means a lot to me. I hope to continue to build on our relationship in 2022.
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If you’re struggling with how to achieve your career goals let’s chat about how I can help. You can use this link to my calendar to schedule the best time to talk.
Image copyright: giashpe.