For some time now my colleague Dr Jason Fox has been on a quest to help people identify, choose, and live by One Word’ in order to make sense and progress of their often ambitious world. You’d do well to indulge in the magician himself via Blog or Podcast.
Why choose one word? And perhaps more to the point, how?
A one-word approach to your year gives you three clear benefits.
You get an overarching context for life and leadership
My friend and mentor Matt Church says, “context is king.” Matt is so on point here. The clearer you can articulate a context to look at and look through you can see what naturally fits and what seems to be more forced. Context helps you take both a top-down approach as well as a bottom-up (see benefit three).
With context, you can navigate up to that word or phrase and see immediately if it fits in your framework for the year. It speeds up decision making and sharpens taking action.
You get a filter to make decisions through.
One big word helps you make decisions. More specifically, what to say no to. Saying no is one of the most critical life and leadership decisions you can live by. For example, if your word is KIND then you have an immediate filter to make a decision about what you will say if you will say it, and how you will say it. The possibilities are endless.
You establish a beginning point.
With your big word, you create compelling clarity about your beginning point. It heralds your starting place for the year and singles out what will put the colour and sound in your year. It also affords you the opportunity of wiping clean the slate of the previous year and beginning again with humility, intelligence and resolve.
Now you must begin the “One Word Quest” (Hat tip Dr Fox:))
BTW – You big word needs to have the following four characteristics in it.
- Authentic – Your word has to have a sense of alignment with who you are.
- Active – Your word needs to inspire you to be doing or changing something.
- Emotive – Your word must have you feel something when you say it out loud.
- Reflective – Your word must give you feedback on what’s happening right now.
- Write a list of possible words, search for words similar.
- Look for any patterns on your word choice. Consider strength, focus, size.
- Look for connections and add smaller words together to make even bigger words.
- Talk it over with a mentor to get feedback and even more clarity.
- Road test a word in your life and leadership and select the one that is most compelling.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.
Being great at your job and being an effective leader are different skill sets right?
I help technical experts become people leaders. If you are incredible at your job and you need to become outstanding at leadership I can help you.
When you’re ready, take this Leadership Assessment – Send me your results and we can book a call to unpack how my capability, culture and communication experiences can improve the performance of your team.