Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three Words to Propel Me in 2010

Clarity. Prioritize. Act.

These are the three words I'm using to guide my professional life in 2010.

Clarity: Keeping it simple. Focusing on specific goals. Making it clear to others what's most important, right now. In recently completing my MBA it became apparent that the most successful leaders are those who provide Clarity - focus and direction - to their organizations.

Prioritize: It's OK to scratch off items that have been on the "to do" list for three weeks. If I haven't done them by now, they aren't going to get done, and how important are they anyway? Each day I want to focus FIRST on those activities that will advance my life, my career, my organization and the success of my students.

Act: It's too easy to put off 'til tomorrow what can make a difference today. But why? As Nike likes to remind us: "Just do it." Not only do you get a great feeling of satisfaction for getting things done, but you're one step closer to achieving those BHAGs - Big Hairy Audacious Goals - ones that really make a difference.

Where did this "three words" concept come from? Chris Brogan, social media expert and author of "Trust Agents." In his first blog post of 2010, he shared his "new" three words and how this activity helps in his personal and professional life. As he explains:
Pick three words that help you the way a lighthouse helps a ship in a storm. Give yourself a word that guides you towards a powerful new opportunity, and that keeps you focused on what comes of this year.

Use these words as starting points for tangible goals, SMART goals that can be measured and have dates to accomplish tasks by. These words sit above the actual goals, and set your guiding principles in place
I've been narrowing my list of three words for several weeks. Some of the words that didn't make the cut this time around? Listen. Think. Patience. While I've resolved to improve these habits in my daily life, Clarity, Prioritize and Act seemed more conducive to achieving some specific goals I have in mind for the year ahead. More on those another time.

For more on choosing three words to focus on goals and getting things done, see:
What are your three words for 2010?

(Photo credit: "Three Golden Keys" by krish.Tipimeni, courtesy of Commons)

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