One Word Away From Transformation
Focus, clarity, courage, and momentum are as simple as One Word.
My word is extend.
A couple months ago I started asking myself, what if you’re not leading where you are twelve months from now? That’s when the word extend found me.
Extend the organization where I lead. Extend reach, influence, and life. Extend others.
Extend means work others in, work yourself out.
The idea that today is my last day is more distracting than helpful. But, the idea that this is my last year gives me focus, clarity, momentum, and courage to extend.
Dan Britton and Jimmy Page have practiced and taught one word since 1999. They shared the idea with Jon Gordon a few years ago. Eventually they wrote, “One Word that will change your life,”
Find your word:
#1. Look in:
Find silence and ask three questions.
- What do I need?
- What’s in my way?
- What needs to go?
#2. Look up:
Ask God for your word and listen. Don’t stress about your word. Receive it.
#3. Look out:
Live your word everywhere you go. But, look out, because one word isn’t predictable. It surprises.
Jon Gordon explains how the Army Basket-ball team chose NAILS (1:51):
Suggestions from Jimmy, Dan, and Jon for maintaining focus on your word.
- Post your word in prominent places.
- Create a screensaver with your word.
- Take a picture of your word and save it on your smartphone.
- Keep a One Word journal.
- Look for sayings and quotes that relate to your word.
- Pick a song that reminds you of your word.
- Get a tattoo. They suggest a removable one.
How are you dealing with distractions?
How are you finding focus?
Bonus: Download your One Word ACTION PLAN.
Perfect timing! I held my 2015 Kick Off Sales Meeting on the 6th. My message to the team for 2015 was “ACTION”! The answer to success is ACTION, the answer to almost every question depends on what ACTION you took or didn’t take.
ASK……. Take the time to inquire with others, in solitude with yourself and of course in prayer with God. We are not alone, and we are called to extend ourselves to others. It’s a natural part of life to desire community and if one is in a place of weakness while you are strong, take the time to ASK to help lift their burden while fueling your own soul.
My word is ACTION. When you see something not working ACT to change it. When you see something working ACT to continue it. DONT COMPLAIN JUST ACT
I love this idea and have seen it other places and think this makes sense.
Alchemist. Taking something from nothing and making it meaningful. I’ve been at it all week!
My word Honor. Honor today, no regrets tomorrow.
My word is ‘Trust.’ Trust is the key to relationships.
My One Word is Transform. I am excited to see how God uses my word to transform my work environment, my relationships with friends and family and me. I am committed to using my One word to transform my life and the lives of those around me in 2015.
My word is…Learn. If only we all continued to be life long learners.
I’m interested in the concept – and at first glance it’s LOYAL – it’s the most primary of traits!
My word is perseverance
My one word is ‘intrepid’
Thanks Dan … one of the hard lessons I have learned is that we can’t do everything on our own.
Integrity is my word too, but in my company integrity also means doing the right thing even when it’s harder than doing the wrong thing.
My word is integrity. To me this means do the right thing in all aspects of my life. Not as easy as it sounds all the time to do but it is the ideal I strive for.
Thanks read the book from your last Freebie selection, excellent book, good information for individuals seeking direction.
My word is “support” this year.
Thank you Dan, Jon’s works are very good. My word for this year is focus
My word is ‘build’ this year.
I like books and I like free stuff and I like Leadership Freak, so count me in. I love the focus the this idea brings to individuals and teams. To move in the same direction toward a goal day after day is difficult without a reminder of what, why and with whom. I’d like to learn more about making this work in our organization.
I have never thought in terms of the “one” word but mine is collaborate. So many professions build their “Ivory towers” and try to impact the world from inside that tower. The world is too complex for the one approach. We all need to collaborate.
what a great exercise Dan. I think I have landed on mine. Connection.
My word is rediscover
Thanks Dan…. Service is my word.
My word is Growth. Last year was all about preparation, fertilising the soil, getting the right support in place. Now I’m ready for an explosion of green and flowers everywhere!
Always so look forward to your daily posts and this one is a true challenge – am going to give it a good go!!!
Interesting. I have just had a quick go My first thoughts are 1 Courage 2 Distractions 3 Fear. The one word is “Courage”. The suggestions look helpful, but the tattoo’s not for me!
Thank you! This exercise is exactly what I need to get my new year in leadership off to a positive start.
“Flexible” is my word. Being flexible when things aren’t going as planned is one way of keeping everything on task and morale high.
Thank you for getting me to think this morning. My word is: Understand
My word is “presence” – whether that be immediate impact on meeting new potential clients or being present in people’s minds as they think their way forward.
The reinforcements are key for me – thanks for the suggestions.
Curious…especially when I “know it all”
Lots of great words Mine is tenacious. Enjoyed this exercise.
My word is ‘Restoration’
My word for 2015 is #vision. A word about one word: http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/nigel_alston/nigel-alston-says-that-one-word-can-change-everything/article_3ddf0298-5c44-11e2-86b0-0019bb30f31a.html?TNNoMobile
Honor is my word. Honor for me is participating In the development of a person’s potential.
My word is “Unfinished”
I am unfinished therefore I (fill in the blank)
My word = Connect !! This will be very helpful as we align our organization through transformation. This is the year !!
Distractions are often a result of trying to be “nice” without balanced discipline and not having a clear picture of the NEXT and most important thing you need to do that day. When someone comes over and wants to chat and I’m in the middle of something I’ll ask if I can come back over to their desk in the next ‘x’ number of minutes as I’m deeply entrenched in a task that requires my strong focus. I also like using a note or board to indicate that I’m singularly focused and will be next available at x:xx time.
My word this year will likely be “Acceptance”.
Focus I keep with having moments on the day that I am alone. In these moments, it can last a minute or two I am searching for myself, my inner voice. And I keep focusing on important things…keep distinguishing between urgent and important stuff. Making a list and adjusting it throughout the day. Thanks
My word is courage
Thanks for the perspective you lend daily. My word: AMPLIFY. Together we can take what we believe and learn, and improve all around us by adding to our voice.
My word is WANT. As children, the drive to “want” is so strong that we won’t stop asking until we get it. I’m finding that the impact of “want” is twofold. If something is not getting done (e.g. procrastination) then it is usually not wanted enough. The second thing is that “want” is a good thing because it gives fire and drive to what we do.
Thanks Dan for your great posts. I really appreciate them.
AWARENESS is my word. To me, it signifies being present in the moment and…free.
My word is simplify. I’ve just gone back to teaching after 12 years as a stay at home mom raising three children. Our lives are fare from simple, and I wouldn’t wish for plain or boring, but I need to focus on what is essential at work and for my home and family — time, things, activities, committees — and SIMPLIFY.
A very interesting & thought-provoking post.
My one word is PROGRESS.
I concentrate at specific things of my personal and professional interest. I look for good opportunities to improve and upgrade myself on a day-to-day basis. The objective is to scale upwards with notable small achievements and continuous learning.
My word is “Nonjudgmental” … of self and others – be relentless on this childhood protector that is no longer required in its early form … build out the sage version of this defense mechanism see http://positiveintelligence.com/ to gain an understanding of the concept and understand how strong your judge is
I have always tried to lead with the mindset that I need to work my self out of a job. I try to equip, empower and encourage others to be able to solve problems and reach goals without me . I had been think about how to clearly communicate this vision and direction personally and professionally.
I am going to use one word “Sustainable”
Resolute. . . defined as admirably purposesful, determined and unwavering.
To be a follow of Christ; to be a loving husband; to be an encouraging and involved father; to be a top-tier worker; and to be a hospitable neighbor; I must be resolute.
*** *** ***
Need? Disciplined execution.
Resolved, to focus on people first, then focus on A1 tasks that fall in Covey’s Not-Urgent/Important Quadrant. Delegate, as possible.
In the way? Distraction.
Resolved, to purposefully be present where I am at. “Wherever you’re at; be all there.” ~Jim Elliot
Needs to go? Lesser thing.
Resolved, to eliminate involvement in non-strategic committees and non-relevant extracurricular activities. “Priority determines capacity.” ~ Andy Stanley
I’m thinking “courage.” It seems a good prescription for a number of challenges and obstacles…
Patience – its own reward
Hmmm, I don’t know what my word is, this is a new concept to me. But I sure feel like I could use knowing what my word is!
Thanks Dan for the great blog. Jon, Jimmy and I are thankful that you are experience the power of One Word! You have a great word for 2015! Your word EXPAND is about “taking ground” not just “covering ground”! My word is BEST. Jon’s word is RISE. Jimmy’s word is MOMENTUM. It should be an amazing year! We are looking forward to provide free copies of One Word That Will Change Your Life to 50 Leadership Freak followers. One Word is a game-changer! Blessings my friend!
As soon as I started reading the discussion on “One Word”, I couldn’t help but think back to the scene in City Slickers where the old cowboy, Curly (Jack Palance), tells Mitch (Billy Crystal) that it’s all about that one thing that each of us has that drives us, and that is unique to each of us. Great movie.
Wow, I can see where one word really boils ones purpose, direction, or call down to enhance clarity. It also surprised me how easy it seemed for many to come up with one. I have a pretty succinct purpose statement, but certainly don’t want to grab a word too quickly. I’m going to blog some time to ask those questions and go over my purpose statement with the Lord to see what One defining Word arises. Thank you.
I’d really like to have that book 🙂
Here, Jessica: Try this word. INTROSPECTION. I hope it gets the book for you. It’s a healthy, motivating, positive, motivating, happy, cleansing word that can be so meaningful personally and professionally. It’s about success, yet it focuses on fulfillment. Good luck B2U…
Love this post and hearing everyone’s words. I choose ‘date’. Dare to get out of my comfort zone, do new things and challenge my team to join me.
I love this: Look in. Look up. Look out. Simple yet very powerful. Thanks, as always, for sharing your brilliance.
Simple and powerful. Great posts as always. I’d love to get the full copy.
The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.
Does the English language have a single word that means “leadership from the midst?”
Love the post, Dan! I’ve been doing this for 3 years now. First introduced to the concept by the OneWord365 online movement. My word for 2015 is CHOOSE. It’s focused on making intentional choices, mostly personal with regards to diet and health. I’ve made it my desktop graphic and I plan to blog on my progress throughout the year. I also have accountability partners in place. Best of success to you with your word this year. Take care.
I’ve been practicing “One Word” discovery for a few years now. This year “DILIGENCE”! The last two years have been stuffed with loss. My youth (I’m now eligible for social security), my independence (no work in quite awhile), and the death of my two older sons, which caused anger, frustration and sinking into the depths of major depression. In this time of loss, I also lost the joy of following Jesus and in effect, lost Him! My home is a mess (working on that) and I have returned to service in my church and re-connecting with my Lord and the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading and study and (in process) my personal ministry. I know it will take DILIGENCE to return to where I was… and so my “One Word”
Very thought provoking. I have never thought about focusing on just one word, I have always worked under the understanding of working with a mission statement, but never just one word. Now I am trying to figure out what my Word should be for 2015!
First time here! What a blessing to find you.
My word? INTENTIONAL
Thanks for the tips on how to make THE ONE WORD more powerful.
I’m thinking “realize” for its double meaning…to both recognize and attain…now thinking of the ratio! Ha!
My word is stretch – stretch myself to use those muscles I haven’t used in a while and stretch to find new ones that are not so comfortable at first.
I’ve chosen the word LIVE. I’ve been through a divirce the past 2 years.
And it felt that all I was doing was survive, not live!
So after this time of letting the Lord work in me and starting
to heal me I feel this is the word for me. New life in relationships,
my job, mentally and physically. I’ve started exercising for the first time
since this journey of divorce started. The Hebrew word for life/live is
“Chai” and it refers to the life that God breaths unto man. The Word of God
is also life.
I have make time to reflect on my life verse of the year. In 2014 mine was 2 Cor 12:9. This process usually takes me several weeks to work through and reflect upon. But I hope to nail it down by the end the day today. I’m thinking my word this year is simply GO.
“Persistence” – this relates directly to a special happening during my life. It was persistence that prevented me of drowning and losing the rest I had. Thanks Dan, Jimmy, Jon and Dan Rockwell for reminding me on my one word metaphor.
Thank you for your insight!
The one word concept was introduced to our team earlier this week. I am excited to give it a try. As a Boomer working with a strong group of Millennials I found my word from what I experience as the Millennial World View. It is resourceful. It occurs to me that Millennials are much better at networking and tapping into the resources around them than Boomers. Boomers seem to hold the belief that if I can’t do something on my own, then I am weak. Millennials seem to understand that asking others for information and/or assistance is much more efficient
Peace – I have everlasting peace through my personal relationship with Jesus Christ but the old nature gets in the way “A LOT.” I want to feel peace when I feel wronged, when I wrong someone but ask for forgiveness, when I don’t get the promotion that I’ve been striving for, when life seems out of control every which way I turn and on it goes in this earthly life.
My word is TRY. Enough said!
My word is “Shepard”…I look to shepard the people I lead to make the best decisions, grow, and become leaders in the future.
My word is Gratitude. Recognize it, show it and spread it.
My word is CALLED. So many times, I go through my day with negatives. I need to remember God called ME! I am chosen. Next, I called to live a life to reflect His glory and grace. Lastly, I am called to service the others around me.
Instead of a tatoo, I am going to purchase a handmade bracelet from Esty with my word stamped upon it. I will see it all day.
My word is focus.
Calls me to be in the present moment, to listen, be still. Let go of regret, be open to possibilities. Focus on gifts.
My word is SERVICE!
My word is focus. There is so much going on personally and professionally that it is has become easy to go down too many bunny trails which seem like the are getting me where I think I need to go but as you all know they are energy and time wasting. When I first heard the word I thought that was too easy to come up with but looking back at the last 6 to 8 months it makes sense.
I love this book and for 3 years I have chosen a word. This year, my word is sparkle. I chose this word because the definition is to be bright and lively; to perform brilliantly. I am excited to make a difference with sparkle as my guide.
Nice post Dan. My word for this year is…LEAD: to go before or with to show the way; to influence
Great post! It’s amazing how much power one word can have and how much one word can have such a powerful impact in so many areas. I think it’s a reflection on how so many times we try to do too much and get so little results. One word can help narrow the focus and be the source to stay focused through the course of the year. Thanks, Dan!
I love the focus and simplicity of choosing one word. My word this year is “create”!
My word is “Believe”! My word for last year was “Balance”.
My word for this year is peace. Peace with myself, that I am enough. That everything I work towards has or will pay off. Peace to enjoy the present.
As wonderful as your post is, I actually enjoyed the comments even more! Hearing so many different perspecitves and intentions is very inspriing. I’m still searching for my word, but thanks for the inspiration!
My One Word is Patience! Absolutely love this plan, it is helping me be one closer to God!! I’ve shared it with many ppl because I’m in love with it do much. If I love something I need to share it with the world lol thank you for creating this concept! 🙂 🙂 🙂
One Word: Center
My word is Believe. Believe in… myself, in others, in my ideas, in my decisions. 🙂
My one “word” is one-anothering. This is a life theme and call to action. It challenges me to look for opportunities to cultivate synergy, contribution, humility, and many other aspects of relational leadership.
Love this. My word is also peace, like Jamie’s above. Learning to relax and live in the moment instead of letting my need for perfection create a constant, distracting dialog in my head. I like the idea of letting your “one word” come to you, instead of choosing it, so I’ll meditate on it awhile and see if peace is really what my word should be for now… Thanks for the great idea!
This year’s word is Trust. Last year I learned so much with “wait”. Powerful process.
Better. …as in, whatever you undertake, leave things better than you found them.
I discovered the http://getoneword.com/ website a few months ago. It is awesome!!!!
Honor – to do it right by self and others
I am going with “LEARN” – I want to learn from others, from myself, from coworkers, from supervisors. What did strike me even more though was your comment of “what if you are not leading where you are twelve months from now.” This made me realize that when I apply for other positions, I tend to clean up my desk, make sure my procedure manual is up to date, and make sure all the ‘cobwebs’ are cleaned out and taken care of. I want to do this EVERY day, all the time.
My “one word” for several years has been Lou Holtz’s “WIN,” for “What’s Important Now?” It applies to every aspect of my life and is referenced numerous times every day.
Great book! Great process. I never could have guessed how important my One Word for 2014, “Engage” would be. It was just what i needed, and what God could use, bring focus, energy, and fruitful outcomes to the year. I am eager to experience the impact of my 2015 word, “Mindful.” I will add that many people in my circle of friends and colleagues, are also engaging this process in 2015. Powerful.
Our word at work has been Service. Right now I’m reading Lessons from the Mouse, by Dennis Snow. Business success comes from a sincere desire to serve others.
Listen. Not just the outward listening, but the quieting and listening to both the inner world and the one that swirls around us. Listen with intention. Try to pick out the piccolo in the symphony. Listen to my own voice. Be still and know.
Continuing with my 2014 word Purge, my 2015 word is Discernment. Spiritual wisdom and direction.
My word is “discipline.” It is one quality I would like to have more of because as May West said, ” I can resist anything but temptation. “
My word is confidence. As a young leader it’s important for me to trust myself and allow others to do the same. The word also applies as I continue my leadership and service in a new way.
My one word for 2015 is Discipline as in self discipline
Selflessness. It encompasses so much.
Resilience. Being better everyday and focusing on overcoming shortcomings through awareness, perseverance, and grit. One of the greatest qualities we can have is to pick ourselves back up, scrape away the dirt and start anew with even greater fortitude. Resilience encompasses this idea to me
My word is perseverance
My word is “fitness.” It can be applied to every area I want to develop: physical fitness, spiritual fitness, financial fitness, mental fitness, career fitness, team fitness, leadership fitness, relationship fitness. Fitness is active; it requires work, discipline and must have an element of fun to last the long term.
Having “retired” from leading a large nonprofit to leading a newly founded agricultural inventor/manufacturer, my word is transform. The scriptures have long called for us to be transformed. While I am still working on that, I need now to transform my daily work and leadership to a new and exciting environment. I am blessed to work with some great, highly skilled people and am looking forward to the transformation that will occur.
ASK. Don’t assume. Just ask. Even the tough questions.
my word is discernment. So much that I want to do, need to pick which serve me the most.
The idea of “ONE word” is new to me and I like it, but for years the principle of “ONE THING” has driven my life. It comes from the story in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But ONE THING is needed…” Of course that ONE THING is explained in vs. 39 … to sit at Jesus feet and hear His word. Nothing has impacted my family, my work, my life more than this.
My word is Balance. Something I strive for, hope for and sometimes achieve.
My word for 2015 is SIMPLIFY. When I remove the clutter, I am setting the stage to do the things that truly matter.
Needed this one today…thanks Dan! I’m thinking “FINISH” The desire for hearing “well done good and faithful servant” is resounding pretty loudly right now
Thanks for today’s post. I was introduced to this book two years ago and love how it simplified my life, provided focus , let me discard things that weren’t aligned with my word…last year it was ‘healthy’ still reflecting on what this year’s word will be.
Engage. I resolve to better engage stakeholders in the mission of my organization and give them a better board / committee experience so together we can deliver even better results.
I love the idea of One Word! My word for the year is ….RELEASE. Release worry, stress, clutter, unhealthy habits. I am ready to let it all go. How inspiring for the new year.
Perfect timing! One word: “Greatness” Finding greatness in those that I work with, adults and students. Building others up in positive ways and to recognize their “Greatness”.
never look back
Helpful. 50 years ago Helping others was one of my Pivotal definition in my Definite Major Purpose and have not varied over the years.Some say those should change, but have not felt the need. My rewards have been bountiful HELPING
Still considering my one word but the first one that came to mind was “focus”. I have allowed too many distractions into my days and they are getting im my way of accomplishing what I would like to accomplish. The other word i am considering is “inspire”. I have a good eye for the strengths/talents of others and enjoy encouraging them to reach beyond their comfort zones to accomplish things that they perhaps didn’t believe they could. This, in turn, energizes (and inspires) me!
Thanks Dan, for inspiring your readers everyday with Leadership Freak.
My word is ACTION. When you see something not working ACT to change it. When you see something working ACT to continue it. DONT COMPLAIN JUST ACT
Great post Dan, my word is BUILD and then in from of BUILD i put PIT (i use acronyms all the time) PIT is building projects, building IT, building teaching moments.
Intentional! In my work, my leadership my faith, my service, my role as a dad and as a husband.
These are sort of connected, but I choose either Focus or Intentional. I like intentional as it seems more action oriented.
“Ask God for your word and listen. Don’t stress about your word. Receive it.” I love this. We don’t have to struggle to hear from God. He’s so good, so generous. He wants to give us an amazing life.
Fabulous concept to help me focus. My word is “Choose”. Thank you for introducing me to this thought provoking strategy! I look forward to reading the book!
Great words! (pun intended). Excellent way to find focus for the year to come and drive daily activities.
My one word is Humility. I have it written on the border of my computer screen.
I first heard about this from a friend. I decided to shoos one word rather than making New Year’s resolutions. After several days of bouncing words around, I finally settled on “intentional.”
Just finished ” before amen”. My word … Pray.
This is awesome! I did this years ago on my own to help me focus while going through a tough situation. The experience of focusing on the word rather than the situation kept me moving forward. Last year I didn’t have a good word for myself because I lost my focus and motivation in the stress of the situation I found myself in. I have lots words going through my head right now, so I want to take the time to really evaluate what word is right for me this year and let God send me my word for 2015. Thanks!
Can I have two words? . . . Hmm. Maybe I should make my word “Clarity.”
My word is “discipline.” Discipline is required to implement knowledge. Discipline is required to say “no” to things that distract – discipline is required to say “yes” to things that propel you forward. Sometimes we need more information, but more times than not we need discipline to carry out what we already know.
My word is adventure. Adventure is comprised of challenges, excitement and the unknown. But if I am open to adventure, then I remove the boundaries that may be holding me back.
We are doing this as a family activity this year. My oldest daughter was struck with ‘intention’.
She said after thinking about it, the word broke down to ‘in tension.’ She is praying for another word. This is a great activity. I hope your word for the year is: I ADD VALUE TO LOTS OF PEOPLES LIVES!.
Thank you for alway hitting the nail.
Embrace. To accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically. Our organization is going through a strategic planning process, so timing is perfect. Works for home life too.
Last year I choose 3 words: Tribe, Heart, Lead. The idea of coming up with ONE WORD really resonates. I’d love to read the book. Thanks, Dan
PEACE…in every situation, in everyday life. Focus on the One Who brings PEACE in the midst of the storm.
My word is “communicate”. Effective listening and responding can change the world.
Love your posts…have never heard of the “One Word” concept…but love the idea! I guess my word would be “Service” to follow in the footsteps of the greatest leader of all…Jesus, to serve and give of oneself…putting others always first…thanks Dan for your encouragement through your service to others through this means of communication!
Growth…many changes in 2014 and for this year the focus is ‘Go for Growth’ at our manufacturing site.
My one word is “try”.
These words that have been put forward are all great words. There is a large number of people out there who sadly resist anything different from their everyday routine because, for them, it is scary territory. They have not acquired a skill set to deal with their self talk of “I’m not good enough”. My daughter has fallen into this way of thinking and I have learned not to ask her to do something but rather, educate her on the options and ask her to “try” one of them. In this way, I have given her “permission to fail” in her mind. For me, they are all learning opportunities and necessary for growth. But she doesn’t accept this line of thinking. So I phrase things in HER language. When she tries something and it works out, great. When it doesn’t, she still is emotionally safe because she can “blame” my option and infer “I told you so”. This negative reinforcement isn’t the best but I believe getting her to try something is worth the risk. And more often than not, the outcome is as I anticipate – positive.
Last year it was two words for me – Choose and Move. This year its Rise. Rise to the occasion, rise up, rise and act. Thanks for all your fantastic posts Dan. I truly appreciate the effort and love it takes to give of yourself like that everyday. Cheers!
My one word is Breathe. A former boss and mentor shared this with me many years ago and I’d lost the connection to the meaning behind the word for me. I was green in the role at the time and I wanted to do it all – and do it all quickly because what I did (and still do) impacts a lot of people, many of whom are vulnerable and dependent upon the adults in their lives outside of their homes. But in my efforts to do it all, and do it quickly, I wasn’t focused on the big picture. To help me Breathe, and take time to consider the impact of my actions going forward, I printed a pretty little picture with Breathe at the center and put it in a little picture frame. I recently found it and I have it on my desk where I can see it throughout my day – it helps me focus and remember why I do what I do.
Today I’m thinking about ways to grow our team and the word that comes is PHRONESIS: the habit of making the right decisions and the relentless pursuit of excellence for the common good.
The post about being in the wilderness put a great deal into perspective for me. It gave me ‘permission’ to be in an exploration phase instead of a confused state. It helps me work from a place of learning and not feeling like I have to know it all or be in charge all of the time. It helped me see that anything is possible if I am open. It helped me think about others that might be in their own version of wilderness and have a different level of compassion for them. I feel empowered when I picture myself in the wilderness and taking it all in.
My word is Forgive. Forgive yourself and others, so you can collectively move forward with the experience and without the weight of the mistake.
Respect for everything and everyone that we touch mentally or physically
My word is Grace. We signed the lease for Shire House the same month my beautiful 23 year old daughter passed away. It was either crumble or hold on and keep going. Gods Grace has been the salve that has kept my grieving bones going and my mind focused on what I truly believe I am supposed to be doing right now.
Awesome, and practice this already! For the past 6 months–and likely the next 6 months–my word is FAITH. God is good, and the more I lean in the more he gives me–not just monetarily but in feeling enriched and of service to others!
My word is “Dauntless,” meaning fearless determination. I need this, because I keep backing away from open doors. This year, I will walk through the doors God opens with courage and intentionality.
Inspire….inspire my children to be the best they can be. Inspire the staff through listening, supporting, encouraging, reflecting. Inspire the board to ask questions, to take risks, to challenge. Inspire the parents to be there for their children; to take time to be part of their learning. Inspire me: to learn, to aim high, to read, to move goal posts. To become a better leader.
My word is “fight”. Not in the physical sense but rather in the emotional one. When the day becomes too much the word fight says to me – OK, let’s get back on top and back in the saddle. Helps to re-focus and put me back on the path…
Purpose- in perspective of my dreams,goals, past experience, current circumstances,where do I want to be. Who do I want to be? How do I want to be remembered? Without a defined purpose I will never complete the task…. Purpose- in both the purpose I have and doing things on Purpose.
It is only slightly freaky that I am in the middle of this process, and you write this post! Hmm. In fact this whole week I have been running across things that are about simplification and focus. I am finding the process of ‘listening’ to be very valuable. I have often found that no matter how complex I might try to make things in my life, if I listen that God’s direction and guidance is often simple. I think He knows I do better with simplicity. I’ll let you know…and thanks for being part of the universe nudging me along!
I can see this post really resonated with readers, me included. My word is curious. One needs to be curious so we can be open to the perspectives of others which leads to understanding, respect, collaboration, innovation and acceptance of others (diversity). This seems particularly timely today.
My word: Focus. I have too many distractors, and I need to focus to achieve my goals.
Reading all the responses is very inspiring! My word is peace. From a place of peace I want to be more accepting and patient, and less reactive.
My word is knowledge for 2015. At first I wasn’t sure about this one word thing, but I can honestly say that God has spoken to me in such way thru the first days of 2015. It’s be empowering!
My word is Perspective – I will choose to look at things from different angles to become better at discerning.
My word is Serve – by serving others you give and receive. Don’t focus on what you can do for you but what you can do for others. You will receive more than you ever expected.
My word is ‘Planning’. I find the more I plan the luckier I get.
I did the “One Word” New Years Resolution last year and my word was Wisdom. I was amazed at how that one word changed my outlook on everything I did. I even took the challenges that came my way and looked at them differently… What wisdom had I gained from them instead of pouting about them. I just introduced “One Word” to my staff last night and encouraged them to choose their word for the New Year. My “One Word” for 2015 is Inspired.
I cheated. I ready the list of comments and found a word that I liked: Sparkle. 2014 was not a particularly good year for me. Health issues. Sent my oldest son of to college. Family disagreements. In, 2015, I want to Sparkle in every area of my life. Looking at that word visually brings a nice connotation to mind.
Thanks for the post and exercise Dan. My word is abide.
Journey. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. I’m stepping out and into the journey.
LISTEN is my word for 2015. The quote “most people do not listen with intent to understand, they listen with intent to reply” is so true for me. My goal for 2015 is to LISTEN more which will naturally lend itself to understanding, connecting, learning…and more!
As I was reading this the word struggle came to mind. Initially I thought I was just having a negative moment but as I thought about it through struggle comes growth and who wouldn’t want a year of growth.
Great post and a great idea. I will do this!
I was directed to One Word last year and never really looked into it. A few days ago while praying and seeking direction for 2015 I read Joshua 24:31 & my study notes included (The testimony to the effectiveness of Joshua’s leadership is that not only he but also those he trained were faithful to the Lord.) EFFECTIVENESS stood out to me. That’s when I returned to the ONE WORD action plan. Looking forward reading the book, passing it on & Making Two-Thousand Fifteen an EFFECTIVE year!
My word is HAPPINESS – owning my own happiness rather than feeling like my happiness is at the effect of… AND frame my professional consulting and training work as supporting others to find happiness in their professional lives.
Wow!! This is a timely post. Going to dig in and get a word.
My word is “CLARITY.” For me it is a process of learning how to clear away the underbrush of negative emotions, the barriers of fear, and the overgrowth of frustration; surrounding myself with people and experiences that challenge me in positive ways to see how I am contributing to my lack of clarity and encouraging me in my journey of alleviating myself of those things barring clarity in my mission.
Determined: to stay focused on God’s agenda, not mine
Working on this…the book would be beneficial. Agree with the concept and interested in the outcome
My word is:
One word (2 letters)
My word is TODAY! I used this with my staff and they, in turn, used it with their students! It was a great way to plan and focus on improving in 2015!
This post fits nicely with Kaylene Mathews post on LinkedIn on one word for your goals. A great theme to simplify and focus our efforts. Thanks Dan!
Thanks Dan! It seems like i can get really busy and can’t move the needle commensurate to the effort. With the high velocity of and relentless nature of change in my world, my word this year is FOCUS. Incidently i have heard, and not sure it is fact, that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were independently ask the secret to success — independently they provided the same one word – focus. Here is to tyring to stay focused on the high value work in 2015!
Great post! My one word is Strength.
I’ll go ahead and take a stab of this. I’ve never known about this site until now. Seems like there’s a lot of great stuff here.
I’ve been meaning to pick ‘one word’ for awhile now. My problem and the reason I haven’t done it is because I’m in search of thst perfect word. Just as often I don’t do something because I haven’t formulated that perfect solution. In my case, great is often the enemy of good.
So my one word this year is produce. Don’t worry if it’s an unfinished project, an incomplete plan, or an imperfect result. Get things done, put yourself pit there, and use the feedback you get to continue producing new ideas and results, seeking to improve each and every step of the way.
For some people, this might be the wrong path to take, as focusing on production can cause a person to become results-oriented and lose perspective. For me, I tend to overthink and underact. So in my case, I’m going to have faith that I’m doing things for the right reasons and look to produce.
Am I # 50? I read these late at night. They energize me for the next day. My ONE WORD is CLARITY.
Waiting to receive my word and trying not to overthink this. Excellent concept and I need this to help me focus.
I am going to do some more work on this before officially choosing my word, but the first one that came to mind is “Cherish”. I’ve been reading Kara Tippetts blog at http://www.mundanefaithfulness.com and am reminded how precious our time is… to spend time with the ones we love, to accomplish our goals and and work towards our dreams, to grow in wisdom and in faith, etc.
My one word just happens to be Transformation. Transforming my body, mind and spirit is my goal this year.
I’m still considering the word for me personally….but thought I would share the word my workplace has selected for the year. It’s “Shift”. I think that’s a great word. The idea is to hit that sweet spot and shift to the next gear or you may end up spinning your wheels. But I’ve also found that sometimes it works the opposite way, too. Sometimes your “lugging” you motor and you don’t need to shift up…you need to shift down.
I adopted the 1 word “resolution” last year & it was great. It allowed me to focus. This year I’ve been struggling. Many challenges ahead, but “clarity” is leading all others. “Extend” may now become an option.
My word is “serve”. If you are serving someone, your team, your family things will work out for you because you have their best interests at heart and success no matter what can be achievable.
My word is Unity.
So encouraged by your journey with One Word over this past year. Your word Breathe was a game-changer!! Excited for you to live out Affect in 2015. Thankful that One Word is transforming your life. Jon, Jimmy and I are honored to share “One Word That Will Change Your Life” with as many people as possible. And your story motivates us!
I remember your post from last year about using One Word instead of a whole New Year’s resolution. My word last year was Breathe. This had multiple meanings but worked wonders for me. I use it in direct context for those frustrating moments where I just needed to step back and take a few breaths. I also used it to quit smoking, reminding myself that breathing is better than smoking a cigarette, helped me to separate myself from them. My wife liked the idea of choosing one word and used it last year as well. We actually had quite a bit of fun with it. We had created images of it in big bold letters and put them on our phone backgrounds, our computer backgrounds, and even post it notes stuck in our vehicles and around the house.
It is amazing the power of repetition.
This year my word is Affect. I choose affect instead of effect because I want to make a change and not dwell on the effects of my actions in the past.
I apologize for the long post, I just felt the need to explain the power of this program.
One word this year will have more power than 10 years of resolutions!
Thank you for your time.
Good luck to everyone and their word!
I like that word “extend”. It speaks to me about my goal for 2015 to develop staff in their roles, and grow my own skills to new levels. Thank you!
Alignment. To what our customers value. To our purpose as a company.
This is a great idea! I need to find some quiet time to receive my word.
EVOLVE. Be open-minded and embrace the change around you to write a new chapter in your work life and personal life.
This is great and perfect timing for sure! I have been trying to transform a department that will eventually plant a seed to transform an organizational culture and finding the one word that will support this initiative.
Great post Dan. I’ve enjoyed reading everyones single word. My word is “Learn”. Learn from mistakes, to build knowledge, for continued growth, to encourage/coach others, to lead.
Awesome stuff, Dan. My word for 2015 is “multiply.” As an #2 guy in my organization (local church associate pastor), my goal is to add value to and extend the efforts of everyone else on the team toward a greater ultimate end. I love this idea as unpacked by Liz Wiseman in her book “Multipliers.” Would love to be considered for one of these “One Word” books.
Effectiveness! This is my one word for the year. As Russell Ackoff explained- We are all too often concerned with becoming more efficient in areas that do not impact our jobs. We should be more effective. He went on to explain that efficiency is to effectiveness as knowledge is to wisdom. We need more wisdom!
My word is JOURNEY. I see life as a journey, like a hike in the woods where you choose the path you take yet you are not in complete control. You don’t always know what is over the next hill or around the next tree, yet you anticipate the unknown and develop a plan to react. You survive, enjoy, build memories, as well as build skill and resiliency and you ready yourself and those around you for your next challenge.
My word is servant. My goal is to serve others with empathy. We touch other lives on a daily basis and may not always know of the significant impact we have. A simple thank you may mean more than we every know.
Accountability. Master my own responsibilities and train those around me to be accountable for theirs.
I keep the word “Frog” written on the top of my dry erase board. That serves as my reminder of Mark Twain’s quote “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” And so, I tackle whatever I’m dreading most on my To-Do list first thing in the morning, get it out of the way, and then can focus on everything else without my frog looming over my head.
Trust is my word. I am hoping to have more of that in others this year!
The word honor is continuous for me. I choose to make a concerted effort to recognize others (and letting them know) for their accomplishments, efforts, and service while also choosing to dishonor those who thrive on negativity by not becoming a part of their negative conversation and baggage.
My word this year is ENGAGE
Oh, I just love Kelly’s word above: Sparkle! How very pleasant!
My word came to me quite clearly: Temperance. It represents a need for balance and discipline for me. I’ve not heard of this book before now. But it sounds like a wonderful read.
My word for 2015 is “Connect”.
My word is “authenticity”….a clear requirement to be a true leader.
Always take time to do self-reflection, because it will lead to self-discovery.
The IDD Leadership Group LLC
Confidence also Rhythm
JOY! I am going to focus on living with joy and spreading it as much as I can. Great and thought provoking post as usual. Thank you!
Love the One Word concept! I am working on my One Word for 2015!!
My word for 2015 is LEAN. I make a mantra each year to focus my intentions for transformation–oh, and it must rhyme! Lean for several reasons–losing weight, downsizing my stuff, budgeting better and trusting the support of friends and leadership of my God!
Uh, Great exercise for the mind. As Rudyard Kipling said: “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” BUT – while I like the concept as an exercise, I dare say that quite many words have different meanings to different people in different situations, AND even a word in itself can have many meanings. Good advise not to make a permanent tattoo 🙂
Take a word like ACTION – it is true that ‘if an idea that is not actioned upon, it makes no difference whether it was a good or bad idea’. But blind actions, like ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ is obviously not so good… just an example. And take COLLABORATION – when Denmark during WWII from 1940-45 was occupied by the German Nazi forces, ‘collaboration’ (i.e. working with the occupying forces) was equal to high treason, and could get you killed by the freedom fighters). I could go on here… e.g. Is PROFIT good or bad?
Juliet (in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) says:”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.”
In all haste perhaps a favorite shortlist of mine: Love, faith, truth, happiness, gentleness, kindness, compassion, integrity, PASSION, enthusiasm, presence, now, joy, ….
Ah, decisions, decisions. Ok, “I choose LOVE”:
This not written to belittle the interesting exercise – but, please consider to make a WORDLE of all the aggregated input here – it may actually give a far more comprehensive and nuanced picture of the complexity. Thanks for a great blog.
This will be a good book for change management.
You get my vote Dan for AMA event. This latest one is just another example of how you have an innate ability to hit exactly the right point I’m at this moment in time.
Great concept. I’ve been involved with Chris Brogan’s 3 word exercise for a few years, but one word would really make me focus.
Ok. Mine is:
My word for this year is “recalibrate”. I felt like I had been trying to make too many extreme changes and instead I need to focus on keeping my tools the same, but recalibrating them to fit what my current interests and wants are. This book looks like a great one!
My word is “we”. Working together better .
A great concept. I will find mine in a quiet moment. Cindy’s on the AMA nom, voted you in!
Active – in my role as assistant training manager for a public safety communications center, I am always looking out for my staff to be properly and thoroughly trained. I am always seeking better ways of doing business, networking, and, if needed, adapting to national standards.
Now…be present NOW
NOW is my WORD…not yesterday…not tomorrow…but NOW
I love the idea of ONE WORD! Great concept. Gone are the days when we need 10+ words. Let’s simplify. (Hope to win a copy of the book. I promise to read it and share it.)
This post leaves me One word away from transformation!! I need to schedule quiet time to ask myself the three questions. I think I have it, I just want to make sure before I commit and get a tattoo 🙂
LOVE. My one word is love. Love does, Love is, all is in Love, …. Great thought-provoking post, as usual. I look forward to reading “One Word That Could Change Your Life. Looks like a great book to share with others. Thank you!
Love the concept! Looking forward to beginning the process
Timely, very timely.
One word…we have something that keeps us focused on where we are going.
Great timing for this process. I am trying to focus and simplify.
My word is Inspire. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to share this concept with my department later this month.
This is a great post and thought. For many years I have led my life by a mission statement that I wrote in response to Covey’s book “7 Habits” As I have refined it, I reduced it down to one word
Always please God,
Always Family first,
Always understand first,
Always communicate second,
Always work hard, play hard, have fun, take rest & Vacation.
Always influence, grow, learn, teach
Always, Always, Always Please God
This post was so confirming!!!
My word for this year is SERENE in 2015. This will deepen my trust in the Lord as I learn to not be anxious about anything but to thank Him IN all things, not necessarily FOR all things!
DEPTH. In this age of overabundance of information and stimuli, combined with my tendency to dabble, I need to focus on depth and not be distracted by too many things.
I appreciate the simplicity of how One Word allows you access such a comprehensive strategic plan for the year.
STRETCH (This not only encompasses the word “grow or learn” but also motivates me to DO something about my growth in an active way.)
Relax. Rather than beng consumed with worry about what “might” happen, relax and realize what’s in my control and what’s not.
My word is simplification. Now if I could only find one word that does it all!
LOVE. My one word for 2015 is Love. Thanks for the great post and highlighting this particular book. I will read “One Word That Could Change Your World” expecting that it will help me do just that. I look forward to sharing the book, and your blog with others. Thank you!
Oh my, so difficult to choose only one word! I would choose UNCOMFORTABLE. No, it doesn’t roll right off your tongue but being uncomfortable in a situation can force you to do things you never thought you could. It forces you to learn, forces you to ask for help, forces you to make hard decisions. If you can purposely put yourself in an uncomfortable place or accept a challenge that you know may beyond your abilities, you will grow tremendously.
Imagine. That’s my word for right now. Imagine the best. Imagine the impossible being possible. Imagine it happening right now.
Love this … my word is focus. I’m so tempted by the distractions. They make it SEEM like I’m getting things done and I am – just not the right things.
I have been wanting to implement this for some time – great reference and starting point for me.
My word for 2015 is RESONATE…. being intentional about the words I speak … and reflect an attitude of gratitude.
My word is Happiness. We are happiest when we have a focused purpose and are living it.