January 9,2017 Exploring and discussing the value of coming up with 3 words each year to guide us with Scott Woodard, Leadership Coach.
I’ve known Scott Woodard, a leadership coach, for a few years now and he turned me onto this activity of doing 3 words for the year which was inspired from Chris Brogan who has been doing it for 10 years.
When we video-conferenced I could see his whiteboard behind him that had a week view of his activities, his goals for 2017, and his 3 words…a constant reminder of where he’s going. I loved it.
Scott has been doing the “3 word” activity now for 3 or 4 years. He writes the 3 words in the front of his journal so that whenever he takes notes, the 3 words are there as a reminder of what is important. The 3 words really resonates with Scott (and me) as a way to give focus to the work we are doing without being laser focused like a specific goal. It provides a vision but also gives us the flexibility to interpret the words as we look ahead daily, weekly, and over time.
It really is a framework that also allows some flexibility throughout the year.
We talked about how so many people live life reacting to what life gives us with no plan. We as sole practitioners need to be more proactive, less reactive, and I would argue that everyone should be more purposeful in their lives. The 3 words helps give us a framework of where we want to go and also helps us to filter out what what we don’t want to do.
We both felt that Boomers who have this “second adult lifetime” ahead of them, now have a chance to be more purposeful. Lots of people have a hard time saying what they want to do. By taking the time to think about where you want to go, what you want to do with your time and energy, people can be more purposeful. The 3 words can help get them to focus and provide a framework to move forward on things that are most important. They are broad enough to allow us to do a lot of things but still keep in mind a proactive direction, not simply a reaction to what life gives us.
How do you go about choosing?
Scott said, “Typically I do not put a lot of thought into it, they seem to come to me. But this year was tougher. I think it was because my work is pivoting and moving to more leadership coaching, not job search as much, and I am focusing on ascending leaders. It took me about 3 or 4 days.”
Scott went back to his marketing plan and looked at his vision, the role he wanted to have with clients, and what he wanted to put out there as a message about himself. After reviewing his marketing plan and thinking about what is important to him, he came up with his 3 words. (See below for his full description).
Personally, I went through my journal notes which includes summaries of books I’ve read this year and numerous daily thoughts, and I looked for inspiration there. For example my word “authentic” came from Richard Leiders book Life Reimagined when he talked about not focusing on money or success first (i.e. It should not be, “If I have the money, I will live the life I want”) but rather to be authentic first and you will DO the things that are right for you and then you will be successful.
I also looked at my 2017 budget, marketing plan, and business plan for what is important to me. What I am changing or emphasizing this year. As I reviewed all of this my 3 words emerged. (Read my blog with My 3 Words)
We both agree, it doesn’t matter how you get there. It can be very organic, it only matters that you do something to help you focus. Three words or thoughts seem manageable. They are easy to remember, simple to write down and are constant reminders of a direction we want to go.
The key is to not get hung up on whether you DO your 3 words every day, the power is in the big thinking and your ability to reflect back and say “Yes I did keep these thoughts in my thinking this past month or year and here is how I did it”.
Thank you, Scott, for taking time to discuss this process, I had a great time talking about this with you.
Scott A. Woodard, Scott Woodard Coaching
Helping leaders transform from strong to superb.
I work with leaders to reach new levels, where they achieve their greatest impacts — for themselves, their communities and their organizations.
—– Read more below on Scott’s 3 Words for 2017 —–
(I have adapted this from his December newsletter with his permission)
This is the time of year when we tend to take stock of our goals and accomplishments. How did we do? Did we achieve what we set out to do?
We also begin the process of looking forward. Identifying our goals for next year, 2017.
One way I look forward is to pick three words that will guide me through the coming year. I’ve done this for about four years now after reading Chris Brogan’s blog. Since 2006, Brogan has encouraged people to choose three words that will frame their goals and intentions for the year. Last year my three words were focus, connect, launch.
Focus referred to understanding what it is I do well that serves clients; articulate it and not get distracted from it. Connect referred to reaching out to and learning about people in my community, and how I could help them be successful. Launch meant to make things happen; overcome the inner mutterings that keep me from doing what I want to do.
These words helped guide me through what has turned out to be a pretty tumultuous year, both professionally and personally.
My 3 Words for 2017
So, my three words for 2017? I want to be of service to leaders as they seek to transform from strong to superb. I want to help them frame their actions that will have positive impacts for themselves, their organizations and their communities. And I want to coach and partner with them as they take the actions that make their world – and ours – better. My three words, then, for 2017 are:
These words will frame the work I do in the coming year as I develop tools and programs that help you reach your goals for 2017. 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’s meant a lot to me; I hope to continue to build on our relationship in 2017.
You can sign up for Scott’s newsletter by clicking here.
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a monthly newsletter for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
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