Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset
Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset

I am not big on resolutions but I do believe the new year is an opportunity to take time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. One of my favorite tools is to think about three words you want to use to guide and inspire you in the next year. This is my eighth year doing this and is now an annual ritual I use to prepare for the New Year.

Last year my words were Love, Mastery and Belief. The idea is to focus on where you want to go and sum it up in three words. These words should serve as your beacon to help you see through the fog and stay on your chosen course throughout the year.

My three words for 2017 are Anticipate, Elevate, and Accelerate.

Anticipate – Continuing our work to be #FutureReady. Anticipate requires me to continue to be aware, predictive and adaptive of emerging trends, challenges and opportunities. It also means I will commit to planning and making time to plan in the year ahead. it requires me to be more proactive and less reactive and to make time for reflection and preparation. It also means we will have to continue sharpening our foresight through anticipation in our role as the ‘lookout post’ for our members and clients.

Elevate – To quote Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, “Bring your A game.” I remember moving from high school football to college football and the difference in the intensity of the game. The hits were a lot harder and the competition a major step up. This disruptive environment requires us to ‘level up’ and elevate our game. Elevate means to strive for excellence and to be constantly improving. This means we have to continue our journey to push out on the edges – innovating, taking risks and learning from failures. As CEO, I have to continue preparing us for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I intend to elevate my game in 2017 and will be challenging our team to do the same.

Accelerate – Remember the movie “Top Gun” and the scene where the two fighter pilots would chant, “I have the need, the need for speed.” This fast-paced environment requires organizations and their people to move faster. As a CEO, my job is to lead the organization’s vector (direction) and velocity (speed) to reach it. That means I have to be leading by example and willing to show how we can accelerate our progress. I will be working to accelerate my own learning and development and that of our team. I will also be pushing our organization to continue its trajectory and accelerate our transition through our own transformation. At the same time working to help our members and clients accelerate their own journeys.

That’s it, my three words for 2017, Anticipate – Elevate – Accelerate.

Here are my three words from prior years:

2016 Love, Mastery, Believe

2015 Anticipatory, Collaborative, Transformative

2014 Proactive, Innovative, Collaborative

2013 Engage, Collaborate, Inspire

2012 Connect, Focus, Smooth

2011 Messy, Integrated, There is no manual (This was six words)

2010 Serious, Simple, Social – borrowed with permission from Jeff DeCagna of Principled Innovation after he visited with our team in 2010.

By the way, we have even done this for our organizations:

MACPA – Connect. Protect. Achieve. and Business Learning Institute – Knowledge. Innovation. Leadership.

And one more from Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, CPA who uses the three words consistently, Three words – Boom!

Thanks to Chris Brogan and Jeff DeCagna for the original inspiration.

Share your three words in the comments below and Happy New Year!

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