Each year, I commit to having three words light my pathway. Last year, my words were CHANGE, FREEDOM and JOY. To be sure, I experienced all three, but the one that had the most impact on my outlook was my commitment to finding and experiencing joy in the everyday activities of life. Throughout last year, I reported on my Joy Journey and it was truly magnificent.
When generating my three guiding words, some years they come easily to me and other years they are less obvious. This year, my three words jumped out to me early on and I’m happy to share them in my first blog post of this year.
My first word is VISION. We always call leaders to develop a vision for their future. A destination three to five years from now where they want to head. You can develop a vision as an individual, for a team or for your entire firm and we are fortunate as leadership strategists to help many firms develop their vision for the future. Visioning is some of my very favorite work, and we’re in the midst of vision creation for some firms as I write this, and we’re helping others implement their visions, too.
In May, my husband, Brian and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage, and 36 years together (we were teenagers when we started out!). Right after the first of this year, we developed a five-year vision for our partnership and we pasted pictures that represent elements of what we want to achieve in the next five years together onto a Vision Board. We included eight elements: one for our spirituality, Brian’s health and career, one for mine, a section for our marriage, one for our girls’ futures, one for friends and family, an element for travel and one for adventure. Wow, it was so good to talk about what we hope and pray for in our joint union and to ensure that we keep growing together into the future. And, now that we have a literal picture of where we’re headed, we are energized and excited about making it happen together. What fun! In a few months, members of the ConvergenceCoaching team will meet to talk about our five-year vision and we’ll share more on that in a future post.
My next word is TRANSITION. There’s a ton of it occurring! In my greeting card basket, where I keep cards handy to mark occasions with family, friends and clients, I’ve had to create a whole section for retirement cards. We have the great fortune to be engaged to help educate leaders on the cusp of transition and retirement and it’s sad to say goodbye to so many brilliant and entrepreneurial leaders. Fortunately, with each transition out, there is a transition IN, and we’re excited about the possibilities of working with the NextGen leaders stepping into new roles as department heads, service line leaders, and managing partners. So much transformation is possible as firms take these transitional steps from more traditional to progressive, NexGen leaders.
At ConvergenceCoaching, our long-time CFO, Ruth Richter, is transitioning out of our business after 18 years so she can put all of her efforts into her growing software development partnership, ROI Consulting. As Ruth transitions out, she’s been helping us refine and automate more of our processes and really evaluate the “why” behind so much of what we do. This has led to some interesting changes already, including a transition away from timekeeping (more on that in another blog), and insourcing some functions and outsourcing others. We are so grateful to Ruth for her contributions to our firm’s success for so many years.
As always happens with a chosen word, I’m sure we’ll see more transition occurring in various places in the months ahead. And, in order to implement our vision, we’ll have to cause some transition to make room for the new things we’d like to see ahead.
My final word is FUN. At Convergence, one of our four core values is HAVING FUN. Webster’s dictionary says that fun is finding amusement or enjoyment. I had fun on my Joy Journey. I went out of my way to find happiness every day and it made a difference in how “good” I felt in 2018 – which wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows. This year, I’m going to seek out and schedule fun. I’m going to try new things that I hear are fun – and already started when my family went on a complicated escape room experience (we got stuck, so will have to try it again!) and I plan to throw a few axes sometime soon, too. I’m training for a full marathon in late April (not everyone thinks that’s fun, but I do!), and I’ll buy concert tickets to as many concerts as I can, too. I’m going to remind our team of our commitment to fun and seek ways to have more of it at work. This will include looking hard at things that are consistently “no fun” and asking ourselves why we keep doing those things. After all, life is short and fun matters.
So, those are my three words. What are yours? I’d love to hear them and exchange check-in emails every now and then to keep each other posted on the ways our words are manifesting in our lives. I appreciate your support of my three words this year!