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Ackert Blog

Three Themes for 2018

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may recall that I like to use Chris Brogan’s “My 3 Words” concept when it comes to New Year’s planning. Instead of making resolutions that rarely survive a month, or strategic plans that often consume a month, he suggests identifying three simple themes that will guide your actions for the year.

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 In 2017, mine were: 

  1. Expansive Thinking - This year I challenged myself to delegate as much as possible, pursuing bigger opportunities and taking bigger risks. I’m sure this had a lot to do with the significant growth our company enjoyed in 2017.  

  2. Tell the Truth - I was more mindful this year to avoid convenient exaggerations, such as “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” when the realistic number was more like 10. Being exact in my communication and less liberal with topspin helped to define a year of increased personal integrity and professional credibility.

  3. Enjoy Life - My wife and I attended more concerts and took more trips than years past. And during my numerous business trips, I often scheduled an extra day to enjoy the various cities I was visiting rather than just seeing the inside of their conference rooms and airports.

In hindsight, these three touchstones were highly useful, not only because they were personally meaningful, but also because they were so malleable. I could choose to think more expansively, communicate more truthfully, and enjoy life more fully whether I was working at my desk, sharing a drink with a friend, or writing my next blog. It was easier to work with these three themes because they were not defined by external conditions or specific outcomes. 

In 2018, I plan to build on two of these themes and introduce a third element. This year, my three themes are:

  1. Strategic Focus - Prioritize strategic thinking and initiatives above tactical busywork.
  2. Real-time Connections - More face time (or at least phone time) with the key people in my network; high-impact meetings over low-touch pings.
  3. Intuition - When making decisions, remember to trust my instincts and follow my heart. 
I encourage you to choose three themes that will add focus and meaning to your 2018. Write them down and reference them often. Share them in the comments box below for a little extra accountability. If you’re like me, you’ll find them to be an effective (and manageable) compass for the New Year.

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