Three Little Words…Big Impact!

This blog entry is shared by David Krahling.

Following the suggestion of a co-worker, I have bought into Chris Brogan’s idea to use three simple words as a central focus for my goals for the coming year. Chris Brogan is a writer whose insight on marketing matches our philosophy at Interstates, so I was inclined to trust his judgment on this subject, too.

Brogan’s claim is that choosing three simple words will remind us of what we really want and will have a powerful impact on our ability to reach our goals. He suggests that three simple words can become part of your identify and trigger the action you wish to take, or perhaps to avoid. The word green should remind you to choose vegetables and salads over french fries and sundaes and have a greater impact than a goal to lose 25 pounds.

His website features his “three words” from previous years along with an explanation of what they meant and an assessment of how much progress he made toward his goals. 2009 – equip, armies and needles. 2012 – temple, untangle and practice. One year he had four words for his “three words.” That was not a good year for Chris.

My three words for 2014 are purpose, pause, path.

Purpose – playing on the meetings improvement initiative, being crystal clear about the purpose for doing what I am doing should help me be more effective. Recently, I made a good choice because I had this word in my head. I spent twenty minutes of quality time with one of my team members. My purpose is to lead my team. I still had to finish the project that I set aside to spend that twenty minutes, but I made a good choice because I was clear about my purpose.

Pause – The word is pause, not stop and not full steam ahead. My relationships with others will benefit from me taking a moment, just a moment to pause and reflect. I need to listen with genuine interest, not listen enough to formulate a response. I need to take a moment to reflect and then push forward.

Path – Chip and Dan Heath in the book Switch talk about preparing the path in order impact change. One of the illustrations they use is that the size of our dinner plate impacts our consumption. Not only do I need to eat from a smaller plate, I need to think about what other things I can change by altering my path.

It may be a little late to write New Year’s resolutions, but you may want to consider three words to help you focus. If you’ve found your three words for the year and wish to share, post a response.

David Kraling


Leadership Means Action

“Leadership is an action, not a position.” I recently came across this quote by Donald McGannon. It got me thinking about how being a leader isn’t about the number of…

Read More
From a Child’s Eyes

I gazed into her beautiful brown eyes, struck again not only by that charming combination of dark brown eyes and strawberry-blonde hair but by the lessons reflected there. They were…

Read More
Heart and Soul

The last 18 months have been anything but ordinary. Now, as the economy begins to improve, our schedules are naturally getting busier. It can be hard to decide where to…

Read More