UPCOMING: Thrive Impact 101 | August 10th, 11:30am ET

Happy New Year!

You may be totally into new year's resolutions.

But if you're like me, they don't work very well for execution on a daily basis. Mainly because what I need are guideposts along the way that help me make focused decisions.

So, what I've found much more helpful is a practice called “My 3 Words.”

"My 3 Words" was created by storytelling and marketing guru Chris Brogan, and the idea is to "think up three words that will help guide your choices and actions over the coming year."

I first began this in 2018 and I’m carrying forth the tradition into 2020. Below, I'll share my 3 words, but first here are some tips directly from Brogan on how to choose yours:

Choosing Three Words

“The words that you select for ‘My 3 Words’ are meant to serve as lighthouses to guide you through foggy moments. To that end, it’s important to pick words that have enough meaning that you’ll snap your perspective into alignment with them and build out your days, weeks, months, and year accordingly,” Brogan shares.

Since starting this in 2006, Brogan suggests that you stick to only three words. When he has tried fewer or more words, he had less successful years.

Here are some additional tips from Brogan’s 2021 “My 3 Words” blog:

Here are tips from my personal experience:

Examples of 3 Words

If you search Twitter using the hashtag #my3words, you’ll find many people sharing their words for 2021.

Here are some of the three words posted on Twitter for 2021:

Movement, Practice, Dedication, Love, Persevere, Kind, Prepared, Do, Prioritize, Integrity, Ambición, Adapt, Pace

BROGAN’S 3 WORDS FOR 2020

Showrunner – Not only do I mean this literally. I’m running The Backpack Show and at least three other shows in 2021, I’m using the concept of a showrunner to explain how businesses need to think about their brand strategically in all their communications, marketing, and interactions. It’s a big word for me in 2021, so I’m not worried that I’ll falter on it.

Monk – 2020 gave us the gift of a lot less noise. We thus could see where our lives were still a bit too messy. I plan to operate far more intentionally and simply in several areas of my life. For instance, I’ll get rid of my car entirely (Lyft’s fine for how rarely I need an actual ride). I’ll pare my wardrobe down to 6 of everything and just do a load of laundry on day 6. I’ll eat simply. I’ll meditate and journal (I started 12.9.20 and going strong so far.)

Options – Somewhere near the end of 2020, I reflected that “leadership is option management.” If your team has too many options, they lose focus and flounder. If they feel stuck (lack of options), they feel pressure and anxiety. I survived 2020 because of always seeking the option. Looking for a next move. Those next moves kept me housed and fed in 2020. I’ll do even better with my options in 2021.

You can learn more about his words, here.

MY 3 WORDS FOR 2021

PAUSE

SEQUENCE

COMMUNITY

How about your 3 words?

The three words exercise is a simple way to set your year up for success. These tips should help guide you as you decide on your own 3 words. When you put them together, send me an email at tucker @ thriveimpact .org with your words!

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One thing we know is that as humans we don't learn very well from our experiences if we don't intentionally reflect on them and see how specific insights can help us moving forward. 

So we asked ourselves… 

From all of the conversations, all of the workshops, all of the feedback and data we’ve gathered from nonprofit leaders this year, what was the best of 2020 that will help leaders move forward with more confidence in 2021? 

Here are the top 6 insights we gathered:

Good fundraising before COVID is still good fundraising now

If there was ever a time to reach out and connect with donors, it is now. As one of our community members said, “It is never too late to cultivate”. Don’t let relationship building and cultivation get relegated to the thing you’ll get around to. Beat the fundraising drum every week, follow up, have 3 touch points before any “ask”, and ALWAYS close the story loop back to the donor to let them know what impact they had with their donation.

Connecting to a community of nonprofit leaders is vital

The biggest killer of leaders is isolation. According to the neuroscientist, Dr. Daniel Friedland, when we feel like the demands on us outweigh the resources we have to handle them, it sends our brains into a downward reactive spiral of stress and self-doubt. One of the main ways of turning that around is by being engaged in cycles of “giving and receiving” in a community of other leaders who have empathy (because they know what it is like) and authority (because they can help you find pathways forward).

We’ve seen this time and time again with our community of Thrivers. Watch what Frankie Abralind (ED of The Good Listening Project) and Amy Alanes (ED of the Women's Cancer Resource Center) said about how our community has deepened their confidence as a leader this year and enabled them to grow their nonprofits.

Your strategic PROCESS is much more important than your strategic plan

No one's strategic plan accounted for a global pandemic. In the immortal words of the late Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Your ability to be relevant and impactful is not based on a single point in time (for example when you created that “plan”), but it is much more based on your team’s ability to adapt over time. The leaders who invested and focused attention around building strategic processes that allowed for their teams to pivot and adapt along the way, were much more successful than those who just had a "plan".

The right questions are more powerful than the right answers

People have energy towards the things that they get to create. And I'm sure we can agree that we need all the positive energy we can get from our boards and teams right now. Of all the nonprofit leaders we have worked with this year, the ones who thrived (emotionally, financially, impactfully) in 2020 were those who approached their role as someone who engaged their board and teams with the right strategic questions that helped their teams draw from the best of who they are into the best of who they can be and co-created their process forward… not as someone whose job was to "have all the right answers".

(p.s… if you want a list of great questions to ask yourself or your team, shoot me an email and I'll get it over to you.)

"Slow is smooth; smooth is fast"

That is a famous military quote, but it is also incredibly relevant for nonprofit teams as well. According to an extensive study that Google did on what makes high-performing teams, what do you think was the #1 factor? It was a concept called "psychological safety".

One thing we have learned through our workshops is that when we slow down the process enough and embed certain choreographies that allow for people to "listen to learn, not to respond" to one another, it creates a sense of safety and trust among the board or team. Psychological safety allows for the rest of the nitty-gritty strategy work to go much quicker and with much greater buy-in.

This corresponds to a similar concept from Dr. Friedland. Our brains consist of three main parts, the Brainstem or the "safety" part (think fight or flight), the Limbic System or the "belonging" part, and the Cortex or the "significance" part. When we don't help people get beyond the safety part of their brain and help them cultivate a sense of belonging, we drastically diminish our teams ability to be productive and leverage the "significance" part of our brain.

One common sentiment we've heard many times this year after our Thrive Conversations and workshops with nonprofits is similar to this one coming from a board member of a nonprofit we worked during our Board Energizer process. They said, "I left the workshop feeling heard and connected."

"I left the workshop feeling heard and connected..."

Slowing things down just enough to help people feel like their voice matters and connect around meaningful questions allows for your people to speed ahead in the productivity you want from your board or your team. Don't skimp on some of those seemingly "fluffy" types of conversations. They will help you smooth things out enough for you to speed up your team's ability to work together.

Virtual experiences can be truly transformational

There is no such thing as “going back to normal”… There is only the "next normal". Bad meetings/retreats/fundraisers before are even worse meetings/retreats/fundraisers now. What makes for impactful experiences has less to do with whether it is in-person or virtual. It has everything to do with the types of questions you ask, the interaction patterns (or choreographies as we like to call them) you create have around those questions, and ultimately the quality of conversations that come about from them.

As an example… We worked with a nonprofit this year called BCLC in Southern California who supports families with children who have visual impairments. They needed to update their strategic plan, but more importantly they needed to get their team aligned around a strategic process moving forward so they could execute on their strategic priorities and revenue strategies effectively... Because their families and kids depend on them.

We facilitated our Revenue Energizer process (which leverages the Appreciative Inquiry methodology and our 5-I cycle) which was a sequence of ALL VIRTUAL (yes… I said all virtual) workshops on ZOOM with their team. Listen to what the CEO, Angie Rowe, said at the end of our process during our final check-in call.

“The whole [virtual] experience has been game changing for the whole organization and the staff.” - Angie Rowe, ED of BCLC

Virtual meetings/retreats/fundraisers are not going away and can sometimes be an even more transformational (and a more efficient) way to build connection, energy, and momentum around your work. You need to know how to leverage the tools, but more importantly know how to choreograph the interaction patterns that allow for people to feel connected and energized.

Parting thoughts…

As we race into the new year with hopefulness, remember that you are resilient. You are strong. You are capable. No matter what 2021 throws our way, 2020 has shown us that we are able to handle more than we give ourselves credit for.

There is an immense amount of opportunity this coming year if you just know how to tap into it. Lean into your team. Lean into your community, or find one like our community of Thrivers. We'd love to have you.

To your massive success in 2021,  

Tucker Wannamaker
Chief Impact Officer



p.s. If you want to learn more about how we help nonprofits thrive, want some coaching, or just want to connect, feel free to grab a free 30-min spot on my calendar or our CEO, Kevin Hagan’s calendar. We’d love to connect with you!  

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All Nonprofit CEOs have conflict. Sometimes people say I am crazy, but I don’t believe that conflict is necessarily a bad thing.

Maybe it is because I spent nearly a decade managing national conflict resolution programs at the United States Postal Service.

Or maybe it is because my life story has been shaped by some powerful experiences of reconciliation.

But whatever reason it is, this is what I know: conflict can actually be very positive.

Conflict raises important issues to the surface.  Often times conflict is the only way that the truth can emerge. Key learnings about the issues at hand happen because of conflict.

It is how you manage conflict (or don't manage it) that can make it a problem.

Here’s the thing… most of us want to be happy.

We want to live and work in an environment where everyone likes us and where our contributions are valued.

Most of us want to walk away from our family life, our jobs, and our friendships feeling better for them and vice versa.

So, when conflict arises—whether it be because of miscommunication, differences in personality or work style or a multitude of other reasons—so many of us try to avoid the conflict instead of addressing it head-on.

We’d rather live in denial than to have our circumstances be made worse (we think) by bringing up the issues.

And it is this fear of conflict, especially for those of us in positions of leadership, from which deeply embedded problems emerge.

I didn’t come to these realizations without a lot of pain and CEO coaching throughout the year.

Recently, I was sitting down with a friend who was a newly hired CEO to a nonprofit who found herself with a human resource crisis on her hands.

Several of her executive team members fought constantly. She felt like nothing was getting accomplished particularly with one of her department heads.  

There seemed to be a constant swirl of drama among a few members of the executive team and it was affecting the morale of the team and the staff.

It seemed the conflict kept the team from truly focusing on the mission.

When this nonprofit CEO listened to all parties involved, it became very clear the problem stemmed from one person on the executive team.

The work style of one senior member could be summed up as combative, territorial and manipulative.

Soon the CEO learned that on numerous occasions, this team member circumvented her, going directly to the board complaining about internal management issues and ideas and policies the new CEO was implementing.  

Logic would say, of course, it was time for this team member to go.

But of course, such big personnel shifts are not easy – especially so early in a new CEO’s tenure.  Many CEOs are afraid of making sweeping changes. I totally understand. I’ve been there, too.

The CEO shared with me that if she terminated this senior executive team member, she knew all her political capital with the board would be spent.

She equally worried about how her other senior staff would respond. But she also knew something had to give.

This is what I know: leaders who refuse to deal with conflict will not have long tenures in whatever place they are seeking to lead.

So for all of you conflict avoiders/haters out there, here is part of what I shared with this CEO during her time of need:

1) Do not be afraid to talk to the person with whom you have the difficulty.

Clear the air.

Take them to coffee.

Seek to find common ground.

Sometimes the worst thing you can do is fill the void of conflict with silence. Making an effort can go a long way to the ultimate resolution.

Often when you begin to hear the person out (even if it hard to do so), you at least gain more compassion as why they are exhibiting unacceptable behavior.

2) When you can’t find common ground, do not talk badly about this person to others.

Though it could be very comforting to belittle, demean or judge the person with whom you have a conflict in group settings—DON’T.  

Remember YOU are the CEO.

There’s nothing more annoying for a CEO than to deal with than organizational gossip and backchanneling so you definitely should not be involved in participating in backchanneling and gossip.

If you can’t act professionally, how can you expect your team to do so?

3) Consider your own personal responsibility in the conflict.

Often times our first reaction to a dispute is to blame the other person, taking ourselves completely out of the picture.

But, don’t. There are always two sides to every story, two perspectives to any situation.

So, spend some time in self-reflection with a willingness to say that you are sorry for your part of the blame.

Maybe you haven’t explained your expectations clearly or given adequate time for projects to be completed. Whatever it is, take responsibility—your team will respect you for it.

4) Keep the end goal in mind: new understanding. One of the best gifts any relationship can be given is conflict.

Conflict can be a catalyst for deeper connection, stronger appreciation, and mutual admiration.

You might actually walk away from a contentious discussion with greater respect for the person that has caused you such grief.  

This all can happen if you are committed to the process, no matter how long it takes! Sometimes this means calling in a professional mediator or having a CEO coach that you can bounce things off.

Other times it means making team building a priority.

Or other times, it’s coming to a mutual understanding that it is time to part ways (please note: if you rush too quickly to parting ways, it might be more difficult than it needs to be especially if you haven’t given the individual notice of their behavior and time to change)

Bottom line: conflict is not bad.  

It’s all in how you deal with it!

Don’t hide from it.  Take baby steps if you need to. But you must do something. The worst approach of all: ignoring it.  

Furthermore, like I recently shared, long-term gain comes when we deal with the short-term pain.

Conflict can be painful, yes, but often it is only the way we can truly move forward. 

How many times have you opened your inbox to see an email from a nonprofit that starts something like this:

“If you give just 15 cents a day, nonprofit X  can save the life of a child living in poverty.”

Or, “Nonprofit X is the best steward of your dollars. 95% of your donations go to programs and that means less than 5% of your donations go to our overhead costs.”

Or, “ Nonprofit X gave away one million pounds of food last year to feed the homeless.”

Practically, there’s nothing wrong with these statements.

These are factual declarations. They tell more about the impact of the organization’s mission.  It's what a donor may want to know about an organization before making a first donation.

Also, you could argue, they speak to a culture of transparency—of organizations that want to stand out in the wide arena of charitable giving—communicating to their donors the good work they’re doing.

IT WORKED FOR THE BOOMER GENERATION

Nonprofits love to use this language because for decades now, that’s exactly what the Boomer generation of donors have wanted to hear. They’ve wanted to know that the organizations they support are institutions they can trust.

If you take a step back, what you realize about these appeals is that they all come from a position of:

Consider us. Look at how good we are. Look at how much good we’ve done. Look at our low overhead rates. Look at how well we manage your dollars.

It’s the kind of information my mom likes to know about when she’s going through the various direct mail appeals that end up in her mailbox each month.

When I asked her about it, she tells me she wants to know whether or not her funds are being used as she intends.

She wants to get proper receipts when she does make a donation that accurately reflects her information and donation amount. And she wants to hear some good news reports as the organization grows in its mission.  

“SOME reports” she says, “But not too many.”  

MILLENNIALS VIEW IT DIFFERENTLY

Yet, the millennial donors that so many nonprofits are turning their attention towards these days want to be spoken to differently.

They want to be part of the story and they want to be part of the solution to the issue that the nonprofit is tackling.  

They want to know that by giving a piece of their hard-earned cash to you, they are having impact. Real impact.  Impact that is direct, noteworthy, and that helps them feel good about themselves.

Recently, when I was chatting with a younger donor, she told me she regularly gave to nonprofits, even with the meager resources at her entry-level salary.

My young colleague and her friends, she said often gave to places like Charity Water, organization that makes the bold promise of “100% of your money brings clean water to people in need.”

If you think about it, why wouldn’t you want to give to an organization like Charity Water?  

You immediately know that 100% of your money is going to bring clean water to people in need.  

It’s a direct link between the donor and the impact. Yet, it also begins to make the shift from putting the nonprofit organization as the hero of the story. The donor is the one who makes the difference.  

PIVOTING TO MAKE THE DONOR THE HERO OF THE STORY

I would assert that the move may be a subtle one, but one that will continue to gain traction as nonprofits begin to remove themselves as the hero of the charitable story and ensure that the donor becomes the hero instead.  And if you fundamentally think about it, it makes sense.

Nonprofits only exist at the desire of their donors who entrust them to work on their behalf to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems.  

As you look at your own fundraising appeals, where is the organization in the story?  

Who is the donor?

Do you tout all the great work that you do?

Or do you tout all the great work that your donors do?  

If it’s the former, how might your organization begin to make this pivot of making your donor appeals less about you and more about your donors?

The use of “we” language is a good start.  Yet, while the use of “we” language still can highlight the organization, it also begins to reflect the collaboration of the donor and the organization in the accomplishment of the mission.

For example, Partners in Health tagline on their homepage says this:

we go. we make house calls.
we build health systems. we stay.

The use of “we” is much better than I (insert the name of the organization) did this. I changed many lives.

But it must go a step further.

Consider Food for the Poor, a nonprofit whose mission is to work in communities devastated by poverty by providing food, clothing and emergency relief.

On their impact page, they focus on the donor. One section contains this block of text:

Your Impact in 2019 . . .

You built 540 homes

You shipped 413 containers

You provided over 26 million meals.

(As of February 28, 2019)

The donor feels spoken to directly and knows that they are the ones who made all that great work possible.

For example, Food for the Poor gives the donor the credit instead of taking it for themselves.  The donor becomes the hero of the story.

YOU ARE IN THE PAIN SOLVING GAME  

Just like your work as a nonprofit CEO is to solve the pain of the beneficiaries of your programs (we all call this “impact”), it is important to think in a similar way regarding your donors. What pain are you solving for them? What impact are having upon their lives?

Arthur Brooks, CEO of the American Enterprise Institute, summed it up very well in an OpEd he wrote called Why Fundraising is Fun.  He speaks directly to this ‘pain’ that you are solving for the donor and what creates the magic when you are working with donors. He says:

In [my] role [as a fund-raiser], I have found that the real magic of fund-raising goes even deeper than temporary happiness or extra income. It creates meaning. Donors possess two disconnected commodities: material wealth and sincere convictions. Alone, these commodities are difficult to combine. But fund-raisers facilitate an alchemy of virtue: They empower those with financial resources to convert the dross of their money into the gold of a better society.

As a nonprofit CEO, you are helping your donors find meaning in their lives.

When you create the conditions, for example, that allow for a donor to build a bridge between the “dross of their money” into behaviors that have impact on the world, you will win.  

IT’S RARE TO SEE THE DONOR AS THE HERO OF THE STORY

However, when you look around, examples of putting the donor as the hero of the story are hard to find.  

Go to the first 5 nonprofit websites that you can think of and test it for yourself.  

It’s likely you’ll find a narrative of how great the nonprofit is and how much they have accomplished.

I understand. We’re all human. And sometimes that makes it’s hard to give others the credit, but I pose the question:

"What would your revenue and impact look like if you made the donors the hero of your nonprofit’s story?"

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a junkie for the latest trends in business or leadership books. I am the kind of person who loves envisioning ways to enable cultures to thrive and processes to be more efficient and effective. Honestly, whenever you're hired as a turnaround CEO with nonprofits facing financial shortfalls and burned out staff, you need all the help you can get.

Recently, my friend Dr. Amy Butler, former senior minister at The Riverside Church in New York City, asked me to be a guest speaker during her doctoral seminar entitled, “The Vulnerable Leader.”

One of her students asked me the question, “What is the best leadership advice you’ve learned that you can share with us?”

Here’s some of what I said:

Short-term pain is often necessary for long-term gain.

When you are leading a nonprofit — which is, after all, a human organization full of all kinds of people — it is easy to become so wrapped up in personalities that you don’t make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization.

You can say to yourself, “This is too hard. Maybe it can wait until next year” or “If I make this decision then it’s going to create a lot more work for me now.”

But great leaders pull band-aids off problems no one else wants to talk about. Then they act with decisiveness, precision, and lead others toward healthier practices. Don't you love a leader who models the characteristics they want to see in their team?

Serious leaders are able to weather the storm when it comes (and it always comes).

Leaders are designed to see the future, not the past. Their job is to paint a picture of that future and take people there!

To do this, it often means that you as the leader must take yourself out of the equation. Don't take the worst days personally. I’ve seen some of the best leaders I know crumble in moments when their organization needed them the most because they’ve made the problems all about them. Or they’ve taken their cues about how they feel about themselves from how the organization is doing.

If we want to lead something great, then we have to know there are days that we’ll all struggle. But this is never the full story. Long-term gain is on its way if we can just hold on.

I love the Maya Angelou quote, which says, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Leaders must learn to listen to their gut. We have intuition after all. We must pay attention, not only to the words spoken, but also the words unspoken beneath the surface. The best leaders I know are those who can walk in a room and sense the mood without even having one conversation.

Sometimes the hard truth is simply….. NO.

Yet when we begin to take the pulse of people, we as leaders can often second guess ourselves saying, “Well, maybe I should give this initiative a 3rd, 4th or 5th chance to succeed.” Or, “Maybe in time so and so will change.”

While I believe in extending grace and giving people the benefit of the doubt, there are often times and situations that will never change if we don’t trust our gut and chart the course differently.

Leaders must let their people in on the “why?”

Gone are the days, I believe, when people just go to work with contentment because it is what they do. Employees long to know that no matter their role, they have a part to play in making a difference in the long haul at their organization.

A recent poll stated that, “Of the country’s approximately 100 million full-time employees, 51 percent aren’t engaged at work -- meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs, and thus they tend to do the bare minimum.”

When leaders ask employees to change course, especially if the path they are changing from is a long-standing tradition, resistance will come if no one knows the “why”.

One of my biggest pitfalls I’ve made as a nonprofit CEO is not fully explaining why we are making organizational transitions at that particular time.

Being a big picture guy, where everything is clear in my head, I’ve forgotten that the extra time needed to explain the “why” is well worth it.

Learn from my mistake. Learn to speak that way to every person who works in the organization from the support staff, to the mid-level management, and to your direct reports. The time you take to both learn how to and speak directly to those under your care will give tenfold results, especially as significant organizational pivots are made.

If you asked me what kind of leader I was 5 years or even 10 years ago, these wouldn’t be the same lessons on the list.

Leadership is a work in progress. No matter what kind of position you hold - if you lead a group of 2 or 2,000 or 20,000, you must keep personally growing.

None of us should ever feel like we've arrived. There’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. John F. Kennedy said it best, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

So, if we want to be in the business of leading others, then you and I need to constantly be improving our craft and sharing the wisdom we’ve gained along the way.

What is the best leadership advice you have to share?

At Thrive Impact, we are building a community of nonprofit leaders that believe that we as nonprofits need to thrive so that we can have the impact our communities need from us. We need to soar to our highest potential together for the sake of our people.

If you're a nonprofit CEO or Executive Director, we'd love to hear your best leadership advice. Let us know here by filling out this (very) brief form! Then, over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the best pieces of we receive from nonprofit leaders over on Instagram and Facebook.

Happy New Year!

You may be totally into new year's resolutions.

But if you're like me, they don't work very well for execution on a daily basis. Mainly because what I need are guideposts along the way that help me make focused decisions.

So, what I've found much more helpful is a practice called “My 3 Words.”

"My 3 Words" was created by storytelling and marketing guru Chris Brogan, and the idea is to "think up three words that will help guide your choices and actions over the coming year."

I first began this in 2018 and I’m carrying forth the tradition into 2020. Below, I'll share my 3 words, but first here are some tips directly from Brogan on how to choose yours:

Choosing Three Words

“The words that you select for ‘My 3 Words’ are meant to serve as lighthouses to guide you through foggy moments. To that end, it’s important to pick words that have enough meaning that you’ll snap your perspective into alignment with them and build out your days, weeks, months, and year accordingly,” Brogan shares.

Since starting this in 2006, Brogan suggests that you stick to only three words. When he has tried fewer or more words, he had less successful years.

Here are some additional tips from Brogan’s 2020 “My 3 Words” blog:

Here are tips from my personal experience:

Examples of 3 Words

If you search Twitter using the hashtag #my3words, you’ll find many people sharing their words for 2020.

Here are some of the three words posted on Twitter for 2020:

Movement, Practice, Dedication, Love, Persevere, Kind, Prepared, Do, Prioritize, Integrity, Ambición, Adapt, Pace

BROGAN’S 3 WORDS FOR 2020

Push – This one is so simple. Every day, push. Do something. Move forward. Push. Bring your efforts forward a notch. Even if it’s a little notch, do it. Contact some prospects. Swing the kettlebells. Make media. Push. I’ve got a good feeling about this word.

Structurequence – Yes. I made this word up. Yes, it’s cheating (kinda). Structure and sequence. The point is that structure doesn’t mean much without sequence. They go together. When I build structures for companies or myself, I need to bake the sequence into everything I create. Structure and sequence had a baby and this is it.

Package – I will do a much better job showing the labeling, the edges, the decoration, and the careful consideration of what I’m creating. This reminds me not to be so much an improv guy and instead be a polished guy. It tells me to put the extra effort in and wear the button down instead of the tee shirt. This one has been a long time coming.

You can learn more about his words, here.

MY 3 WORDS FOR 2020

RESTORE

2019 was rough for a lot of people. Many nonprofit leaders are teetering on burn out. Parents are tired. Many are feeling isolated and lonely. My hope is to use "restore" in a question to remind me every day to view my relationships through the lens of empathy and service. I want to ask this question to myself when I'm interacting with people, "How might I help restore this person today?"

PUBLISH

Last year one of my 3 words was "Arena." It was based on the Teddy Roosevelt quote. It was helpful to get me over my fear hump. But now it's time to hit publish a whole lot more. Time to get that podcast out there. Ship the videos. Create training programs. No perfection. Just publishing, learning quickly, and moving forward.

BIKE

I went hyper practical on this one. I am part of a biking family and it brings us all a lot of joy to ride. But 2019 saw a lot of loss of and breaking of our bikes. Thanks to generous gifts from family for Christmas, our kids now have new and updated bikes! 2020 will be the year of biking (and more joy/exercise/family time) for us.

How about your 3 words?

The three words exercise is a simple way to set your year up for success. These tips should help guide you as you decide on your own 3 words. When you put them together, send me an email at tucker @ thriveimpact .org with your words!