My Three Words: Connect, Create, Control

A potter creates a bowl on her electric-powere...

Image via Wikipedia

Chris Brogan has a beautiful, light-weight process that captures the spirit of new beginnings celebrated this time of year–without the baggage of resolutions–he calls it my 3 words*.  It works like this:

“Pick three words that help you the way a lighthouse helps a ship in a storm. Give yourself a word that guides you towards a powerful new opportunity, and that keeps you focused on what comes of this year. Use these words as starting points for tangible goals, SMART goals that can be measured and have dates to accomplish tasks by. These words sit above the actual goals, and set your guiding principles in place.”

My Three Words

I’m sharing my words to give you a peak into what to expect around here for the next year, as well as to create the sense of accountability that comes from announcing things in public.  If you’d like to participate leave your three words (or a link to your own three words post) in the comments.


Let’s start with the easiest one.  Connecting comes naturally to me, so this word is about continuing to leverage this gift.  I’ll use it to build connections between you and me as well as you and other members of this community.  I’ll also focus on connecting common nonprofit marketing and fundraising challenges with tools from other sectors (like social media) that can help solve them.  Most importantly, I will help you connect your own marketing, fundraising and mission efforts to each other so the three elements of the organization can work together as originally intended.


This word scares me.  While I’ve worked in the arts my whole life, I’ve never called myself an artist–I’ve always been an administrator.  I’ve focused on my ability to connect artists with their communities and denied my own powers of creation.  In 2011 that will stop.  I will explore my own traditional creative pursuits (I’m thinking acting and pottery, but we shall see).  I will also continue to write–here on the blog, in the newsletter and on a new super-secret project that I can’t tell you about yet (except that it’s connected to connecting, if you know what I mean).


I almost left this one off the  list because of the negative connotations it holds for me.  I’m very much more a collaboration and consensus kind of girl.  And yet, without some focus on controlling my own path, I expect I would find myself in more of these situations.  I also like the connotations of experimentation with measurements that comes with the word  so, control makes the list**.  I will use it to make thoughtful decisions about what I want for my life and business and move in that direction.

Looking forward to navigating these new waters with you!

Your Turn

Where are you and your organization headed in 2011?  Which words have you chosen to guide you?

*This quotation is from his 2010 post because I liked the explanation of the process better.  Here are Chris’s 2011 words.

**I thought about making the third word “Don’t freak out” but that’s three words and it doesn’t start with C.

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s