Influence, Conspire, and Achieve – Three Words for 2016

I love doing this exercise and I heard about it from Rob Hatch and Chris Brogan a few years ago. I like to try and do it without reading others but C.C. Chapman pulled me in to his Medium post, and Thomas Carey caught me out as well. I will try not to be influenced.

2015 was a huge year of change for me, huge. My 2015 words were Nurture, Detect, and Advocate and I posted about that. I’d like to think that 2016 might involve fewer changes, but I doubt it, change is actually a big personal driver for me. I don’t like change for the sake of it, but so much in our world needs to change so that education and economic success can be more widespread. This is what drives me. Here are the words:

image of calamity jane 1880s
Calamity Jane

Influence. I will focus this year on increasing my influence, my capacity to impact decision-making in education. There are a lot of factors involved with influence, however I feel the most important one is authenticity, walking the walk of what I promote, and providing balanced evidence that what I’m describing works. The second element of influence for me is fearlessness, coming up against those that resist and fear what I am saying and doing, and walking straight on through instead of backing down. An additional aspect of fearlessness is asking for what I want or need to achieve my goals. I’ll get 0% of what I don’t ask for, so I’ll be asking, a lot more.

Conspire. I really love this word this year. It’s much better than collaborate. Conspiring implies that those with whom I plot are on my side already, they don’t need convincing, they’re willing to take risks with me. There’s a certain degree of deviousness required to bring about change, certainly those that believe they have a lot to lose in change, are going to engage in whatever plotting they believe is necessary to defeat me. If I have a posse, we are much more likely to succeed together.

Achieve. It’s not enough to just have ideas and plots, I have to bring it on home through action and measurable results. I want to look back on 2016 next December and tally up the wins. I have a lot of opportunity to use these three words this year, in my work, my own education and research, my volunteer time, and my family time. I look forward to knowing if I’m granted what I ask for, how I will use my resources, and meeting conspirators along the way.

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