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My One Word for 2023 – COACHED

A different kind of word for me this year.  Coached is not a word that I see others often use as their word for the year ahead.  It has a number of angles for me.  For the first time in my career I am taking on a sustained coaching program for the year that will hopefully make me a better, more intentional leader.   Coached also speaks to my goal of providing better feedback to staff to help them improve.  And finally, coached hits on one of my great joys – spending my summer training young AAU basketball athletes.

This is the 8th year of my “One Word” Tradition. In 2016, I wrote about Hungry and then in 2017, my first post of the year I dedicated to Hope. I feel both words were ones that were good ones for the times I wrote them. In 2018, I shared  what I described as my desperate need in my work for Relevance, and then in 2019, it was Delight – a new twist on the power and importance of joy. Then, in 2020, my word was Hustle, which was actually a good fit for what was needed as COVID upended our lives. As we start to emerge from COVID in 2021, I committed to Optimism. For the past year, my word has been Focus.  As I re-read my post from last year, I am a little disappointed that I did get distracted during the year.  It was the right word, but I didn’t live up to it enough and was not clear enough about what I wanted to focus on.

A few years ago, I never thought I would commit to professional coaching.  I don’t know why.  Almost all the progress I have made in my life has come from working with teachers, mentors and coaches.  When I wanted to learn to swim a few years ago, it was obvious I would need a coach.  But I want to be a better leader.  So, I need a coach.  I will not list the program (maybe a later post depending how this experience goes) but I have committed to a daily coaching program as a part of a large network of leaders across a range of sectors for 2023.  I want to be a better, more purposeful leader. I don’t need to go to conferences, I need support tailored to me.  Having been in the same position for a dozen years, it could be easy to get complacent.  I want to get coached, so staleness does not happen.

Of course, I don’t just want to be coached, I want to be a better coach.  I admire a number of my colleagues who are very good at giving specific feedback to help other team members improve.  And the number one request I get from staff during growth plan meetings is for clear, honest feedback on how they can be better.  I want to be better at giving this kind of feedback.  So, being part of being coached, is also my commitment to be a better coach.

And finally, it is not just professional.  I love to spend my time away from work coaching sports – particularly basketball.  And I am excited for a big summer with our VK Basketball group traveling North America, coaching young players and helping them achieve their goals.  And for them to get better, I need to keep getting better.  It is time to push my coaching.

So, a different kind of word, and a series of different kinds of goals.  It is time to coach and be coached and be better in 2023 than I was in 2022.

Just writing this is getting me excited for the year ahead!

What word is guiding your 2023?

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