What’s your one thing?

Being busy is so 2015.

Today’s trend? Simplify. Declutter. Focus.


Sounds pretty good, right? And as a hardworking nonprofit leader with a lot on your plate, maybe a little bit … impossible?

I get it. I know that you are driven to succeed, and in our go-go-go culture it’s easy to believe that the only way to make progress is by doing more work.

So, when I ask my coaching clients what they’re doing to become a stronger leader, it’s not uncommon that I hear something like …

“I’m working on being more assertive with my board … creating a clearer strategic direction for the organization … becoming a better people developer of my staff … improving my public speaking …Oh, and did I mention that I’m taking a training next week on major donor fundraising and how to make the ask?”

Imagine that instead of having to do all the things to become a better leader, you could choose to do just one thing and achieve far greater results. In his popular book Essentialism, Greg McKeown makes a compelling case for doing just that, and I'm a believer.

So, my question for you today is …

What is the one thing you’re doing that is the most important to your growth as a leader?

Out of all the things you’re currently committed to in your work, which is the one that brings you right up to your edge and actually requires that you grow in order to achieve it?

Which project on your to-do list holds the greatest potential for you to build a new skill … show up in a new way … step outside of your comfort zone … and become a stronger leader as a result?

Take some time to think about it. Because here’s the thing with picking just one thing – it’s gotta be the right thing.

So why not go for a walk? Take a real lunch break? Give yourself some space to think, reflect, and explore.

Once you’ve narrowed in on your one thing…

1. Declare it! Above all else, what’s the project you’re working on that will challenge and stretch you to grow as a leader? Write it down and put it somewhere that you’ll see often. Incorporate it into any plans or structures that you use to prioritize your work.

2. Share it! Who are the people who help you make progress on your goals? Let these people know what one thing you’ve landed on, and ask for their support to help you achieve it. Share it with us in the comments section below.

3. Take action on it! What’s one thing you can do this week to throw yourself more fully into this development opportunity? Identify one action you’ll take, and share that in the comments below as well.

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing. I’m excited to hear what you’re up to!

Best, Jen