My #OneWord2018

As I filtered through the options for what I’d like my One Word to be for 2018 I kept coming back to a point where I was confused a bit by my own word choices. Did they define me? Could I redefine them? Did they even mean what I wanted them to mean?


My word for 2017 was Preflect, a word I made up. It means to picture yourself after an event, a conversation, or even the whole year, looking back on that time. What do you want to see when you reflect on it? Preflecting is the idea that if we put ourselves into that future self, looking back, that we can affect the present by making the future we want to happen a reality. I like that word, and from now on will probably keep it as an “always word” in my OneWord arsenal.


But 2017 has given me a lot to think about when I reflect on it. And as I reflect, now, my OneWord2018 has become clear. 


This word is a very cool word because it’s got a lot of different uses as parts of speech and different definitions. Here is how this will be my word for 2018.


Events in 2017 have given men across the country a lot to think about, particularly when it comes to the way in which they treat women in all aspects of life, from the workplace to the social world to the home. The first way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 is that I will make sure that in all areas of my life, I will never disrespect or mistreat the women in my life. My Code of Conduct will be unquestionably clear, and some extra special women in my life, my three daughters, will see their father act as an example for their future interactions with men.

The second way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 comes from science. I was making bacon and eggs this morning and thought about how the frying pan conducts heat. Metal conducts heat because it has delocalized electrons that are free to move around and transfer heat as they touch each other. 

In my work with teachers, both at my job and within my Twitter PLN, I sometimes feel as though I’m forcing an idea on someone, or pushing too much for a particular change or action. But if I let the conduction of heat be an example, then what I need to do is continue to be the heat source, providing the energy and constant presence necessary for the ideas or changes to naturally flow from one part of my school or PLN to others. 


Lastly, many of you know that music is an incredibly important part of my life. The third way that CONDUCT will be my #OneWord2018 will be how I approach leadership. In my family, my job, other roles I have in life, I will lead like the great conductors. At times, broad gestures with dramatic effect will be necessary. 

Other times, nuance and focus will be the only way to lead.

I hope to be able to conduct to the point that I no longer need to conduct. To build trust among those who work together so that a simple acknowledgement can be a leadership gesture. Take a moment and listen to the Haydn Symphony No. 88 as conducted by Leonard Bernstein. After a moment, you’ll see what I mean.


Outstanding, isn’t it?

So, for my #OneWord2018, I choose CONDUCT.

My conduct will be of the highest character.

I will conduct educational heat and energy.

I will conduct those I lead like the great orchestra conductors. 

I’m looking forward to 2018. I hope you are too.

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Connect with Denis Sheeran at

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