Blogger, author, speaker Seth Godin published last month a terrific assemblage of 200 word essays from several dozen industry and thought leaders on the one subject, one word, that matters right now to them. Some of my favorites:

Jacqueline Novogratz on Dignity: “Dignity is more important than wealth. …And in a world where everything is connected, the most important thing we can do is treat our fellows with Dignity.”

Michael Hyatt on Vision: “In a down economy…decisions become pragmatic. But after a while this wears on people. They don’t know why their efforts matter. They cannot connect their actions to a larger story… This is where great leadership makes all the difference…reminding people of what it is we are trying to build – and why it matters. … When times are tough, vision is the first casualty. Before conditions improve, it is the first thing we must recover.”

Marti Barletta on Strengths: “Forget about working on your weaknesses … Focus on supporting your strengths. I worked on my weaknesses for 40 years to little avail. But my strengths – ah, I love my strengths. I’ll work on them till the purple cows come home. When we love what we do, we do more and more, and pretty soon we’re pretty good at it.”

Tony Hsieh on Poker (but really on what he learned about business Culture from poker): “Be nice and make friends. It’s a small community. Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.”

Gary Vaynerchuck on Thnx: “I believe the thank you economy will become the norm in 2010 and beyond, and brands that fail to adjust will be left in the cold.”

Tim Sanders on Confidence: “Exercise your gratitude muscle. Gratefulness is a muscle, not a feeling. You need to work it out daily.”

I could write an entire post on each of these. (In fact, I have. Visit the links above.) But let me summarise with my one word, one subject, that matters most to me: Appreciation. If we focus on appreciating those around us – visibly, loudly, often – we give dignity, we create vision, we focus on strengths, we build culture, we say thnx, we increase confidence.

What’s your one word, one subject, that matters most to you?

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