My 2024 Word(s) of The Year

For many years, I’ve had a tradition of choosing a word of the year. Rather than setting resolutions, the word of the year gives me an overall focus, personally and professionally. I like to use it as a guiding principle for tough decisions and situations. 

When I’m not sure how to move forward, I can use the word to ask, “What would the WORD-OF-THE-YEAR choice be?”

Past words have included PROGRESS, SIMPLIFY, ESSENTIAL and my all-time favorite: NO.

Choosing this year’s word has been a bit of a struggle (note it’s February!). 

I toyed with more intense words like FIERCE and BOLD, but they weren’t feeling right. 

I almost picked EXPERIMENTATION, which is still on my list for future years.

Ultimately, I decided to go with a phrase instead of a single word. It’s a phrase I learned on a December webinar hosted by Delegate Solutions, my virtual assistant Eileen’s company. 

My 2024 focus is: WHO, NOT HOW.

The webinar featured entrepreneur Dan Sullivan, who wrote an entire book on this phrase.

I remember texting Eileen after the webinar that “Who, not how” might possibly change my life.

It’s really simple: In the words of Sullivan:

“When we want something done, we’ve been trained to ask ourselves, ‘How can I do this?’ Well, there is a better question to ask — one that unlocks a whole new world of ease and accomplishment: ‘Who can do this for me?’”   

Sullivan’s message is about hiring A+ talent to grow a business; I took his message and expanded it even further.

Here’s how “who, not how” is translating for me:

Instead of asking, “How do I figure out how to help more people with my LinkedIn Learning courses?” I now ask, “Who can help me better market my LinkedIn Learning courses?”


Instead of asking, “How do I handle this sensitive client issue?” I now ask, “Whom can I reach out to for some advice?”


Instead of asking, “How can I start getting back into a regular yoga practice?” I now ask, “Who can hold me accountable for doing 10 minutes of yoga every day?”

So far, the shift has been both empowering and comforting. It is not my job to learn how to do everything in the world. Help is out there. All I have to do is ask for it.

Do you have a word or phrase of the year? I’d love to know!

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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