Sylvie’s New Year Wishes

Each New Year I either pick three words or an ornament to be the focus for the year. Last year, my ornament was a microphone, because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and expand The Policy Circle.  It worked. The Policy Circle team carried that microphone with me throughout the year in events across the country, including The Policy Circle Leadership Summit. There are now 200 circles in 34 states.

This year, I decided to go back to picking three words that will capture my 2019 focus but that will also push me to grow as a person, a life enhancer, and leader of The Policy Circle.

My three words are: twelve – humor – trust.


Twelve as in a 12 week reset.  I am putting down a white space in the calendar right now every 12 weeks to remember to take the time to reflect on how am I acting on my three words as well as my goals for the organization, for my family, my faith, my friends.  The same goes for The Policy Circle team. Every 12 weeks our team will be getting together to review our progress towards our annual goals.

Twelve as in 12 touches in 12 days. Life is about touching others with a note, a word, a call of appreciation for who they are and how they enhance our lives.  So I am also going to commit to 12 touches every 12 days to people that I don’t interact with on a day to day basis but are contributing towards moving me and The Policy Circle forward.  

It seems contrived I know, but I’ve surrendered to the idea that nothing happens without a process. Throwing out that “We need to get together sometime” phrase doesn’t happen without a date on the calendar.  One of Joe Madden’s (coach of the Chicago Cubs) quotes that I live by and love to share is “Embrace the target, trust the process.”. That’s what the 12 week reset, and 12 touches are about because having a process makes things happen.


Humor – this comes from listening to George H.W. Bush eulogies, and particularly learning about his sense of humor and his dislike of broccoli. Have you seen this video?  It is so lighthearted, that it is absolutely refreshing. Humor is a uniquely human trait that allows us to cope with stress, to survive and lead others through the worst of moments. As I’ve participated in conversations across the country I have noticed that Policy Circle women are optimistic, welcoming, multifaceted all with a delightful sense of humor. So I’m inspired to find humor to brighten tough situations.  If anyone has recommendations on how to do that, tweet to me @sylvielegere


Trust as in trust and be trusted. I am a fan of the Peloton exercise bike, and riding my bike in a peloton outside.  A peloton is a group of bikes riding together. A peloton is faster than each individual rider, because everyone takes a turn to lead at high speed for a short period of time. It only works if 1) you trust yourself to take the lead, and if 2) you trust the others in your peloton to signal, to keep up and to take the lead.  

Trust is an overlooked word, yet it is the first stitch in the fabric of our society. My mother-in-law grew up on a farm in a town of 100 people in Julian Nebraska. This past Thanksgiving, she was telling me how they never locked their door, in fact they did not know where the keys were! They had trust in the sense of responsibility and community their neighbors felt for each other by showing up to repair a barn, building a center or cleaning up a church.  American communities were built on trusting each other to be responsible, to have good intentions.

Twelve is process. Humor and Trust reflect optimism . All three are an invitation to grow personally, and bring out the best in everyone and in myself to leave our world better for the next generation.

This fits in with the theme of The Policy Circle Leadership Summit for 2019 is “Leading and Living in a Connected Community”. Learn and discuss the bright and dark side of connectivity, the role of business, government, and citizens in shaping the future of neighborhoods, and the pillars of a good life.  So The Policy Circle summit is an opportunity for professional and personal growth. Mark your calendar for November 15, 2019 and meet up in Chicago with your circle members, co-workers, friends, aunt-niece, mentee-mentor, mother-daughter. See you all November 15, 2019!.

On that note, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year.