What’s Your One Thing?



You already know that ‘authenticity’ is my word of the year for 2023.


Entering my 5th decade of life has led to a lot of self-reflection. Showing up fully and authentically doesn’t mean that I am discovering or even rediscovering myself. It means that I am releasing the amazing parts of me that I held back for one reason or another. I’ve always been exactly who I am, but now I’m making a conscious choice to share myself in different ways. Keep reading…

I am multi-passionate. I do lots of things well. This has led to multi-tasking and my inability to stand on the “one thing” principle. When I read the book “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, I decided my one thing was social work.

I decided my one thing was social work even after changing my social media handle to @nickisandersceo to remind myself that I am more than a social worker, I am also the CEO of my company.

I decided my one thing qas social work and here is what I wrote in January of this year, “Does my work over two decades of experience fit more neatly into the mezzo or macro social work box?

I have no desire to fit neatly into any box, actually! The boxes and labels are limiting, yet social workers still love them. They are like safety blankets that no longer offer comfort and safety. I digress!

I’ve been called the supervisor’s supervisor and a true social work manager. I think prefer to be known as the social work leaders’ leader LOL.

I support high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing a personal brand and area of expertise, strengthening their leadership skills, and increasing critical results – salary increase, job promotion, business development, or organizational success.

If it will help me to help you, you can put my expertise and experience in the social work administration and management box.”

I continued with, “My truth is that I love being in leadership as a social worker. My truth is also that I coach my clients, staff, students, and interns into leadership roles where they can be a part of the decision-making process. I believe wholeheartedly that things won’t change unless we change them.”

Although I said social work is my one thing:
• I named my company Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting.
• I provide career coaching to high-performing women of color in social work leadership because I believe we need to be at the decision-making table.
• I’ve said that social work management and administration are my jam.

So…why didn’t I choose leadership as my “one thing”?

I’m unsure and honestly don’t have the time to unpack that right now. It’s more productive for me to embrace and embody that I’ve been doing my one thing all along…and that’s leadership development.

I’m going back to my core. Back to my sweet spot. Back to my area of expertise.

My effort, knowledge, and resources have always been poured into developing amazing leaders and supporting those already in leadership. Leadership development from a social work perspective. It’s what I’ve done well and what I will continue to do – with authenticity!

If you’re ready to take the lead in your life and career, set up a 15-minute consultation, and let’s talk about how I can support you on your leadership journey.


Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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