Leadership Distinction #16: Intention

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Fortify your intention with transparent clarity

Between the belief in what we imagine we are capable of, and the action we take to bring it about, lies our Intention. Intention may be simply expressed as what you as the leader wants, with plans in the making for how to get it. 

It’s important for leaders to be highly transparent with others from this point onward in the journey of leading. And it’s essential for leaders to be transparent with themselves about what they want. Know thyself, as the Oracle of Delphi admonished.

Once action begins impressions form and these impressions quickly harden. Physical impressions and cognitive impressions. By, and in, all who are involved. The direction is set. And although that direction need not be final or permanent there’s little time and money in today’s economic world for 180-degree course re-sets once we’re underway. To put a modern spin on the Oracle of Delphi, Know Thy Wants. 

The leader’s desire puts the trim in the sail, and she expects the wind to fill it. Obstacles and the windless ‘doldrums’ will surely hinder the way ahead. But Intention acted upon indicates the leader has already crossed the threshold of self-belief. It is the want and the will that will provide the tack and the run of the vessel being led from this point onward.

And you know what they say about the best Intentions. By themselves they’re not worth much. But with transparent clarity and with specific action plans that anticipate troubles sufficient to gain some headway, the wants of a leader can morph to become the wants of a team. And the shared wants of a team make for a most worthy and able crew. One that just may fulfill its Intentions.

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Episode 16