Leading with Intention

Leading with intention is a powerful concept that can transform your leadership style and help you succeed personally and professionally. Intentional leadership involves being clear about your values, goals, and priorities and aligning your actions and decisions with them.

Leading with intention is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to be an effective leader. It means taking the time to understand what you want to accomplish and how you want to do it. By leading with intention, you can create a clear path forward for yourself and your team and ensure everyone is aligned around a common purpose. It is an approach to leadership that emphasizes the importance of purposeful and thoughtful action. It involves setting clear goals and objectives, aligning your actions with your values, and intentionally interacting with others.

At the heart of intentional leadership is self-awareness. You must understand your strengths and weaknesses, motivations and fears, and how your behavior and attitudes affect others. This requires regular self-reflection and feedback from others, such as colleagues, mentors, and coaches.

At its core, leading with intention involves setting clear goals and developing a plan to achieve them. This requires taking a step back from the day-to-day activities of your team or organization and thinking strategically about the future. You need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish, why it matters, and how to make it happen.

When you lead with intention, you stay focused on what matters and make decisions consistent with your vision for the future. You are also better equipped to navigate challenges and setbacks because you clearly understand your priorities and values.

Once you understand who you are and what matters most, you can develop your leadership intention.

The critical benefit of leading with intention:

  1. Leading with intention helps you stay focused on what matters. When you have a clear sense of purpose and a plan for achieving it, you can avoid getting sidetracked by distractions or minor issues that don’t contribute to your overall goals. Instead, you can prioritize your time and energy on the activities that will have the most significant impact.
  2. Leading with intention requires you to be mindful of your impact on others. This means listening to their perspectives, understanding their needs and concerns, and being willing to adapt your approach as needed. When you lead intentionally, you’re focused on achieving your goals, creating value for others, and contributing to their success.
  3. Leading with intention also helps you communicate more effectively with your team. When you have a clear vision and a plan for achieving it, you can articulate your goals in a way that inspires others to get on board. This can help create a sense of shared purpose and commitment among your team members, which can be incredibly powerful in driving results.

To lead with intention:

  1. It is essential to start by clarifying your goals and priorities. What do you want to achieve in the short and long term? Why do these goals matter to you? How will you measure success? Once you have a clear sense of your intentions, you can begin communicating them to others.
  2. Your leadership intention should be based on your unique strengths, skills, and experience, and it should also reflect the needs and expectations of your team, organization, and stakeholders. This means listening actively to others, seeking feedback, and being open to new perspectives and ideas.
  3. Leading with intention also involves setting priorities and making tough decisions. As a leader, you must balance competing demands and interests, allocate resources effectively, and take calculated risks. To do this, you must clearly understand your priorities and be willing to communicate them clearly and consistently.
  4. Communication is vital to intentional leadership. You must be able to articulate your vision and goals, listen actively to others, and provide feedback and guidance to your team. This requires practical communication skills, such as active listening, empathy, and clarity.
  5. Intentional leaders also recognize the importance of collaboration and teamwork. They foster a culture of trust, respect, and accountability and empower their team members to take ownership of their work and contribute to the organization’s success. This requires building relationships, fostering a sense of shared purpose, and creating opportunities for growth and development.

Leading with intention is about being intentional in your actions and decisions. It means taking the time to think through your choices and understanding their impact. Doing this can create a culture of intentionality within your team or organization, where everyone is focused on achieving a common purpose and working together towards a shared goal.

Ultimately, intentional leaders are committed to continuous learning and improvement. They seek feedback and opportunities to learn from others, reflect on their experiences, and adapt their leadership style. This requires humility, curiosity, and a growth mindset.

Here are the fundamental principles of leading with intention:

  • Define your purpose: Before leading with intention, you must clearly understand your purpose. What is the vision that you are working towards? What values do you hold most dear? Once you have a solid sense of your purpose, you can align your actions with that purpose.
  • Set goals and objectives: It’s essential to set specific, measurable, and achievable goals that align with your purpose. These goals will help you stay focused and motivated and give you a sense of progress and accomplishment as you work towards your larger vision.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is being fully present and aware of the moment. When leading intentionally, being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions is essential. This will help you stay focused on your goals and make decisions consistent with your values.
  • Foster strong relationships: Leading with intention involves building solid relationships with those around you. This means being open and transparent in your communication, actively listening to others, and treating people with respect and empathy.
  • Embrace learning: Leading with intention also means being open to learning and growth. This means taking risks, trying new things, and learning from successes and failures. It also means seeking feedback from others and being open to constructive criticism.

Overall, leading with intention is about being purposeful and deliberate in your actions as a leader. You can become a more effective and impactful leader by staying focused on your purpose, setting clear goals, practicing mindfulness, fostering strong relationships, and embracing learning.

In conclusion:

Leading with intention is a powerful approach to leadership that can help you achieve tremendous success and fulfillment in your personal and professional life. You can become a more effective and impactful leader by developing self-awareness, setting clear priorities, communicating effectively, fostering collaboration, and committing to continuous learning. Leading with intention is a critical skill for anyone who wants to be an effective leader. By setting clear goals, developing a plan to achieve them, and being mindful of your impact on others, you can create a culture of intentionality that drives results and inspires your team to reach their full potential.

About rich@leading2leadership.com

Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on Amazon.com and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at www.leading2leadership.com.

Leave a Comment