What is the power of intention? It is the internal reason why you do something. Intentions are based on your passion, values, or purpose; it is the bigger picture of why you do anything. It is the undeniable first step to successfully achieving any goal and without it makes meaningful goals very difficult to achieve. It is, in my opinion, what distinguishes a great leader from a good leader in those who appear to be absolutely equal in their skills and abilities. It is this power of setting an intention that can separate success from failure and allows great leaders to shine.
I am confident that you can find evidence of raw leadership talent everywhere throughout your organization. The key however, is to develop leaders at every level, in every department at every hour, and not only those with natural talent. The first skill to develop is the ability to declare an intention. It is the step before setting goals, where the leader decides how they want to show up. Employees want someone to look up to someone who has a positive outlook, a future focus, and a clear destination in mind. This ability to set a powerful intention is what sets the stage for creating and achieving outstanding results.
So how can you as a leader use the power of intention to show up as your best self?
Use the following pointers:
1. Understand the difference between desire and intention
There is a distinct difference between wishing for something and declaring your commitment to do everything that is needed to achieve outstanding results. A desire is a wish, a hope, a want, or a consideration which can be easily forgotten or replaced. An intention is a declaration, a strong signal around a picture of a future state that you are aiming for. Your intention is the decision to do what it takes to achieve an outcome despite what happens along the way. Are you wishing for some positive outcome or are you intending to do whatever it takes to achieve success?
2. Realize how powerful your intentions are.
The power of your intention can change your entire life, not just your results at work. Setting your positive intention and then immediately taking definitive action creates the momentum necessary to produce change in the shortest amount of time.
3. Get clear on your intentions and the why behind them if you need staff buy in.
Setting a clear intention and explaining ‘the why’ helps to engage staff in achieving results. The clearer the staff is on ‘the why’ of an intended outcome, the easier it is for them to choose to do their best and participate. Once they understand ‘the why’, they will help you with ‘the how’.
4, The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Why do leaders shy away from setting powerful intentions? Because the practice of setting intentions implies we are not satisfied with the status quo. Declaring our intentions forces us to acknowledge that change is needed and past practices are no longer providing us with acceptable results. In my practice, I have coached many leaders who prefer to avoid complexity and ambiguity until solid evidence is present to make a change. In order to succeed in today’s fast paced world, we must be willing to pave a new path.
The power of intention is what defines a great leader. It is that fierce determination to achieve an outcome regardless of the obstacles encountered. It is the ability to create an inspiring vision and empower staff to help achieve that vision. It is the confidence to make decisions knowing they will be evaluated often and adjusted as needed. Utilizing the power of intention, and deciding how you want to show up every day, can help you achieve results you have only dreamed of in the past.
Wishing you a day filled with powerful intentions!
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Have ten minutes? Read the HBR article: “The Power of Intent” by Vineet Nayar