Intentional Leading

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How do you lead your team?  Are you leading your team, your business and even your family with “INTENTION“? 

We are a reflection of the things we value at our core, in our lives, both professionally and personally.  What is your life saying about what you value?  These are tough questions to many because they have not given much thought as to what they “VALUE” in their lives. 

If you have ever been in a church service, or time management seminar, or even a coaching or mentoring session with someone and you have been asked to get out your calendar and your check book, you know what I am talking about.  For many of us these two simple everyday items [our calendar and our checkbook] reflect what we value. 

The amount of time your do spend or do not spend in any one area of your life is a clear reflection of what you value or “treasure” at yBag with teasure of money_123r_26291061_lour core.  We put off things we know should be done, to put something else of more importance in their place.  A common phrases is “I’ll get around to it,” and we all know that once it comes off our calendar or list of “to-dos”, it rarely makes it back on. 

The same is true of our checkbook, we write checks, or pay our bills online and when one looks carefully at where the money is going, it is very easy to see what one values by where they spend their money.  If you value security and safety, you might be making so regular deposits into a savings account, investment opportunity, or retirement plan, based on the season of life you find yourself in. On the other hand if a good portion of your paycheck goes to paying off credit cards, there is an indication of where your heart, priorities, and value actually is ~ immediate self-gratification.  We all have this disease of getting what we want is so easy with internet shopping today.  We simply see something we want and with a simple click, it is on its way to our door, or immediately downloaded onto our device.

So what has all this got to do with being, living, and leading with “INTENTION“?  Well, let’s take a moment to look at what “INTENTION” means, shall we?  When one acts with “INTENTION” we determine in our mind to act upon an action or act upon a result of something. These  acts can be an object, the end result, a purpose which has an end, and “INTENTION” is also an attitude toward one’s own conduct and actions. 

Okay, now that you and I have a clear understanding of what being and living with “INTENTION” actually is, what next?  A wise man once said the following:  “Nothing Changes Until We Do.”  This same man also went deeper to state this:

  “We change three times in our lives; people change because they hurt enough that they have to, people change when they learn enough they want to, or people change because they receive enough that they are able to.”

Let’s take each of our scenarios one by one knowing what we now know about “INTENTION.

Teams Collage_Multiracial_9.2.15_19667184_lWhen you are leading a team in your organization or you are leading from the top as the owner, sole entrepreneur , or president/CEO, what drives you daily?  Let’s look at our choices in this situation:  are you prompted by hurt, prompted by knowledge, prompted by having enough to give back?  Perhaps you are motivated by something else like: comfort and fulfillment, or competition and triumph, or maybe your are motivated by sheer consumption and greed.  These are indeed sobering choices are they not?  When we as leaders are leading others we do indeed need to pay close attention to what is motivating our behavior.  Our behavior as leaders directly filters down to the people we lead.  Today, I encourage you to “CHECK” your “INTENTIONS“, to see where you are in the crucial alignment of your core values.

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Now let’s turn our attention to the other half of our lives ~ those areas which reside on the personal side.  What is driving your behavior,your decisions, and your daily agenda here?  What is motivating you day in and day out?  Perhaps you have a need to have the latest, fastest, newest model of something, if this is where you find yourself, then, your INTENTION is to consume.  What if you are driven by hurt then you are in for a life of dissatisfaction and you will be driven daily by unmet expectations based on something living in your past which consumes your today. If however you are someone who is blessed with knowledge, and perhaps more than you need, you will be a wonderful role model for those you are leading in your personal life.  You are most likely giving back in some way to those who do not have your knowledge, or you are giving back monetarily to a cause you believe in strongly.  Do you see how these are two sides of the same coin in your life here?  We can either be INTENTIONAL about who we are and what we do, or we can be UNINTENTIONAL and live for self.

How do I become more INTENTIONAL, you may wonder?  The late Stephen Covey taught this concept in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” when he wrote in habit #2 – Begin with the end in mind.  In other words, “BE INTENTIONAL” in everything you do. Many still act and live, make decisions, and believe that life is about “flying by the seat of the pants”, or they believe they just get up and let the day happen as it unfolds.  I am sorry to say that this lifestyle will get one nowhere, and success will be elusive for these folks.  However, for the individual who is strategic in their thinking, in their process, and who knows what they really want, in other words, knows what they place the highest value on; they can see exactly where they are going and although they may not see every step to getting there, they have a determined single focus that orders their steps daily.


If you are still wondering how this is done, below is a list of areas in our lives which pretty much everyone has.  I encourage you to read each area of life and then determine what value you place on each one.  Use a simple 1 to 10 scale.  One meaning I do not value this in my life at all and I spend little or no time here, to 10 which indicates it is either your highest value or you spend a great deal of time in this area of life.  Once you do this, then I encourage you to put these areas of your life in order of importance, from 1 to 12 [one being your highest importance, and 12 being the least importance].  What do you notice now?

My personal environment – my home

My Giving back – volunteerism/tithing/monetary donations

My Family/Parenting – your immediate family/your extended family/parenting children if you have them

My Finances

My Personal Safety

My Growth Opportunities – [there are three] Professional Growth, Personal Growth, & Spiritual Growth

My Self-Care

My Relationships – [there are 4 primary ones] Professional Relationships, Personal Relationships [friends, peers], Social Relationships [those which are not Personal], & Intimate Relationships

My health/wellness/& aging

My spiritual life

My Professional life/My Career

Do you see a pattern here?

What did you learn about yourself and your values, and your intentional style?

I would love to hear from you!