In the world of leadership it’s easy to get caught up in task-orientation. I can’t tell you how many leaders I’ve worked with or know that share stories of email inboxes that go from 0 to 5,072 when left unchecked for 30 minutes.
Yet, that’s our reality. We are overloaded with digital communication and somewhere along the journey of the last ten years, we’ve developed a belief that WE.MUST.RESPOND.IMMEDIATELY.
We have become more reactive than purposeful. The result? Our current Western culture has lost the mindset of intentionality.
Or at least we’ve allowed ourselves to engage in mindless activities without taking the time to consider the impact such choices are having on our well-being (or those around us) – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
And in leadership – this is an epidemic. Too many leaders are making too many choices without the discipline of intentionality. They’re simply reacting. Must do. Must grow. Must evolve. Must be relevant. Must fill my quota. The list goes on.
When I’m working with clients, without fail reactivity is associated with defensiveness or justification (one could easily argue those two go hand in hand). Personally, I only want to work with a defensive leader if I’m standing trial for a crime I didn’t commit!
True intentionality requires patience (you know…one of those great virtues). It necessitates stopping the chaos momentarily and developing awareness of our thoughts, actions, feelings, and attitudes. Simply put, it means owning what we say and what we do (which requires knowing what we say and do!).
As a leader – embracing intentionality means:
Identifying and remaining true to our convictions – even in the face of temptation
Acknowledging the role and contribution of others
Choosing our words carefully
Creating a culture of accountability – leadership in community is a necessity (and a blog for another day!)
Intentionality is scary. It requires that we evaluate our current choices with honesty and truth.
Intentionality is discipline. It requires a commitment to be mindful of our everyday decisions.
Finally, intentionality requires knowing our purpose. Intentionality and purpose cannot be separated.
So, ask yourself – what kind of leader do I want to be today?