Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leadership and Intention

”Our intention creates our reality.” --Wayne Dyer

"Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it." --Warren Bennis

Purpose and intention are very nearly two sides of the same coin. Simply stated, you could say that intention was the goal, and purpose the reason for the goal. It is difficult to split them apart for each depends on the other. There can be either without the other, but in any dynamic activity, they coexist. A being can have an intention to do something, but have no purpose for it. As well one can have a purpose to do this or that, and yet be lacking sufficient intention to bring it about.

Intention is not exactly a passive thing. One definition is "that upon which the mind is set, purpose." Purpose: "an end of effort or action". In most dictionaries, these two words are nearly interdependent.

Intention is seeing a thing as done, and then setting in motion the actions that will bring about the visualized thing. It is realization of purpose. Or actualization of intended purpose. It is motion toward a postulated effect. Awareness is a necessary step in leading with intenti

When you set an intention to lead, you can have profound effects on your ability to support the achievement of extraordinary goals. With proper leadership planning, assessing, and development, being intentional will help your leadership to be…

A leader must be focused. If you do not focus your leadership on the goal you are trying to attain, you run the risk of creating something that is only remotely similar to what you envisioned.

A leader must be consistent – Without intention, your leadership could be described as "hit-or-miss." Planning your leadership activities will help your leadership to be a constant part of your job.

A leader must be skillful - It is unlikely that you, as a dog owner without formal authority or position, will be able to model your leadership after the trainer. In fact, your leadership cannot be performed in the same way as how the trainer does things. Being an intentional leader will help you to consider the complexities of what it means to be a leader. Learn to think out of the box and use the tools you have available.

A leader must be patient. “Patience” is really the difference between our expectations and the dog’s current understanding. When those two things are aligned, there is no “patience” involved. It’s just learning and having the pleasure of helping another being figure something out. It feels alive and connected, not “patient” at all. Not that patience is a bad thing, certainly not, we all need it at times. But when you are in the moment with an animal you’re working with, “patience” isn’t even present, you’re someplace beyond it.

It is the same whenever we are involved with what we love. If you’re a musician, artist, writer or athlete lost in the love of your craft or sport, you aren’t “patient,” you are simply doing and being at the same moment. Being lost in the process feels so profoundly good, so deeply nourishing that you are not outside of it, judging it or tapping your toes for it to hurry up. You’re just in it and happy to be there.

Our intentions—our attitude going in—has a profound affect on the results we get and the stress we experience along the way. Our intentions affect what we do, what we say and how we say it and how we come across in the process.

When we don’t assertively set our Intentions, we passively or unconsciously choose something else. Our outcomes are haphazard, and we become hostage to people and events that lead us astray. Intention adds directionality and power to human endeavor.

What if we actually lived our lives with the intention of making every day be worth the investment that it truly is? What would be possible for us, for our communities, for our companies? If you do this already, then good for you. But most of us don’t. We spend our time, we use our time, but we don’t usually relate to our time as an investment of our life. I believe if we did, we would be leading – speaking up, stepping up and standing up – a lot more often.

By crafting a clear mission statement and vision statement, you can powerfully communicate your intentions and motivate your team or organization to realize an attractive and inspiring common vision of the future.

We all operate by intention but for most it is unconscious and has never been examined or consciously chosen. Your intention is closely connected to your values and the values that are important to you will powerfully influence the nature of your intention.

So what is intention?

Intention is a quality of the heart and is much deeper to the truth of your being than the goals that may fill your mind. Intention is an expression of your very nature as the one who is acting. It speaks of what you want to give to life.

Intention is the energy that carries everything towards fulfillment, whether that is the grand sweep of evolution, starting a business, or training your dog.