In my last blog post on Passion and Fulfillment, one of the reactions was that “business life is like war” and “the clue is how can I disguise my real intentions, and communicate in a way to appear as if me and my intentions would be honest….”
A legitimate voice – Thank you Jean-Pierre for your reaction, because with your words, you voice the belief of many corporate people. We often have built these beliefs based on painful experiences we made… As soon as we are “stuck” in a belief like this, we don’t act out of choice anymore. We let ourselves be led by the belief. And as long as we all keep on believing that “business life is like war” we will continue to create this reality. Because that is what we do… we create our own reality.
It takes courage to create a new reality! – Yes, it takes courage to dare to believe that another way is possible. Yes, it takes courage to give trust again. Yes, it takes courage to dare to step into our vulnerability. The reward however is huge. It is the return to our authentic true self and a better quality of life. And, yes, I believe this is possible – because I have experienced it and because I have witnessed it in many others too.
Leadership is like a diamond with many facets and one facet is the power of intention. I’d like to share my views on the use of “intention” in leadership.
The power of intention is old wisdom and is coming back. Today scientists are accumulating evidence that supports the idea that intention has the power to change your body, other people, and the world around you. Walter Freeman, Professor Emeritus of Neurology has done a lot of research work on intentionality and the brain. Studies have shown that intention produces the same reaction in the brain as action. A really interesting field. So, without going into the brain details, the bottom line is that when we use the skill of setting intention in our leadership, we become more influential and increase our leadership impact.
I like to define Leadership Intention as a consciously chosen quality of purpose and being.
- Purpose – because with the intention, you go for something you want for the sake of something better.
- Being – because a truly positive intention naturally brings you into a positive state of being AND you can give even more power to the purpose if you are also intentional about how you want to be as a leader.
A sensitive field – I see the field of intention as a really sensitive one. It requires some introspection and exploration, especially about the motivation behind your intention. We have all made experiences in business life with false intentions, hidden agenda’s and non-ethical behaviours. What happens? When we are setting negative intentions, we are not acting from a place of true authenticity, the motivation behind the intention tends to be egocentric and not for the sake of something better for the corporation. The impact of false intentions on our leadership is that it undermines trust, it sabotages relationships, moral problems occur etc. Leading from false intentions doesn’t make us an inspirational leader as we are not living and leading in truth. Not only do we not create the organisation we really want, we also deprive ourselves from experiencing real happiness and joy. Old Sufi wisdom says: „Only when the heart lives in truth, we can experience the blissful state-of-being of joy“. This is not saying that this truth is easy or nice. Truth can be painful too. Happiness is a state of being, we can’t do happiness… It is a result of our lifestyle (leadership) and the choices we make. Look at the motivations behind your intentions. unmask false intentions because it’s very human and easy to fall into the trap of our fears. And when you catch yourself…great… because your consciousness gives you choice again.
Intentions out of a positive motivation do come from a place of true authenticity, and are for the sake of something better for the corporation. Coming from this perspective, a leader will naturally radiate truth, whether the truth is pleasant or painful. People want to hear truths and follow leaders who speak truths. It is one element of many more what makes a leader inspirational and it makes people wanting to follow you as a leader. Because the underlying motivation is positive, it comes naturally with a positive state of being. Here we observe value-based leadership where some of the strong values are truth, integrity and trust.
In working with intentions, you will notice the dance between doing and the being. This is leadership – the fine balance between doing and being. Once your intention is clear, you can lead with consiousness your intention into action. (Purpose) – And you are intentional about how you want to be whilst leading your people through the action phase. (Being)
You can use the skill of setting intentions for daily life, for smaller projects, meetings, for larger organisational change projects and really everything you choose for.
- Purpose – What is your intention for your change project within your organisation, an upcoming meeting or anything else that is important to you? What is it that you want to create for the sake of what?
- Being – Who do you want to be & how do you want to be as a leader in leading your organisation into action.
Enjoy the work with leadership intentions and I am curious to hear about the impact you experience!
Have a great week!