Being an Intentional Leader

Living an intentional life is to be deliberate and purposeful in everything you do. Most of us have fallen into such a routine that the events of our day are played out by going through the motions. Having a routine isn’t a bad thing, what’s important is to purposefully handle each situation with precision and care.

Thomas Edison put it this way, “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

As a leader, you have the opportunity to be intentional with your teammates, and by doing so, you may just impart a positive pattern they will soon adopt.

Be Intentional by Taking Ownership

Being an intentional person means that everything you do is done with a certain resolve. But, just because you meant for something to happen, doesn’t mean it will always work the way you envisioned. In this case, sometimes we fail to reach our goals or expectations. This is where true intentionality takes place. It’s easy to be determined when everything goes as planned, but the true test of great leaders is what they do when their plans fall short. Regardless of who dropped the ball on the project, take ownership of the failure, develop a plan for the next steps to take, and implement a strategy that includes everyone’s specific duties. By admitting fault and coming up with solutions, your team will see you as a front-line leader who will go to war for them.

Be Intentional by Encouraging Growth

Sometimes it’s easier to close your office door and bury yourself in deadlines and commitments. One of the hardest challenges is breaking away from being a one-person show and understanding the importance of building a stronger team. According to a study by the University of California, Berkeley, 48.8% of employees believe having important work and the feeling of accomplishment are the most important factors in a job. They need to know what they do makes a difference, and it’s up to leadership to focus on encouraging workers to continue to grow in their skills. You don’t pull a flower up by its roots to help it grow; growth happens when the person in charge purposefully nurtures and develops an environment of encouragement.

Be Intentional by Giving Constructive Criticism

Though taking ownership of mistakes and purposefully encouraging others can both be challenging, purposefully providing constructive criticism may be the most challenging aspect of living and working intentionally. Though it may be easier to sweep issues under the rug, they tend to resurface during the most inconvenient time. When you refuse the chance to call someone out when they aren’t performing at their best, you miss an opportunity to help that person grow and mature in his or her skill set.  According to Winston Churchill, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” Be intentional by pointing out the issue with a teammate before it becomes a full-fledged problem.

If you are striving to live an intentional life, don’t let it stop there. Take that attitude to the office and be intentional with your employees. Your team is looking toward you for guidance and support, so it is imperative that in everything you do and say, you do it with a specific purpose. It may just be the missing link in creating a truly engaged workforce.

How have you brought intentional living into the workplace? Are there other areas you strive to be purposeful with concerning your team? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Be Intentional - April 26, 2016

    […] You can find additional information on intentional leadership at Refresh Leadership. […]

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