Lead. It’s a verb. Intentionality is a verb. It is similar to a high-performing athlete who takes care of their injuries and makes sure they reach their performance goals. We can achieve better results and be more predictable if we lead our teams intentionally. Teams can lose confidence in their dreams and feel less effective if they don’t have a well-thought-out strategy. This often results in the loss of vital talent.
To increase your leadership’s intentionality, follow these three steps:
1. Be mindful of your thoughts and be open to self-awareness.
Look back at the achievements and challenges of your team in the last year. Which were your leadership contributions? Which areas did you help to achieve success? Which challenges did you solve? How can you see the unintended effects of your approach to solving problems? This honest reflection will enable you to adjust your leadership style for situations that require more active and intentional leadership.
One example is looking back at how well your team meetings were run. Poor meeting management and lack of organization can result in disengaged teams. Use a solid plan to ensure a productive meeting and engage in conversation that includes all participants and concrete next steps.
2. You can intentionally develop yourself and those around you.
You can and should measure your intentionality. Make an action plan using your reflections to increase intentionality in your practice. What do you want as a leader to accomplish? What is the most important thing your team needs from you? These are the steps you need to take to get there. Then measure your ability and willingness to follow through.
It would help if you made time for 1:1 conversations with your team members. It would help if you kept this time. Keep track of the way you planned to show up and the results. You can track how your team responded to your approach and then decide whether to change your policy.
Set goals that address both the “what” and the “how.” Engagement in a project is possible by giving your team the information to create their intentional behavior.
3. You can intentionally develop your career.
Sometimes, complacency can lead to a lack of career development. Think about what you want from this stage in your career. What do you desire from the next phase? Your career growth and ambition should be deliberate. How do you measure success? Complacency can result if you rely on external measures. What is success? What will you do intentionally to achieve success?
Use the “Merlin Exercise” as a tool to reach your goals. This allows you to work backward from your ultimate career objective and create milestones along your journey that will serve as a roadmap for your career.
It is easy for us to get so caught up in “getting it done” without taking the time to plan, reflect and engage. It is possible to make your team and yourself more productive by being intentional. Be intentional, be present, and take a moment to reflect.