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Leadership Development Blog

Pay Attention to Your Intention

For every action there is a reaction.  Nothing works in isolation.

It's interesting, then, that leaders don't often stop to consider the consequences of their leadership actions.  Whether it' because they are under pressure to achieve a set target or to tick items off their to-do list, much of their day is broken down into tasks, with little thought given to the final outcomes.

Here's an example.  

One of the tasks the team leader must do today is to speak to a member of the team about his under-performance with a view to increasing his output.  That sounds fairly normal, right? But what is the actual outcome the leader hopes to achieve?  Is it all simply about the team member' level of performance or output?

No, the real and ultimate intention is to make more sales, improve customer service and build a secure and profitable business. One performance review is unlikely to help the leader meet his true intention.   Will this action bring the best results or is there another way to go?  It is important to give your team members performance feedback but if you stop there you won' achieve your ultimate aim.

Think of it like this.  A doctor who treats only the symptoms is unlikely to achieve the ultimate goal of curing the disease.  Don' focus on symptoms alone.  Treat them but keep your eyes on your real purpose.

Do you think you are really intentional when it comes to following through? Or do you tackle the presenting problem and leave it at that? 

Often leaders spend their days in knee jerk reactions to the situation in front of them.  It' understandable because the situation is usually accompanied by screams from senior management or a dissatisfied customer.  But there is a better way.

Ask yourself what is the real purpose of the action you are taking and whether you have thought it through for the best results. Will the action you are taking now have the long term effect you hope for?  

The knee jerk reaction will usually bring only a short term result and teach your team that all that matters is what is happening now. Real change takes time and the use of a strategic approach which teaches your team members to be aware of what is happening around them and to look for better ways of operating.  

Pay attention to your intention.  It' not about the "now" it's about the future.   Choose your action and your focus carefully.

Posted by Ricky Nowak on 15th October, 2013 |

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