Leadership Perspectives

Want success in 2014? Start with a clear intention.

899991564-f561773197_nIn my final post of 2013, I offered four key actions that leaders could take to be more effective and happy with their performance in 2014.  The first was to set a clear intention.

Many of us have a vague – and often an acute – sense of what we need to change, how we need to improve, or where we need to take action.  Don’t you?

But do you have a clear intention?  If you are intentional, you are deliberate, decisive and committed.

Deliberate:  To be deliberate simply means to do something on purpose, rather than by happenstance.  Granted, as you look back on your life, a lot of good things have probably “just happened to you” when you were in the right place and the right time.  (Or so it seemed at the time.)  But positive internal changes in the way that we think and execute do not normally occur this way.

Over time, ways of doing things become hardwired and one has to be very purposeful in changing the wiring to create new ways of viewing the world and of doing things.  You must make these changes on purpose.

Decisive:  What needs to change?  Be specific.  If you have a vague sense that you need to be more organized, drill down to decide what that really means.  Do you need a less cluttered office space or do you need to be less distracted and more focused when working on important projects?  Either way, decide specifically what it is that you want to accomplish.  What will success look like?  How will you know that you have achieved it?

Committed:  Invariably, when we set out to make a change or conquer a challenge, there are set-backs.  There are days when we just don’t feel like it.  Commitment means setting the stage for success the best that you can, plowing through your own resistance when you just don’t feel like it, forgiving yourself when you stumble, and getting back on track when you need to.

In the Spring, I am planning to visit Amsterdam and the surrounding tulip fields.  I want to rent a bicycle, do as the Dutch do, and ride a bike to see many of the sights.  And I want to do it enjoyably, which means being in the right shape for it.

I am approaching this deliberately; that is, I’m not going to hope I will be in shape.  I have decided how many miles a day I want to be able to ride comfortably and I found a nearby cycle studio where I can ride and be coached two to three times a week until my trip.

I know that there will be cold winter days when I don’t want to go.  To help bolster my commitment, I’ve pre-purchased the classes knowing that it will help me overcome my resistance.  (I am way too cheap to throw away classes that I have already paid for!)

“Hope is not a strategy.”  Rudy Giuliani

Photo credit: Peter Hessels


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