Make your leadership more intentional, and you will improve your self-awareness, focus and effectiveness.
When I use the term intentional, I am referring to the simple process of slowing down and thinking things through before speaking or acting. This is particularly important when it comes to potentially difficult interactions with others or important decisions. In recent months I have focused more on being intentional in both my thinking and actions.
I have historically too quickly moved from one interaction and task to the next, and therefore not always stopped long enough to gather my thoughts. I then sometimes say things I regret, or at minimum wish I could have said differently. I also periodically make decisions that in hindsight were made too quickly, without enough consideration.
The challenge for leaders of fast-paced organizations is to slow down just long enough to carefully consider words more carefully and to make decisions that aren’t rushed or arbitrary. Our organizations are successful in part because of our ability to act and make decisions at a fast pace. And yet, as a result of our emphasis on doing things quickly, our organizations are also at risk because of poorly thought out decisions and ineffective interactions.
Like many changes I have made to my leadership style, I have done this with focused effort. I have chosen to be more intentional, and thus I am becoming so. I have made a mindful choice to be more thoughtful in how I speak and act. It is a conscious choice to do things differently.
Of course I’m not always successful. Like many changes we make, it is easy to fall back into old habits. When this happens, I am quick to remind myself that this is not the path that always ends well, so I work to bring myself back to being more intentional. I am getting better at it. But like most new goals, it will take time before being more intentional is an actual habit.
That’s the things with habits, they take time, attention and intentional effort to achieve.