Conscious leaders articulate a compelling vision of the future aligned to purpose and passion. With a strong personal commitment to responsible action, they translate that vision into clearly stated goals and intentions that build understanding, alignment, and commitment in others. A personal purpose-driven vision and a personal commitment to responsible action are prerequisites for the development and realization of an organizational vision. Committing to action is the sixth practice for leading consciously explored in the book, The Inner Journey of Conscious Leadership.
The words intent and intention share meanings and overlap in use, but they are not completely interchangeable. Intent is about establishing goals, outcomes, or desired results and enables us to focus on what we want to achieve. Intention encourages us to focus more on how we want to be during the journey toward the desired future state. Although specific goals, outcomes, and desired results are essential for measuring personal and organizational transformations, conscious leaders place greater attention on their intentions.
Focusing on intentions does not mean we give up our goals or our desire to achieve a desired outcome. Goals are important, usually external and focused on the future, with a specific destination or achievement in mind. Intentions are lived each day, in the present moment, independent of achieving the goal or destination, and reflect our inner relationships with ourselves and others. The more conscious we become, the more we crave alignment of what we say and do with who we are.
Committing to responsible action requires clarity about the intent of the change and our intention about the way we show up during the process of the realization of that intent. But declaring commitment is not enough. We must take action. Conscious leaders are purpose-driven possibility thinkers who, once committed, can inspire others to join them on the journey to the desired future state. The bridge from commitment to responsible action is about our personal responsibility for making a positive difference in the world.
Aspiring conscious leaders who are committing to action are likely to be found:
- Developing a compelling expression of the desired future state
- Running purposefully toward the desired future rather than away from past experiences
- Making clear distinctions between intent (the what) and intentions (the how)
- Describing clear intentions for the journey to future possibilities
- Declaring commitment to realization of the intended outcomes of the journey
- Recognizing and taking action to address competing commitments
- Building understanding, alignment, and commitment in others
- Craving alignment of who we are with what we say and do
- Being a contribution and making a difference
- Taking personal responsibility for converting commitment into responsible action
Which of these behaviors are you already practicing? Which of the behaviors do you need to work on to become a better leader? Select one of these behaviors to practice today. Set an hourly reminder and take a purposeful pause to reflect on your experiences and set an intention for your practice. Send me a message via the contact page if you have a question or would like to share your experiences.