Is 'intent' the missing component in your success formula?
For a leader to be truly successful, it is important to know their intent, their “why”, and include it passionately into their communication formula. I hope this article sheds light on the power of intent and how it plays a role in shaping your success.
In 2007, author Lynne McTaggart penned “The Intention Experiment” in which she explored the science of intention, drew on the findings of leading scientists around the world.
McTaggart’s conducted cutting-edge research at universities like Stanford, MIT and Princeton as well as different well-known laboratories to find out how an individual’s intent is capable of having a profound effect on all aspects of our lives.
Stanford University Professor William A. Tiller argued that an unstated assumption of science is that human intention does not affect our physical reality.
While that assumption has been believed for the past four centuries, experimental research conducted in the past decade suggests that this assumption is no longer applicable in this day and age.
In the corporate world, the story is often quite different. Understanding and communicating intent is rarely a point of focus as goals and visions are shared through carefully curated documents or through great speeches designed by communications experts.
Today’s leaders and managers have forgotten or deemphasized, this essential key learning. If the intent of these plans is not embedded in the communication, people may become enticed, but they may not act with full conviction on the plans.
There’s no denying that clarity of intent paves the way for sustainable forward progress, even if the detailed path is not completely visible.
In such scenarios as the “I don’t have all the answers right now, but let’s take a step ahead and discover how we can achieve our goals faster” may be the more powerful rhetoric.
If the intent is clearly defined, it can help draw the necessary responses from people and inspire growth so the that the details become a secondary concern.
Understanding the intent of your competitors is equally important aspect that is hardly factored into the traditional competitor analysis.
An award-winning article ‘Strategic Intent’ written more than two decades ago by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel highlighted the rise of Honda and Canon in the mid-eighties and how intent made the difference, not the resources.
Until 1970, both Honda and Canon were relatively smaller in comparison to Goliath organizations like Ford and Kodak.
Since a traditional competitor analysis was akin to a capturing a snapshot of a speeding car without having an idea about the driver’s intent, nobody considered them to be a threat.
Hamel and Prahalad rightly identified that a snapshot on its own cannot decipher the intent of the driver, whether he is out for a Sunday drive or warming up for the Grand Prix.
Since Honda and Cannon moved their strategy from a snapshot to their longer-term vision and intent, they were able to slay Goliath organizations such as Ford and Kodak.
Intent continues to play a pivotal role in business success today. As you are competing in your business, first ask yourself if you are addressing the snapshot of what is, or you are envisioning the moving images of what will be in the future.
Second, ensure that you consistently weave in your intent, “the why”, into all of your communications to maintain a sustainable forward momentum.
BIOGRAPHY Dr. Kevin Gazzara is a senior partner and founder of Magna Leadership Solutions, based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of “The Leader of OZ” www.leaderofoz.com.
Dr. Gazzara is an international speaker and recognized as a Management & Leadership Expert and an Executive Coach. Kevin is a professor at 5 Universities developing and teaching programs to help others achieve their full potential.
You can follow Dr. Gazzara and Magna Leadership Solutions on their website: www.magnaleadership.com, on Twitter: twitter.com/doctorkevin or Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/MagnaLeadership.
Contact the Op-Ed editor Ted Blackwater at email@example.com ■