Intentional leadership

intentionWe have all gazed incredulously at gloriously written vision statements, mused at the efficacy of stated organisational missions, and questioned the commonality of stated commonly held values.

So, why is it that talk of vision, mission and values is still so….. topical?

Perhaps, we could simplify things just a little.  I was challenged during my own supervision this week to consider my intentions.  I was not asked what I wanted to do, or even what I wanted to achieve, but simply what was my intention?

And that has got me thinking….

What if the whole vision, mission, values piece is actually about our intention fundamentally?

How can intention be more valuable to us than glossy visions?

What does it mean to have an intention?

One of the dictionary definitions I came across was this one: “a determination or plan to do a specific thing”.  Vision has been described as “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom”.  Herein is I suggest the rub.  Vision requires imagination, but intention requires determination to achieve.  Mission has been described as “A strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling” (Oxford dictionary) but intention requires a plan to do.

Its wonderful to consider the future with imagination and wisdom, and necessary to have a sense of ambition and calling in line with that vision, but it is intention to act,  the determination to plan or do something specific that perhaps is what characterises progressive leadership.

So next time you consider your organisational vision, and gaze at your seven step mission plan and wonder whose values your “we believe” poster represents, why not consider where your own intention is?  and why not lead accordingly?