I was reading an old issue of Fast Company magazine the other day and came across the phrase “intentional leadership.” I thought to myself whoopie ANOTHER term to use to describe leadership to confuse people even more! So I started thinking about the leaders I work with that I would define as intentional leaders, if I self-defined it as leaders who are consistently and purposefully changing their behaviors to be more transparent, more visible, and more aware of what is truly going on within their organizations, within their market, within their industry, with their people and their customers. THAT’S A BOATLOAD OF INTENTION. I also frankly think there’s a difference between intent and actual DOING too, btw. The leaders I knew and had worked with like that really GOT it. They knew instinctively that the most important part of their job was to be OUT of their office. Like jetBlue CEO Dave Barger, who,during the afternoon of a long but exciting executive team meeting, ordered milk and cookies from the hotel staff and walked around the room with a tray handing them out himself. Or former CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Roberto Goizueta, who I watched walk into the back kitchen of an offsite retreat’s facility because he wanted to see for himself that the storage temperature for the Coca-Cola beverages was optimal. When I asked him why he checked he smiled and said “If I don’t care, why should anyone else?”
That’s intentional leadership at it’s best. And as I always say…leaders MUST CARE.
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