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Leading with Intention

I can't think of a better way to start off a new year than a learning session focused on Leading with Intention!

Katie started the presentation talking about how powerful the word 'Intention' is to her and the deeper understanding she acquired for the word when she first moved to Japan with her family years ago.

She was having business cards made and asked that the Japanese simple for 'Intention' be added to the card. Through this she learned that the symbols that represent the word Intention are 'Heart' and 'Direction.'

Intention = Hearth + Direction

Heart - What is important inside of us, who do we want to be, what are our values, what is our purpose?

Direction - How do we align ourselves, how do we show up everyday in that direction to fulfill what we want to be?

This combination of Heart and Direction is what Katie considers to be living and leading with intention. To her Intention is not just about what goals we want to achieve, but who we want to be as human beings. Goals are not always within our control, but who we want to be ALWAYS is.

As leaders we need to take time to think about our purpose and intentions. Do we know what the purpose of a leader is? Katie shared her framework for the Purpose of a Leader.

A Leader's Purpose

Set Direction - provide a challenge, direction or target. This is the responsibility of leadership! How do we know the what/how if we don't have clarity on where we want to go.

Learning is what you gain from not reaching your target - if we set targets we know we are going to achieve we have missed the opportunity for learning.

Provide Support - this is about teaching the process of learning. Not telling people exactly what to do, but setting the target and helping people understand how to get there. Setting the conditions for success and then taking responsibility when mistakes happen.

As leaders, our role isn't to develop other people, but help them learn how to develop themselves! Teaching them the process of learning.

Develop Yourself - Think about what do we need to do ourselves so that we can continue to grow as we are helping others to do the same?

This is what people centered leadership is all about, this is how we create a culture of learning.

Katie then shared three practices that we can implement in our leadership practice.

Three Practices to Become a More Effective People Centered Leader

  1. Pay Attention to the Quality of your Questions - are you asking or telling? Are you disguising your thoughts in the form of a question?

  2. Take an intention pause - Ask yourself what is my purpose and how do I align my actions?

  3. Develop a habit of daily reflection - set your intention, what actions will you take, reflect at the end of the day, and adjust. Download your Daily Reflection Template from Katie's website:

It is important to remember that reflection is the beginning not the end of learning.

Perseverance is all about how can you learn from the things that aren't working. Looking back is how we can learn and shape our future.

To learn more about Intentional Leadership check out these amazing opportunities and resources from Katie:

Leading to Learn Accelerator - 60 Days to More Intentional Leadership with Katie Anderson. Starts February 2nd, 2021

Reflections on Leadership - Katie Anderson's Blog


Don't miss our next LPAS Learning Session: Adapting Lean Management for a Distributed Workforce with Ryan McCormack.

Learning Objectives

  • Share examples and challenges of how lean principles can be adapted for working remotely with a distributed workforce.

  • Explore some long-held lean practices and question their relevance in a digital world

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