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Monday, October 13, 2008

Intent ~ Action ~ Results ( Part 2 )...

How these words go together and why it might matter to you.
by David Bookout

In ( Part 1 ) we offered that thinking about the connection between these words and what we "do" can be a continuous, valuable process to help you get where you want to go, and we illustrated this concept as a "loop" wherein even intent and results are connected <>Intent<>Action<>Results<>.

In this post I want to offer two examples; one illustrating how things potentially DON'T work when we disconnect these words in our thinking and actions, and one illustrating how things DO work when we keep the connections alive. Both examples are from the perspective of an individual contributor on a team.

Disconnected Thinking / Disconnected Action Example:

Imagine yourself in your weekly meeting. You're not the team leader, but you think that you could be, or should be. Subsequently, you find yourself "going to Greece" quite often during the meeting. You tune out and allow your mind to wander, not really hearing the other meeting participants, and not seeing opportunities to contribute.

Sound familiar? We all do this. NOT doing this is a skill, a practice that anyone can develop. The more powerful we are, the more the skill is second nature. BTW - Raise your hand if you liked the video, please!

When you "go to Greece" , or anywhere else for that matter, your in your own head. You have no hope of interpreting where others are coming from, what their concerns are, and where you can make valuable offers. Greece and leadership are only dreams.

From this perspective, you have no hope of fulfilling on your intent of becoming THE leader, or even "leading". In other words your short circuiting your own possibilities and opportunities to lead. Your intent to be a leader is disconnected from the actions your in, and the results are negative. The people that need to see you as a leader don't.

Also, from this perspective, is often a feeling of entitlement, a feeling that you should actually be the leader, and in fact the reason why your not the leader is because of others. It's not you.

If you find yourself here, this is the first thing to shift. We can tend to have "all about me" thinking, but this is often in the wrong context. Here we need to be confident in the fact that WE are the result of everything that happens around us. We generate it. This is critically important, but rather than take this path, let's get back to a more positive example, and save this tangent for another post.

Connected Thinking / Connected Action Example:

Imagine yourself in that same weekly meeting. You're still not the team leader, but you think that you could be, or should be. Subsequently, you "tune in", you shift your "intent" to be a valuable contributor. Your mind is laser focused on the conversation, the participants, and what they are saying and doing. Your looking for where you can contribute value!

From this perspective, this insight and recently reported results could be your own:

"I've tended to check out when the people aren't doing the good work (my opinion). I started the meeting in that frame of mind, but then I reminded myself that my intent is to make things better. The next thing I knew, I was actively engaged and leading a section of the meeting. Nice. Thank you!"

In closing, Part 3 will be another example, this time as a short business case, of how this works, or more to the point, does NOT work amongst the wrong thinking and choices.

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