With clarity around these three leadership “I’s” you will have a firm foundation for whatever leadership role you’re playing, no matter the arena where you’re serving as a leader.
Intention—Leaders are intentional. Leaders live and lead on purpose. They are thoughtful and discerning when it comes to who they are and what they’re seeking to achieve. History has shown us that leaders can influence people, but often their leadership is more about playing a role than purposefully creating outcomes and impacts. In other words, these leaders use their influence without thoughtful intentions. If you want to be an effective leader, being intentional in all aspects of your leadership will serve you (and those you serve) well.
Influence—Leadership is about influence, and the essence of influence is being a person that people want to follow. It means engaging people behind a cause, mission, vision, purpose or values. Influence is the outcome of being authentic as a leader, which allows you to build the deep levels of trust that draw people to you, engage people and commit them to being a part of your plan and vision.
Impact—Leadership is about impact, not actions. Leaders are acutely focused on their desired impact (beyond goals and objectives), and impact equates to creating something long-lasting. While some “leaders” are focused on their personal agendas and legacy, true leaders are focused on organizational, institutional, community and global legacy.
What about you?
Will you be intentional? Are you committed to being the kind of person and leader that people will trust and want to follow? What’s your “why” as a leader (personally and professionally), and is your “why” more about impact than outcomes?
These might seem like easy questions and they are, but only if you’re willing to be authentic, vulnerable and honest in assessing yourself. Many so-called leaders never even ask these questions, let alone honestly answer them. Many leaders claim to desire feedback from others (often the best source of honest perspectives and the best way for identifying blind spots), yet they never take action on the feedback—believing they already are the leader they want to be. We live in a world where leadership is often defined by effectiveness, rather than impact. Where leaders are judged more on their ability to be decisive than on their willingness to be vulnerable. Based upon the state of affairs in our world, it’s time for a change—time for a new type of leader. Authentic, vulnerable and courageous!
In the end, leadership is a choice, and the three “I’s” outlined above are individual choices that collectively represent that larger choice. Once that choice is made, you can commit to these three I’s in order to be the type of leader that makes a difference with people, in organizations, in businesses, in initiatives and in the community. The time is now—time for a new type of leader who is focused on intention, influence and impact. Will you choose to embrace the “I’s” of leadership?
Join me on Tuesday, June 21st at the COSE Business Boot Camp as we take a dive into what it means to be an authentic leader and the impact authentic leaders can unleash. No matter your title or role, this session will help you tap into a whole other level of personal and professional leadership.