One of the things that often gets overlooked in the hustle of running a company is the power of intention. As CEOs, we’re often so caught up in the day-to-day operations, strategic planning and the bottom line, that we forget to step back and ask ourselves why are we doing what we’re doing? What is our intention behind our actions? And most importantly, are we committed to that intention?
True growth – the kind that is sustainable and meaningful – comes from a commitment to intention. It’s not just about expanding your business, increasing your profits or growing your market share. Those are important, of course, but they are not the end goal. The end goal is the intention behind those actions.
Adapting with intention
They say change is the only constant, so as CEOs we need the capacity to adapt. But adapting is not just about reacting to changes as they occur. It’s about anticipating change, planning for it and even leveraging it for growth.
Adapting is not just about reacting to changes as they occur.
This requires a clear understanding of where we are now, where we want to be and what we need to do to get there. It requires adaptive capacity, which means having the mental, physical and temporal space to respond positively when things don’t go according to plan, and even to seize opportunities that may exist as a result of new conditions.
Defining your vision
Sir Donald Bradman was a world famous, record-setting cricketer who always dreamed of playing for Australia. As a young boy, he would spend countless hours everyday practicing, honing his skills and envisioning his future. He had a clear vision of what he wanted and he committed to making it happen.
This is the power of intention. As CEOs, we need to define our vision, not just for our organizations but for ourselves as leaders. What do we want to achieve? What impact do we want to have? What legacy do we want to leave? These are big questions, but they are essential for intentional growth.
Making the right decisions
Once we have defined our vision, we can start to make decisions that align with it. This is where the real growth happens. It’s not about doing more but about doing what matters. It’s about focusing on the activities that have the biggest impact and letting go of the ones that don’t. It’s about making choices that move us closer to our vision, even when they’re hard.
Intention is not just about what we do. It’s also about what we don’t do.
But intention is not just about what we do. It’s also about what we don’t do. Sometimes, the things we choose not to do have the greatest impact. By saying no to the things that don’t align with our vision, we create space for the things that do. We create space for growth.
So, how can you cultivate a commitment to intention? Here are a few suggestions:
- Define your intention. What is the purpose behind your actions? What is the impact you want to make in the world? Be clear about your intention and communicate it to your team.
- Align your actions with your intention. Every decision you make, every action you take, should align with your intention. If it doesn’t, then you should consider whether it’s worth pursuing.
- Measure your progress. How do you know if you’re moving toward your intention? You need to have clear metrics that measure your progress. These should not just be financial but also qualitative, such as customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social impact.
- Stay committed. Commitment is not a one-time thing. It’s a continuous process. Stay committed to your intention, even when things get tough.
True growth comes from a commitment to intention. It’s about making a difference, not just making a profit. It’s about creating value, not just creating wealth. And it’s about being true to yourself and your values, not just being successful in the eyes of the world.
As CEOs, we have the power to shape the future of our companies, our industries and our world. Let’s use that power wisely with intention and commitment.
Donna McGeorge is a global authority on productivity and the best-selling author of the It’s About Time book series. Her latest book, Join the ChatGPT Revolution was released in June. Find out more at www.donnamcgeorge.com.