LeadersEdge blog
Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
Intentional & Purposeful Leadership and Why it is Critical in Our New World of Work
August 29, 2022

Last week, we explored the concept of psychological safety, which is key in creating a safe space, so others can think and perform at their best. This week, want to shift gears and explore why intentional and purposeful leadership is so important in our new world of work. 

Every single interaction matters now more than ever before, whether you are leading remotely, in-person or a combination of both. Employee engagement and satisfaction are highly dependent on how well you show up and engage with your people. 

We have all been through some real highs and lows over the past few years, as we have all learned how to settle into our new way of working and interacting with others. Whether you realize it or not, your people are observing you, watching how you show up, tuning in to what you say and how you say it in every interaction. Your behavior sets the tone for how others interact with their colleagues both consciously and unconsciously. 

Are you setting the right example for your people, or are you on autopilot, simply reacting to situations and circumstances as they arise in your day-to-day role? Do you shoot from the hip, and tell it like it is without being aware of the messages you are sending out or the image you are creating for yourself?  

Don’t get me wrong. We advocate for authentic and transparent leadership, but there is an appropriate way to deliver your message or thoughts without coming across as a negative nelly.  No one enjoys working for someone who is overly critical or unkind to others, nor does that support teamwork or a collaborative and inclusive work environment.

Proactive Planning & the Ability to Prioritize

The ability to proactively plan your day, set clear priorities for yourself and others is what enables us to be highly productive and get things done. Are you being selective about where and how you spend your time in every moment of your day? Or are you passively attending all meetings that come your way without questioning the value you may or may not bring to those discussions? You have a choice in every given moment, so please use your judgement and be selective about how you are managing your time. 

In parallel with the ability to use your time wisely, being able to prioritize what is most important and in alignment with your strategic imperatives is so critical to your success and the success of your team. Being able to discern noise and distractions from value-add activities, projects and assignments will ensure that you are focusing on the right things vs. trying to appease every request that comes your way.

Prioritization is a skill that aligns with our ability to think strategically – what are the strategic imperatives for the organization and how does your team and functional area line up to the overarching strategy? If that isn’t clear for you then why would it be clear for your people, as it is your responsibility to set the direction, objectives, and goals for your respective team.

The higher up you climb in leadership positions, the more critical you fine-tune and master these skills as you will be pulled in multiple directions and at laser speed, so you need to be at the top of your game as it relates to planning and prioritizing for yourself and others.

You may be asking yourself – what does proactive planning ahead and prioritization have to do with being an intentional and purposeful leader? The answer is overly simplistic – everything.

Intentional & Purposeful Leadership 

Part of the proactive planning process entails being clear and specific as it relates to defining what success looks like in every interaction.

Prior to attending and planning meetings are you consciously thinking about how that meeting or discussion will flow and what the agenda entails? What are you striving to accomplish in the allotted time? Have you established a realistic agenda or will you time out which might create frustration for yourself and others? How will you go about creating engagement and buy in? Have you allotted time for questions and feedback, or will you show up as a “talking head” in the meeting?

Time is precious and we are all “busy” so use it wisely and purposefully in every moment you have and in all aspects of your life! Operating on autopilot does not foster high performance in ourselves or others.

What are your thoughts on the concept of intentional and purposeful leadership? How effective are you at planning and managing your day and priorities? We want to hear your feedback and insights on this topic, so please email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or call me at 1.855.871.3374.

Stay connected
Feel free to connect with me on social media.