What is your purpose—or intention?

Purpose is a huge question. I like breaking purpose down into smaller, bite-sized chunks called “intentions.” The latin root of this word is “intentio” which translates best as “stretching.” I love this because I think a really great intention is like a rubber band or an elastic that stretches over the needs of everyone and pulls a group closer toward being connected

An example of this shift from a me-centered goal or objective to a we-centered intention might sound like:

We want to be the best organization IN the world. 


We want to be the best organization FOR the world. 

(The above is an actual example from HP Labs which you can read about more in the soon-to-be released the second version of our #1 Amazon Bestseller, Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations that Matter.)

One of the first tools that we share in our book is to “be clear about your intent and share it with the people it may effect.” Quite often we have intentions that impact others, yet rarely do we state those intentions clearly. When we do though, it allows the people around us to choose to align and be accountable to play the same game we are playing—or not. As leaders, having somebody clearly in or clearly out is far better than having teams of people waffling in chaos, uncertainty or a mindset of “it’s not my job.”

Want to test out this tool right now? Open up your calendar. Find a high impact meeting within the next month (it could even be a family holiday gathering). Create an event immediately before titled: Share Intention. And write out either an outcome focused, commitment focused, or future state focused intention in the description of the event. Lastly, share it within the first 5 minutes of that meeting and invite people to comment and respond.

Here is my personal example for this week: my intention over the next week is to be fully present with my family and to prioritize quality time with loved ones over any outstanding tasks or projects.

P.S. – We are currently designing a new card deck! Tentatively they are called “We! Purpose Cards” and they will help you and your group get clarity on purpose, vision, and values! If you want a chance to receive a free prototype deck, share your design suggestions right here

P.P.S. – Let us know if you are interested in an upcoming conference or event that you want to be more intentional, engaging, and interactive? Hit “reply” to request more info about our Connected Conference offering and 2020 availability. 


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