Be Intentional!

I hope my thoughts don’t offend anyone. Well, truth be told, I actually hope they do. It seems now more than ever we need to offend somebody to get them to listen and respond. There is way too much of that going on. Only individually can we hope to end this offensive nonsense. Be Intentional.

As I work in my profession and in my passion, I hear some disconcerting news. While we are in this mess, many businesses and individuals are choosing to step away from professional development and leadership development as a cost-savings. If you haven’t noticed, this is the time we need it more than ever. Now is the time to invest.

Just like the right time to buy in the market is when prices are low (this is not legal financial advice), this is the right time to engage your employees in leadership development. That might include problem-solving, change management, customer service, sales, or behavior assessments, to name a few. What about communication, prioritization, corporate culture, diversity, teambuilding or self-confidence?

All of these topics add up to corporate culture. It is important to understand that corporate culture starts from the inside out. From inside the organization and, more importantly, inside the employees. John Maxwell shares that, “corporate culture eats vision.” While a strategic plan with vision (mission, values, strategies, objectives, action steps) is important, it is of little value with a culture that will not embrace it.

Just like the airlines tell us to put our masks on first so we can help others, businesses must help their employees develop and grow so they can help others. Emotional intelligence is the newest buzzword. All that really means is we need to address leadership, performance, decision-making, occupational stress and person well-being. We know this but what are we doing about it? Are we getting our masks on first?

If you really peel back the layers of the onion related to the corporate challenges of sales, customer service, inclusivity, and prioritization, you will see personality as the basis for issues inside and outside the workplace. Without getting too “touchy-feely”, behavioral assessments like DISC can get to that with a brief “quiz” and an extensive report. Then you can really work from the inside out to impact your people and business. The DISC assessment serves as an audit for an individual so that person can begin to work on improving themselves.

With five generations now in the workplace, the fact that differences make us better is more critical than ever. And those are not just age differences. I do my best to seek out ideas and opinions that are different than me. Someone else’s thoughts don’t necessarily change my mind, although I’m open to that, but it certainly helps me to modify or improve my thoughts. I like the way Simon Sinek talks about uncomfortable conversations. We need to be intentional and have more of them, or at least the first one.

For me, it all comes down to my core values—optimism, trust, honesty, enthusiasm, teamwork. That forms the basis of what I do and helps ground me as an employee and person. My “I” (inspiring) DISC style fits well with my core values and hopefully makes me a decent person to work with in the community. My core values and DISC style serve as the foundation of me as an employee.

My one favorite all-encompassing worldwide leadership solution is to go out and commit intentional acts of kindness. One example of that would be to bring back (or start) leadership development in your organization, before it’s too late. Be Intentional.

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