Yesterday, I wrote a post about Starling Consulting's Core Values - Intentionality, Excellence, Communication and Humanity. Today, I want to talk a little more about the first value. (And it is first. If I had to pick just one, this would be it.)
In the dictionary, intentionality is defined as the fact of being deliberate or purposive. I love that. Just saying it makes me want to go out and stride meaningfully down the sidewalk toward some great mission like Captain America. (Catherine has us watching a LOT of Marvel movies right now.)
But, seriously. Deliberate. Purposive. Intentional. Who doesn't want to be those things? So many of us in small-to-medium sized businesses spend our days feeling like we are flailing—ricocheting from one task to another, putting out fires, spinning in circles trying to keep up. Wouldn't it be better to wake up every day, know exactly what the most important thing was that you needed to accomplish that day, and do it? To move with purpose and deliberation and intention toward the targets you've set, completing meaningful work every day?
I think that's the Holy Grail of business leadership, to be able to shut out the noise and static and focus on what's truly important. And unless you can do that, you'll never build the business you want. I'll never build the business I want. That's why this is my first value—without Intentionality, nothing else happens. Sure, I might accidentally succeed for a while. Lots of people do. But long-term? Not gonna work. An unintentionally successful business is like a bridge made of duct tape and toothpicks—eventually it will collapse. Probably when you need it the most.
So every day, I wake up, meditate, and set out my intention(s) for the day. I pick the one or two tasks that will make the most meaningful difference, that will move the chains the most, and I focus on those. Before I do something, I ask myself why I'm doing it and what impact it will have on my business. I'm deliberate and purposive and that is going to make my company succeed.