Actions & Intentions
We judge ourselves by our intent.
When we make a decision our intent is always factored in. What we plan to happen and what ultimately takes place may not align exactly, but that outcome is virtually irrelevant as it pertains to our judgment of ourselves. We are quick to dismiss an unfavorable result, or even questionable action, if our intent was pure to begin with.
We judge others by their actions.
When others make a decision we rarely consider their intent. Our judgment of others is based almost solely on the results of their actions. For others, it’s the intent that is irrelevant. Whether the intent was pure or questionable means nothing as long as the desired result was achieved.
If the double standard seems troubling to you, it should be - especially as a leader.
Why Should We Care?
In leadership, our purpose should be grounded in servanthood. We should be attempting to move our team, and the individuals on it, forward. Of course, we will be judged by society based on the external scoreboard of results, but that doesn’t mean this form of assessment must be accepted by those actually doing the leading. Actually, it’s counterproductive to do so.
Ultimately our intent drives our actions and our actions drive our results.
To achieve success, jumping directly to an obsession with the result will produce fruit. The problem, or course, is that it won’t last. In order to sustain success, we must address intent.
The grace we give ourselves needs to be afforded to those we lead. That grace is rooted in the consideration of our own intent. We know what we meant to say and to do, but we don’t have that same insight for others. It’s our job as a leader to know and understand the intent of those we lead.
Without an understanding of intent, we create it for ourselves.
And, it’s hardly ever accurate.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Intent in others isn’t something that’s easy to assess, but necessary nonetheless. We must make it a priority if we are serious about leading and impacting to the best of our ability. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Considering intent leads to understanding and acceptance. Focusing solely on actions places the responsibility for that narrative of intent in our hands. That’s a story we are very poor at telling accurately.
Checkout Surrender the Outcome on Amazon and order The Score That Matters with Ryan Hawk & Brook Cupps before its release in March 2024. The latest blog from Blue Collar Grit can be found here!
I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.