As information and directives move through an organization, the language often changes from “why” (which sounds like “we need this by Tuesday in order to feed 10,000 more people”) to “who” (which sounds like “Bob wants this done by Tuesday”). When the “why” is maintained, people are intrinsically motivated to be more creative and thoughtful,...

In 1995, Edward Deci published his book entitled Why We Do What We Do. It outlines his Self-Determination Theory and discusses extrinsic and intrinsic motivation with scientific research to support the theory. It’s a great read and helps explain why Intent-Based Leadership works. We recommend reading it to learn more. I recently read this book, Why...

When an organization creates steep power gradients with things like physical separation, executive dining rooms, and intimidating office size, they limit the flow of information. Information flows inversely proportional to the power gradient. Flatten the power gradient to get the information flowing. I’m here at the RBS headquarters outside of Edinburgh airport at Gothenburg in...

Organizations are biased towards continuing whatever action they are doing. Leaders want to inject moments of thinking and decision into this continuous stream of action. This makes it safe to change the course if needed. Organizations are biased towards continuing whatever action that they’re doing. The reason for this is because we’ve made the decision...

An easy way to think about how to use the Ladder of Leadership is to imagine the steps as a way to Pause, Rewind and Fast Forward. Watch David explain in this week’s Nudge. The Ladder of Leadership with the seven steps is sometimes complicated and hard to remember. “Oh, is this step three or...

Studies show that when we try to control things that we really cannot control, our blood pressure increases and our bodies release of the stress hormone cortisol. For more happiness and less stress make a conscious choice to give up control. A key part of Intent-Based Leadership is about giving up control. We understand the...

Break large and overwhelming projects into smaller chunks to keep moving forward. But, when struggling to see your work’s purpose, try bigger chunks. Chunk big for purpose. Chunk small for progress. One of the things that’s really cool about humans is that because of language, we can coordinate the activities of thousands of people to...

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