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Leadership Nudge® 322 – Intent Balances Ownership and Alignment

Leaders use intent to get the team to have a sense of ownership and feel responsible for the outcomes of the job and, at the same time, have alignment and unity of effort.


One of the great conundrums of leadership is “how do I get the team to have a sense of ownership and feel responsible for the outcomes of the job and at the same time, have alignment and unity of effort?” And it’s usually framed up in terms of I get one or the other.  “Just do it,” I get a lot of ownership, little unity of effort. “Very commanding control,”, lots of unity of effort but I don’t get a lot of ownership. Intent is what breaks that logjam. Intent allows you to get both high levels of ownership and tremendous laser focus unity of effort.

This is also a representation of the ladder and this is why we like level five on the ladder. That’s why we say level five is the target spot. Because down here at level one, this is telling me what to do or I’ll tell you what to do. And then we move up to ‘What do you see?’, ‘What do you think?’, “What would you recommend?’ ‘What do you intend?’.

And now when you go to level six, which is just do it, then you move over here. So five is the peak where you get the maximum amount of both unity of effort and ownership.  Intent is the magic word. I’m David Marquet, that’s your Leadership Nudge®.



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