Leadership Nudge® 352 – Intent is for Ourselves

June 7, 2021by Sandy Wilmer

Intent statements are operational decisions that we can enact ourselves. Stating intent for another person or team is telling people what to do.


You can’t intend for somebody else to do something. The engineer would never say, “Hey, I intend for the weapons officer to load torpedoes” and the weapons officer wouldn’t say “I intend for the engineer to start the reactor.”

Intent statements are typically operational decisions that we can enact ourselves. So you can say I intend to . . . “The next time someone says something to me that sounds wrong, instead of convincing them that they’re wrong, I intend to listen with curiosity.”

It can be in a statement about yourself. Or it could be the team that you’re leading. “We intend to launch the product next Wednesday, or we intend to add this feature.” “We intend to not add the feature.” But it’s something within your control, your span of authority.

You wouldn’t say I intend for the marketing department (if you’re not the head of marketing) to change the marketing plan. That’s just like telling people what to do in disguise.

So intent is about you. Always start with you.

I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge.

Sandy Wilmer