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How to practice intentional leadership and transform your industry

Reduce cognitive dissonance for substantial impact.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I hear a lot of C-Suite leaders throw around the word, “intentional”. 

And every time I hear them say it, I wonder if they know that intentional is more than just a word…it’s an entire way of life. And, it’s a mindset that creates an environment for sustainability in organizations.

Think about your own habits in your leadership style. Are you a practitioner of off-the-cuff decisioning? Are you prone to bias? These are unhealthy habits that we can subconsciously allow into our decision-making, negatively effecting our work and inhibiting organizational growth. The good news is we can combat these habits by actively and intentionally aligning our mindset with our behavior.

Vexing times, such as COVID-19, are often reflected on as fortuitous events depending on the lens in which we choose to view. These events may happen by chance; I’m more prone to think they happen by design. Either way, we get to choose how we respond when these events happen. 

Do you want to leave a mark in this world? Inspire and Imprint others? You hold the power within yourself to respond to circumstances intentionally and to be a generational shifter.

Have you ever asked yourself why you continue to function with cognitive dissonance? What I mean by that is your attitudes are inconsistent with your thoughts. You may think you’re being intentional, but do your behaviors reflect that? We’re talking about congruence.  

I hear these words from clients all the time: “It’s complicated”, “My life is so cluttered”, “I’m exhausted…”

I know, I know, we all feel that at times. Part of the problem is that our society tells us we HAVE to be hyper-scheduled and we HAVE to do “x” and “y”. It gets us hooked on chaos and frenzy, feelings that deplete our ability to make conscious decisions to positively impact those around us. I get it…honestly I do. 

But I have spent thousands of hours developing my self and refuse to allow society to drain me or determine my decisions. The truth is, we don’t HAVE to let our circumstances jerk us this way and that. We don’t HAVE to waste precious energy – mental, emotional, relational, or physical – on hyperactivity and a frenetic lifestyle. We can be intentional about our days and weeks, knowing they eventually turn into years, knowing that they pour over to the generation after us.  

If you want to break free from external expectations and live intentionally – not just uphold intentionality but actually live it – you have to start with these three things:

Reduce cognitive dissonance 

If you want to live in alignment with your values, you’ll have to first examine areas of your life that are incongruous. Then, you can change the behaviors that are inconsistent with your beliefs and focus on beliefs that support the positive behavior you want to achieve. 

Changing the conflicting cognition is the ideal way of dealing with dissonance, but it is also one of the most difficult because it requires altering deeply held values, beliefs and habits.

Rewire the brain

It’s the subconscious mind that is the storehouse for our attitudes, values, and beliefs. So after we make the intent to reduce cognitive dissonance, we have to dive deep into our mind and actually do the work to alter misaligned beliefs and patterns. 

With rewiring and recoding techniques, you have the ability to shortcut the change process and replace the subconscious beliefs that sabotage your personal and professional success, quickly and easily, with powerful self-supporting beliefs for long-lasting change and impact.

When you rewire, you’re able to think clearer, which means you’ll have an increased awareness of the habits you practice every day that actually undermine the beliefs you want to uphold. You’ll even be able to change beliefs so you can take inspired action.

Recalibrate your influence 

If you want to be a strong leader, you have to commit to your intentions. You must put the action in place to show people who you really are. This is the mental edge.

Doing the sub-conscious work of creating cognitive congruence and rewiring and recoding the brain allows us to move into a conscious awareness of our intention. When the words we speak align with the actions we perform, and those two elements align with our purpose, we feel the energy of our conscious intention. And then we can provide vision to others along with a plan to fulfill that vision, thus influencing others into purposeful action. 

The power of intention actually brings energy to our beliefs and actions, assuring they accomplish our purpose. The best leaders know how to create healthy habits by re-patterning their minds, which can actually bring positive transformation in their organizations. 

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