Leading With Intention

Advice about leadership, mindfulness and positive psychology has been around for decades. There are many themes regarding development, culture and growth within athletic teams, businesses and schools. It’s important that people are trained in these areas, because a breakdown in leadership or the wrong mindset can doom a company, team, family or individual.

However, such a breakdown often happens due to a lack of strategies; leadership is taught more than it is caught. We must move from talking about leadership to being active in the execution of it in our lives.

In 2017 I published a book, It Doesn’t Happen by Accident: The 6 Keys to Leading with Intention. Its purpose is to give clear strategies anyone can implement to move forward into becoming the person they were destined to be.

Key No. 1: Make Today Count

Today is the most important day of your life. Why? Because it’s the only day you’re living! We need to stop counting the days and start making the days count. You are the person you are today as a result of your previous todays. Today + today + today = your life/your career/your legacy. Be where your feet are in this present moment and attack everything in your path.

Key No. 2: Function Over Feeling

The most dangerous sentence in the world is “I don’t feel like it.” Your feelings do not matter. The way we feel toward something has little to do with the execution of that specific task. We may need to act differently than how we feel. You don’t need to be happy to act happy. You don’t need to be confident to act confident. Action will always be the greatest variable in success or failure.

Key No. 3: Principles Over Preference

We are three types of people: the person we are, the person we want to be, and the person that people see. Any inconsistencies in daily living are due to a lack of core principles. These principles will drive behavior that will then produce results and your desired outcome. A few examples of core principles are attitude, discipline, service, faith and excellence. Living a principle-based life will shift your behaviors from doing what is convenient to doing what is necessary.

Key No. 4: You Become Your Habits

Everything you do in your life matters. How you do anything is how you do everything. There are no big things, only a series of small events that add up over time. This rule is known as the Compound Effect. Every decision we make will build up momentum and make a huge difference in the long run. Keep hitting the workouts, stay the course with your nutrition, and be sound in your investments. The results will take care of themselves.

Key No. 5: Bring the Energy

High energy levels are harder to find in our world today. We must take ownership for our energy and enthusiasm because that is an area of life we can control. Be responsible for your own positive energy and be the lighthouse for others in a sea of darkness. How does this happen? You have to bring the JUICE: Jacked-Up Insane Contagious Energy! When you are juiceful, you’re useful and when you’re juiceless, you’re useless.

Key No. 6: 2 + 2 = 5

This is the concept known as synergy. We are stronger when working with others because we tend to give up on ourselves before we will give up on anybody else. When a collection of people is moving in the same direction, the results are powerful. Find an accountability partner and work together to provide the structure for each person to grow and to lift each other up to a new level. There is strength in numbers, especially when the vision is shared.

A Red Raider baseball player who earned All-American honorable mention and membership in the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame, Ethan Miller is the athletic director, head baseball coach and assistant girls’ track and field coach at Central Springs High School in Manly, Iowa. He also teaches classes in character and leadership, health, and physical education. His latest book is Living a Life of Purpose. Learn more at ethan-miller.com and follow him on Twitter @EthanMiller_20.

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