A more Intentional Walk may improve your effectiveness

In my last discussion we talked about the concept of the Intentional Walk.  The initial discussion shared these items that would contribute to that more Intentional Walk.  Here is a brief review of those thoughts:

  • A “Walk” would be a way of doing business, a philosophy, strategy or even a set of tactics relating to getting things done in the workplace
  • “Intentional” would mean with specific purpose or direction
  • “Intentional Walk” would be setting up a directed set of strategies or tactics to accomplish a given purpose or strategy

My intent today is to share some specific examples of how I personally have made my walk more intentional.  Additionally, I will share how others I know are doing the same.  My hope is that you can glean some ideas from these concepts to hone and improve your own walk.

  • 15 years ago I was the kind of person who would never say “no” to a project or a cause.  I remember well reading Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and learning about how to list the roles in my life.  That list of roles grew and grew and grew some more.  When I saw this long list of roles I first started to realize that I was spreading myself too thin and not applying myself to the areas that were of most interest to me.  Over the last 10 years I have proactively directed my efforts to do fewer things or attend to fewer causes.  By doing this I can go to much greater depth in any one, or many of them.  I likened myself in the past to a “thin crust pizza” and now I see my efforts as being more of a “deep dish” effort.  Rather than scratching the surface on many areas as I once had done, I now try to focus more keenly on a few, key efforts in the hope that I can make a more significant contribution to each of them.
  • The direction of my efforts has also changed.  In earlier years, my focus would first be around items that would make a difference in the lives of my family and my sons.  While I have not abandoned that entirely, the amount of time I devote now to my sons has changed substantially since they are now both college graduates and engaged in full time work.  When they were younger we spent time together in youth sports (I would typically coach them, sometimes to their chagrin) and I also spent a number of years in various capacities as a Scout leader while they completed their Eagle ranks.  This time was so well spent and I would never change that.  With the time I have gained as they grew I have focused my efforts more to those who are in career transition.  I spend several hours each week working with those in transition, most of this outside of my “paying job”, but seeing that my efforts are hopefully making a difference in a few of their lives, sort of like the Starfish principle.
  • I have friends who too have channeled and redirected their efforts to make their work and their time more impactful.  One good friend is very focused on mission work in Honduras and he leads a mission trip there with dozens of others from his church each summer.  I know that the benefit he gains from this is not his primary motivation, but the difference he is making in the lives of the less fortunate is powerful.

These are but three quick examples of how you might make your walk more impactful.  While all three of these are more about personal initiatives, I hope you will agree that much personal development for our professional careers can come from activities we do outside of our “paying jobs”.

I’ll be back next week to share more about how you too might make your walk more Intentional.