Leading with Intentionality

Here is a question I’ve been chewing on:  How intentional am I being in my leadership?  My immediate response is, “I’m being very intentional, look at how busy I am, look at how much I’m getting done.”  But busyness and results are not the measure of intentionality.  When I was honest with myself and dug a little deeper into my task list I discovered that I’d actually drifted further from intentionality than I thought.

So I went back to Mark 1:29-39 where Jesus modeled Intentional Leadership so well.  Jesus had just finished an incredibly successful night of ministering to huge crowds, then the following morning he slipped off to be alone.  Mark describes what happens, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Mark 1:35-39

Even though he was facing strong expectations from others Jesus had the discipline to lead with intentionality and only do that which God was asking him to do.  Six lessons stand out to me from this passage.

  1. Intentionality in our private lives leads to intentionality in our leadership.  Jesus made spending time with God a priority.
  2. When I lead with intentionality I will disappoint people.  I’m sure both the crowds and the disciples were disappointed by Jesus decision to move on.
  3. Intentionality means saying “no” to good things so you can say yes to the “best’ things.  Going back and healing more people in that little town would be a good thing, but spreading the good news to many towns was the better thing.
  4. You will always experience a pull away from intentionality.  When you lead you will feel the pressure of other people’s expectations.
  5. Intentionality requires clearly defining your objectives.  Jesus was able to say “no” because he knew exactly what God wanted him to do.
  6. Intentionality takes discipline and focus.  Sometimes when we know the right thing to do we still don’t do it because of a lack of discipline or focus.

What’s pulling you away from leading with intentionality?