Leading with Intention: The Power of Must, Will, and Now

Leading with Intention: The Power of Must, Will, and Now

Nancy Kymn Harvin Rutigliano, Amy Frost
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch030
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Strategic leadership and management have been widely studied through the lenses of economics, business models, theories of work, and the like. This chapter offers a unique view of strategic leadership and management through the examination of two collections of imperatives: “Leadership Under Fire” written by a retired U.S. Army Major and “Live With Intention” written by a businesswoman and author whose published work has been read by millions. We make the case that effective leadership and management is a function of the relationship with one's self, one's work as well as with a myriad of stakeholders. The unique lens of this chapter provides a means to consider “outside the box” approaches to fueling bottom-line results, sustainability, and global impact through strategic leadership and management.
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In my work with leaders across continents and organizations, I see a common thread. No matter what level of leader I am working with or what part of the world I am working in, once leaders begin to intentionally choose who they want to be and the impact they want to have, their effectiveness exponentially rises, both in their leadership and in their lives.... Every interaction—whether you’re presenting to an entire organization or talking one-on-one with a colleague—is an opportunity to influence and inspire others to achieve extraordinary results. Leading with Intention makes the connection between your leadership behavior and the bottom line and challenges you to make a profound, deliberate mark on both your organization and the world around you. (Hall, 2014, xii)

Mary Anne Radmacher wrote Live with Intention as a treatise to guide her life as a business owner, author, poet, and artist. Her intention, in 1993, was to live and lead from this purpose statement. Since then millions of people around the world, including the two authors of this chapter, have been guided by Live with Intention. We focus on the application of Radmacher’s writing to leadership, and offer examples of how each element of her treatise can fuel success and bring fulfillment to leaders, managers, and their followers.

While living a life quite dissimilar to Radmacher’s, Army Major Ross D. Bryant began, in 2003, to write “Leadership Under Fire,” his own treatise about life in the trenches, on the battlefield, in the conference room, and at home. He created 365 messages, one for each day of the year. While Bryant intended to publish them, life intervened. He had many leadership-under-fire moments in his career in the military, faced economic and personal hardship, and literally had to rebuild his life with a few pieces of furniture, an empty bank account, and some treasured books, including his manuscript of “Leadership Under Fire.” Today, Bryant is the Director of Veteran Services at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and leads over 1,500 new veteran students each year in learning the tenets he has not only written about but strives to practice daily.

In this chapter, we seek to amplify the application of Live with Intention to the real world of leadership by pairing each line of Radmacher’s purpose statement with messages from Bryant’s “Leadership Under Fire.” In addition, we will offer perspectives from others we have interviewed, literature we have reviewed, and lessons we have learned in our more than 60 collective years of blending theory with practice as company executives, business consultants, teachers, and authors. Our intention in writing this chapter is to empower leaders, managers and their followers to fulfill their missions while living successful and happy lives.



Type the first seven words of Radmacher’s life purpose statement, “Live with intention. Walk to the edge,” in a search engine and more than 19,700,000 hits pop up. With the simple, carefully chosen words of Live with Intention, Radmacher created a path that millions have chosen to follow. Although she knows only a small percentage of her followers by name, there is no doubt Radmacher is a leader among leaders. Like many, she did not set her heart on being a leader in the traditional sense of the word; she simply wanted to live true to her inner wisdom. However, as she charted a path that fed her heart and soul, mind and body, others found Live with Intention to be their path as well. In 2010, Conari Press published Radmacher’s book, Live with Intention: Rediscovering What We Deeply Know. Simple Truths publisher Mac Anderson convinced Radmacher to share her insights and experiences garnered from putting her treatise into practice via the book, Life Begins When You Do (2011).

There is a plethora of iterations, artists’ renderings, and stories based on the impact of Radmacher’s work. Many include application in businesses, workplaces, customer service, sales, boardroom meetings—anywhere and everywhere leaders are called upon to bring about results. And by leaders we mean not just those with positions of power. We include as leaders anyone who takes on the goal of moving beyond current circumstances to something new. Thus, in this chapter, we offer a broad perspective of what it is to be a leader, how each of us can “lead with intention” no matter where we find ourselves.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Effective Listening: Effectively listening goes beyond just listening with your ears. It also engages your eyes, intuition, and heart in patient, undivided, empathic attention to another person, resulting in his or her greater trust in you and willingness to communicate even the difficult issues.

Effective Leadership: Effective leaders have the characteristics and elements that help propel their teams and individual followers to success and personal fulfillment.

Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is a structured way of analyzing an issue both logically and intuitively in order to arrive at an actionable decision in business or life.

Workaholic: Workaholics are people who lack balance in life and who work compulsively at the expense of other pursuits and often to the detriment of their health and well-being.

Self-Assessment: Self-assessment is an ongoing practice and a form of learning that enables a to person to be aware of personal characteristics and tendencies, including strengths and weaknesses, in order to take actions to strengthen, overcome, or compensate for limitations, and to improve effectiveness in all areas of life.

Intention: Intention is a powerful, conscious force that directs your energy toward a goal and that guides your actions toward realizing more of your potential.

Life-Long Learning: Life-long learning is the continuous process of acquiring knowledge and skills that help to promote one’s productivity and effectiveness in the workplace as well as greater enjoyment of and enthusiasm for life in general.

Self-Care: Self-care involves living a more balanced life and acting on established best practices to promote your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.

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