Choosing to Be an Authentic Leader

The brochure states, “The Intentional Leader will take participants on a journey of transformation, uncovering their own unique gifts and passion for leading.” This seemed both exciting and intimidating. When the program began in February, I couldn’t imagine that could be the outcome for me. Now in our closing weeks, I can clearly see how this has been true, and I am so grateful for the experience.

Frankly, I had a bit of fear about looking deeply to identify my own strengths and areas for improvement. The integration of tools, activities, coaching, and discussions made the process manageable. With gentle guidance from the instructors, my coach, and my cohort, I moved from anxiety to curiosity, and now, to acceptance.

The Intentional Leader Program (ILP) guided us through a process of learning and discovery. I learned how experiences throughout my life influenced my values and my leadership style. The experiences, perspective, and insight of our group elevated the value of the program in extraordinary ways. The strong relationships I’ve formed have added exponentially to the richness of this experience.

It’s all about intention: Pause. Reflect. Choose. Connect. Practice. This program taught me how to take each step and how crucial they are to bringing my best to every situation. As time went on, I noticed small, incremental successes. These successes are becoming more frequent and give me confidence that I’ll be able to continue practicing what I’ve learned beyond the conclusion of the program.

Part of the ILP program entails a work project. I played a key role in creating a new, vital internal program for my organization. As we developed the program, I was able to apply learnings from each of the ILP modules: Strategic Mastery, Results Mastery, Individual Mastery, and Interpersonal Mastery. It is evident the program roll-out was exponentially more successful thanks to my sharpened focus on each of these areas. ILP gave me confidence in the processes used to implement and move forward in this project. The program launch has been both rewarding and super exciting!

I now move forward with a clearer picture of my personal leadership vision and purpose here at MSEC. I accept my role as an organizational steward and commit to being intentional in all that I do. I will practice strengthening my intentional “muscle”—exercising courage, staying true to my values, asking for feedback, allowing myself to be vulnerable. And I will be gentle with myself when things go awry. The ILP experience demonstrated that time I spend practicing being intentional will improve my relationships and my work, and will grow my happiness and satisfaction.

Intention is truly a gift. It allows for pause. It gives us perspective. It generates opportunity. It improves outcomes. It brings calm. And it creates joy.

Click here to find out more about the 2017 program.