The secret to creating Leaders throughout your organisation

Use: ‘I intend to ….’

Read about the 6 Questions To Bring Clarity to Your First Team!

When we give people instructions, we create followers.

When we tell people what our intention is, we create independent thinking leaders.

I believe that people are already empowered, and by allowing them to understand our intentions, we give them the authority to act upon their empowerment.

To gauge if your people feel disempowered, listen for language like:

        • ‘We’ve always done it the way.
        • I was told, or they told me …
        • What would you like me to do?
        • What should I do about it?
        • Do you think we should …?
        • Tell me what to do.

As Curious Leaders, What Are The Right The Questions to Ask

But to truly empower your people, you should actively use phrases like:

        • I intend to…
        • I would like to…
        • I plan to…
        • I will…
        • Let me give you an update.
        • Here’s what we are thinking about this.

Instead of waiting for an order for the next step, an empowered employee briefs their supervisor with sufficient information and rationale for the action or decision they are about to take. In turn, the supervisor must take an active decision to stop the employee from acting on their intention.

Using empowered language builds energetic, emotionally committed employees who begin to think about what needs to be done and the right way to do it. They start thinking aloud about what they intend and at a higher level.

Because you are clear about your intentions, they can articulate and verbalize their intentions to meet your goals.

5 Behaviours at the Heart of a Great Team

‘I intend to …’ creates ownership in goal setting, giving the employee responsibility and increasing commitment to achieving the goal.

Intentions can do more than this; they can significantly increase goal attainment.

Where goals intentions specify a specific endpoint, intentions describe the when, where and how of reaching the goal.


Based on the work by L David Marquet & his book ‘Turn This Ship Around.