Mindfulness: Living and Leading with Intention

1 Comment January 8, 2012 / Posted in Mindful Business, Mindful Leadership, Mindfulness


I have been influenced in the practice of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh since the mid-80’s and by Karen Sothers and Steve Alper since the mid-90s with their work at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine under the leadership of Dr Mimi Guarneri. With my 25 years as a Vistage Chair I have been blessed to be exposed to the many aspects of leadership from the perspective of what does it mean to be a leader who practices Mindfulness.

I would like to share some insights from a dear friend and an alumna Vistage Chair, Mary Lore, author of Managing Thought. Some good thought to reflect on as we begin our new year awake and aware.

Living and Leading with Intention

Do you have a written vision statement or intention for:

Your organization or your family?
Your role in your organization or family?
Your life? Your career? Yourself?
Your relationship with your children? Your direct reports?
Your relationships with your customers, suppliers, investors, employees, colleagues, manager, or boss?
Your marriage, education, livelihood, well-being, success?
Your vacation, the home or car you hope to buy, a conversation, an activity, a sales call, an acquisition, or a meeting?

We can set vision statements and choose our intentions and purpose for any aspect of our being. You can intend:

Good health.
Helping your employees fulfill their dreams.
Being of highest and best service to your customers, employees, investors, suppliers, children, parents, and humanity.
Being a loving partner to your spouse.
Being a guide and mentor to your children or your direct reports.
Being open, receptive, and kind in a conversation and using the interaction as a source of learning about yourself and others.

And then, before you say or do anything, ask yourself, “What can I say or do in this moment to BE my intention?” Before you make a phone call or respond to a comment, before you join a meeting or have a conversation, or before you open the door when you come home from work, exhale and inhale deeply. Remind yourself of your intention and ask what you can say or do to move another step toward making your intention a reality.

With practice, taking the breath becomes natural for you. With practice, reminding yourself of your intention and asking yourself how you can think and behave in a manner consistent with your intention also becomes natural for you. With practice, you are able to think these powerful thoughts just as quickly and naturally as your old thoughts.

When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value. We stop “re-acting” to colleagues, customers, family members, employees, and situations and start creating what we wish to create. Our thoughts, strategies, goals, plans, actions, and reactions are focused on what is truly significant. We become inspired. We achieve significant results. We transform our relationships, our families, and our organizations.

How could you live with intention? How could you lead with intention?

For more on information on conscious, meaningful living and leading with purpose:

Watch video: Powerful resolutions, intentions, and affirmations to create a life well-lived.
Watch, listen, or read: How to Make Goals and Resolutions You Can Keep
Listen or Read: Focus on What You Want, Not What You Don’t Want
Read: What’s Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?
Take this free Self-Assessment for a Life Well-Lived.

For daily inspiration on this topic, follow Managing Thought on Twitter or like it on Facebook.


Mary J. Lore is a mentor to corporate leaders, multiple award winning author, keynote speaker, and founder of Managing Thought, LLC. Hailed by business leaders around the world, her multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? You not only change the way you think about success—you change the way you think, period. Mary helps individuals and organizations turn counter-productive thinking into inspired action and significant results. In her career, she has served as a CPA, a crisis management and business turnaround expert, and an entrepreneur. Mary serves as an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a member during the 1990s. Visit Mary at www.managingthought.com and www.maryjlore.com. If you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial.

1 Comment... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. Be said on January 17th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    A lovely post Mary … I especially liked the phrase …’ and then, before you say or do anything, ask yourself, “What can I say or do in this moment to BE my intention? ‘

    It makes such a difference if we just take a moment before doing something … we make a true choice from a place of freedom and not a reaction


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