Thomas Edison once said, “Being busy does not mean always mean real work.” Although Edison passed away over 80 years ago, his quote still holds true today. But, a certain type of leader can put an end to meaningless work and put purpose back into the workplace. Intentional leaders take deliberate and purposeful actions to develop the trust and respect of their employees. How can you become an intentional leader and inspire your team? Follow these tips:

Be aware.

Intentional leaders are aware of the impression that they give off and make a conscientious effort to set the best example for their employees at all times. For example, managers may not realize that their constant worrying about the bottom line makes employees feel tense and anxious. Some managers walk around the office with a sour look on their face, unaware that employees take this to mean something bad is happening with the company. Some employees may even interpret this as the manager shooting them a dirty look. Intentional leaders, however, are aware that their words and body language weigh heavy on their team, and therefore act and speak very deliberately to inspire and motivate everyone them.

Value others’ time.

Intentional leaders would never think to waste an employee’s time with an unnecessary meeting that drags on for an hour. This type of leader believes that every minute of the day must be filled with purpose, so pointless meetings are avoided with quick chats or brief emails. When meetings are necessary, an intentional leader makes sure that only the people who need to be there are invite. For instance, a meeting called to discuss recent sales figures from your company’s wholesale distributors will not include the IT department, who has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Leaders always stay on track to get through the agenda without eating into employees’ schedules.

Give feedback.

Employees need constructive criticism in order to grow both personally and professionally. Intentional leaders recognize that feedback does not have to be limited to annual performance reviews and instead offer their employees constructive criticism on a regular basis. Leaders take advantage of every opportunity to give their employees feedback and believe that doing so will improve the strength of the team overall.

Take responsibility.

True intentional leaders do not shy away from accepting responsibility when something goes wrong. Because intentional leaders think each decision over carefully, they will always be confident in the decision that was made, even if it doesn’t have the best results. These leaders are ready to admit their faults and learn from their mistakes. But, as an intentional leader, it is up to you to move the entire team forward after a mistake. The team’s attention must shift to focus on what needs to be done next and how to bounce back from the problem.

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