What Makes A Business Leader Successful Today? Intentionality And The 3 Shifts

Either they aren’t clear on what they’re trying to do, or they know what they need to do but aren’t doing the right things to achieve their objectives. Both waste money and resources and leave organizations stuck in the status quo.

This affects leaders regardless of the size or type of organization, and that’s why I wrote The Intention Imperative: 3 Essential Changes That Will Make You A Successful Leader Today.

What all great leaders have in common is intentionality— being crystal clear on what you’re trying to achieve and taking the right actions every day to achieve it.

Why do many business leaders lack clarity?

  1. They inherited an unclear vision or never had one to begin with.
  2. They value operations over objectives — doing things without questioning why.
  3. They were distracted by problems, or even opportunities, which took them off course.
  4. They were unwilling or unable to look at what was consistently being done with a fresh perspective.

What are the symptoms and signs of a leader who lacks clarity?

  1. Constant changes in focus or direction
  2. Lack of momentum
  3. Confusion among employees and what to do
  4. Many team members asking “Why?”
  5. Frustration at every level
  6. Inconsistent action or behavior

In my book, I explain intentionality and then share what I believe are imperative changes leaders need to take today to succeed: the shift from structure to culture, from motivation to inspiration and from experience to emotion.


“Culture is what we think and believe, which then determines what we do and what we accomplish.”

In The Intention Imperative, I teach the five levers you have for creating and maintaining the culture you desire. Creating it is the job of a leader.


“Inspiration doesn’t have to be mysterious or complicated to create.”

What is inspiration? It is motivation to the power of purpose. It is linking meaning to motives. Inspiration doesn’t come from outside force or artificial causes. It develops from the work itself and how the leader is able to

demonstrate importance and impact.


“Emotions are everywhere and they are the single biggest factor in how we make decisions.”

A negative emotional experience can be offset with a positive one. The customer experience is important, but how the customer feels about that experience is critical. Few companies design and deliver for positive emotion.

Now, try these three things:

  1. Focus on building a culture that powers the right actions to create the right results you, your team and customers need for breakthrough success.
  2. Couple purpose with motivation so your team is inspired.
  3. Design your product and service delivery around positive emotions.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an “idea studio” that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the best-selling author of books like Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books, his video series “Team Building: How To Motivate

And Manage People” or his website, MarkSanborn.com, to learn more.

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