Chapter 5

Establishing Shared Intent

How do you lead the group to be intentional?

Shared intent represents the second corner of the POWER triangle. It is an unnatural state of group alignment about what outcome it stands for and will make happen by when, what is at stake if the group fails, and what can be gained if it succeeds.

Pay very close attention to the insights revealed in the next three PRIMES. CORE PRIME, PARITY, and STAKE were some of the first PRIMES revealed to us over 30 years ago, and they are durable and applicable across a wide range of circumstances. They are also essential to driving meaningful outcomes in complex stakeholder environments.

I realized the importance of “intentionality” while visiting with my friend Dory Hollander, a psychologist and author. Dory had been my confidant and coach for many years and was in her last stage of battling cancer. I knew this would be the last time we talked, and so I asked her, “If you only had one chance, what advice would you give to a young person entering the business world today?” Dory smiled and said that she had the chance to ask her mentor that very question when he was dying and she could think of no better answer than the one he gave her. She said, “Be intentional. Persist variously.”

Leadership in a learning organization starts with the principle of creative tension. Creative tension comes from seeing clearly where we want to be, our “vision,” and telling the truth about where we are, our “current reality.” The ...

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