This week is a watershed week at LHLN, we kicked off our first Master Trainer Class in Asheville with 23 committed leaders. I’m excited to be joined by my friend and colleague, Tim Plotts, a fellow FBI-LEEDA Instructor and retired North Carolina Highway Patrol officer. Together we are working with some very dedicated leaders this week who are determined to improve their presentation skills this week. This class is not for everyone, but it is designed for those who truly want to be the best leaders they can be. I truly believe that your ability to communicate and, more importantly, to connect are the key to any leader’s influence over their followers.

One of the first “assignments” we gave the class was to develop a two-minute answer to one of the following questions:

  • What does intentional leadership mean to you?


  • What does it mean to be “intentional”

LHLN’s signature class is Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose. I created this class because I believe 21st century leadership requires a different approach. In my decade plus as an FBI-LEEDA instructor, l have met so many leaders – truly excellent leaders. I’ve also met my fair share of well-intended leaders that didn’t have a clue what they were doing. They had been promoted with absolutely no leadership development training or even management training. Often, they defaulted their leadership style to what they had observed in their previous supervisors. What one colleague calls “your lowest level of learning.”

Unfortunately, this often leads to leaders who are TRANSACTIONAL  in nature or “do what I tell you to do” as opposed to TRANSFORMATIONAL “how can I as a leader make you want to be the best version of yourself.”

So, as creator and instructor of this class, I talk about being an intentional leader a lot AND I truly believe that being “intentional” is the key to successful leadership whether it be as a parent or a supervisor. To me, being intentional means far more than being thoughtful, it means being thoroughly “present” in all leadership decision you make. To be intentional translates into being mindful of the BIG PICTURE of your leadership.

The definition of “Intentional” ranges the gambit. Some refer to it as a state of consciousness with or without content. Others relate it to intense focus on a task or person. Still others will define it as to do something on purpose such as “they intentionally ran the red light.”

In reality, what it means to be intentional or to act with intentionality will vary with each person and each leader. So, rather than give you my answer, I want to hear from you. Take a few minutes one day this week and reflect on what it means to you to act with intentionality and/or to be an intentional leader. See if you can develop a comprehensive explanation that you can explain to your staff, children, or others you lead as a coach or teacher that you can deliver to them in less than 2 minutes.

I would love to hear from you as to what your answers are. Log in and comment on the blog or email me with your thoughts.  I learn as much from you as many have told me you learn from me. I will look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts on this very important topic.

To be a successful, transformational 21st Century leader means to act with intentionality. To understand in your own words and your own ideas what it is to be intentional as a leader will make you successful, and, even more importantly, to have a positive influence on all of those you lead in both your personal and professional life.


“Ask yourself the question what does it mean to be intentional as a leader? Are you a TRANSACTIONAL or a TRANSFORMATIONAL leader? To answer this question, you must know what kind of leader you are now and what kind of leader you wish to be.”

Dean Crisp is the author of Leadership Lessons from the Thin Blue Line and creator of Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose class.   Dean records a weekly podcast, Straight Talk on Leadership with Dean Crisp available on iTunes, Spotify or wherever to stream your podcast media.

Visit our website at to discover our class offerings and to sign up for a future class in either Intentional Leadership or Master Trainer/Presenter.



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