» What if everyone were engaged and contributing? What if… What if everyone were engaged and contributing? What if… – David Marquet

What if everyone were engaged and contributing? What if…


Creating Intent-Based Leadership organizations results in everyone engag​ing​ and contributing​ their full intellectual capacity. A place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work – a place where everyone is a leader.
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6 Principles of Intent-Based Leadership

Principle 1. Our objective is to achieve greatness, not avoid errors.

Principle 2. In order to achieve greatness, we need people to think.

Principle 3. For people to think, leaders must give control, not take control.

  • At an individual level, leaders move people up the Ladder of leadership. A specific practice leaders use is to give intent, not instructions.
  • At the organizational level, leaders push authority to information not information to authority.

Principle 4. To ensure successful distribution of control, the two supporting pillars of technical competence and organizational clarity are needed.

2 Change Principles-

Principle 5. Change environment, not people.

Principle 6. Act our way to new thinking, not think our way to new action.

Intent-Based Leadership organizations create an environment for people to contribute so that they feel valued. They set clear goals so their people know how their role contributes and adds value​. They push control and decision making down the organization so people take responsibility and rise to the occasion. They maintain unity of effort by ensuring the supporting pillars of technical competence and organizational clarity are in place.

As a result, they achieve:

  • A highly effective organization with superior morale.
  • The capacity for greatness in the people and practices of an organization, and remove it from the personality of leaders.
  • An organizational culture that creates of additional leaders throughout every level of the organization.

Intent-Based Leadership starts with rejecting the idea that leadership is for the select few at the top and instead embracing in highly effective organizations, there are leaders at every level. This method of leadership is based on empowerment, not ego, and process, not personality.

  1. Practical Empowerment: When we give our people more authority, we actually create more effective leaders.
  2. Technical Competence: When we engage our minds in what we are doing, we perform with better results.
  3. Organizational Clarity: When leaders set clear goals and people know how to do their jobs, we can take deliberate action.
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