Creating Intentional Impact That Brings People With You


The following is a guest piece by Inc. columnist Anese Cavanaugh.

We’re well into 2016 now. Recaps, core lessons, results, learning, and themes of 2015 have likely been captured; solutions, goals, intentions, planning, and strategy for 2016 is likely in action… Now what?

How do you make sure that this year stays intentional, awake, and that you lead yourself and your team into a new level of impact? How do you help impact happen in an efficient and collaborative manner? How do you save time, energy, and money in creating outcomes and having life-giving (not soul-sucking) meetings?

And how do you do this all in a way that holds each person accountable for showing up, leading with care, and feeling on purpose and energized vs. on auto pilot and exhausted, by the end of the first quarter?

This can be simple.

You’re going to want to be really intentional about the impact you create together.

You’re going to want to emphasize, support, and model the importance of self-care, of showing up, and bringing your best self to the table.

And, you’re going to need presence. (In all meanings of this word: presence in the moment, presence with your current reality, presence with other, presence with self, executive presence… I’m talking presence in the most holistic sense of the word.). To do this means we have to address 3 key elements:

1. Be present.

2. Take amazing care of yourself.

3. Create intentional impact.

These elements are absolutely core to effective sustainable positively impactful leadership. And you have control of all of them. It’s all in how you decide to show up – for yourself and for others.

There are hundreds of structures, frameworks, and ways to go about addressing these things, all being incredibly personal and specific to the individual (in other words, you get to craft your own plan here for best results and sustainability).

1.Being present
This is a life long process requiring awareness, intention, desire, and the ability to reboot. It starts now – stay present with this article.

2. Taking amazing care of yourself
This is also a life long practice, requiring awareness, intention, desire, and a truthful, joyful, actionable plan. It also starts now — breathe, grab water, fuel your body well, say something nice to yourself. (You can access specific tools and resources for reboots, self-care, and more on my site here).

3. Creating intentional impact
This is another essential component of leadership requiring intention, energy, and presence to come alive. A good framework will help you out here. And fortunately I have one. It’s simple. And I want you to have it. Now. Today. (In fact, don’t go into another meeting or conversation without it. Read on to learn more about that.)

See… Your presence has impact. Your words have impact. Everything you do (or don’t do) has impact. You are always having some kind of impact. It’s going to happen either way – so why not be intentional about it? Intention doesn’t guarantee outcomes, but it sure enhances your odds and saves a ton of time, energy, and money in making what you want to have happen – happen.

In my book “Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives”, I dig deep into the different elements of effective leadership presence and impact and what it takes to create a positively contagious culture – whether that culture is within your team, your organization, your family, or even within your own mindset.

Crafting intentional impact (the kind that creates results AND brings people with you, happy that they follow you) is so key that it gets a full chapter (#5) of real estate in the book.

You’ll find the 5-step framework offered below. This process can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 days – and can be done on a post it or a massive document – depending on the complexity, the people, and the desire.

Before you go into any meeting or conversation, do your work around the following 5 steps. For even better results, ask your team to do the same individually before they join your meetings.

And for team meetings, once you’re all together, address these 5 components as a group. This will ensure that everyone comes to the table intentionally, that you’re all clear on what outcomes you’re there to create together, and that everyone is accountable for showing up present, in tune, and at their best.

5-Step Framework To Create Intentional Impact

1. Outcomes
What are your intended outcomes? What do you want to have happen as a result of this meeting, conversation, or project? While this step may seem obvious, it gets overlooked all the time. Write it down, communicate it – post its work great here.

2. Emotional Impact
What is the emotional impact you want to have on this person or group of people? How do you want them to feel? How do you want them to experience you? How do YOU want to feel? Spend time here, set the intention… this awareness and intention alone helps create clarity and guide presence.

3. Presence
In order to create these outcomes and this impact, how will you have to Show Up? What will your presence have to be? Present? Curious? Open? Real? Relaxed? Rigorous? Powerful? How will you have to show up in order to create the results you desire?

4. Beliefs
In order to Show Up congruently, what will you have to believe about this person, this group, this product, yourself? This step alone is platinum.

If you go into a sales meeting but you don’t believe in the product, your energy and presence will communicate that on some level (even if you’re masterful with your words). If you go into a feedback meeting, but you don’t believe in the employee, or you think he’s a pain in the butt, your energy and presence will communicate this. If you go in for an interview, but you don’t believe you’re the right person for the job, or that you deserve it — you got it… it will communicate.

So spend a bit extra time here getting honest about what you believe, and what you want and need to believe in order to show up well.

5. Action
Finally, what will you have to DO to make this all real? This can be actions before the meeting (prep), during the meeting (asking for the sale, aligning timelines and next steps, making agreements), or after (follow up, next meetings, etc.)

I’ve watched these 5 steps save people time, energy, and money on meetings and projects, help close multi-million dollar deals, open up communication with their teenagers, shift the dynamics of their relationships, and even create healthier bodies.

For optimal leadership and results you need intention, energy, and presence. You need self-care. And you need to be able to create intentional impact. This framework alone invites all of these into the equation and can be a game changer — if you so choose. Enjoy!

Learn more about this framework, real examples of its application, and the other components of showing up, cultivating healthy leadership, and creating a positively contagious culture in the book.

You can also access free tools and resources to support you in your leadership and presence from my website,

Anese Cavanaugh is the creator of the IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence), an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of “Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives”. Top innovators and executives in companies like IDEO, Zingerman’s, Cooper, Joie de Vivre, Fitbit, and others have engaged with Anese to strengthen team health, maximize leadership impact, and optimize company culture.

In addition to appearing in publications like HBR, The Huffington Post,, and The New York Times, Anese writes regularly for in her column “Showing Up”. Follow her on Twitter: @AneseCavanaugh.

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Tanveer Naseer is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed leadership writer and keynote speaker. He is also the Principal and Founder of Tanveer Naseer Leadership, a leadership coaching firm that works with executives and managers to help them develop practical leadership and team-building competencies to guide organizational growth and development. Tanveer’s writings and insights on leadership and workplace interactions have been featured in a number of prominent media and organization publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Canada’s national newspaper “The Globe and Mail”, The Economist Executive Education Navigator, and the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center.

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