tBOJ Resource: Recognizing Your Leadership Opportunities and Intentions

Also check out the Leadership Opportunities and Intentions blog post.

Episode Overview

In this episode of The Business Owner's Journey, we explore the powerful concept of intentional leadership. Discover how you, as an entrepreneurial leader, can enhance your influence and effectiveness by recognizing and preparing for leadership opportunities. Don't leave your leadership interactions to chance—learn to be intentional and make every interaction count.

I learned this concept from Leadership and Executive Coach Art Petty. You can turn every interaction into a meaningful leadership moment with a structured approach I call the Leadership Opportunities and Intentions Exercise.

Key Takeaways

  • The Leadership Opportunities and Intentions Exercise helps you identify who you'll interact with and how you can prepare to make those interactions impactful.
  • Identifying leadership opportunities and stakeholders helps leaders prepare for interactions and set clear objectives.
  • Understanding stakeholders' state of mind and perception helps leaders tailor their approach and communication.
  • Being clear, purposeful, and present in interactions can create a positive impact as a leader.


00:40 Introduction to Leadership Opportunities and Intentions
01:38 Identifying Leadership Opportunities
04:10 Applying the Exercise: Examples
08:00 Key Elements for Successful Leadership Interactions
09:26 Becoming Habitual

Additional Resources for Leadership Opportunities and Intentions

Download: Leadership Opportunities and Intentions One-Sheet
Art Petty: Leadership & Executive Coach, Author | ArtPetty.com
The host - Nick Berry
The Production Company - FCG

How You and I Can Go to the Next Level

  • If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and leave a review. Your feedback helps us bring you more valuable content.
  • Subscribe to email updates. (I rarely email other than new episode notifications.)
  • tBOJ Podcast on X

Episode Transcript for Leadership Opportunities and Intentions

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (00:02.456)
One of the best leadership exercises that I learned to do for myself and for the clients, the business owners and leaders that I worked with. And I would say that it's one of their favorites also is what I call this leadership and opportunities exercise. So it's built on the stakeholder awareness. So I talk about the six leadership muscles.

Stakeholder awareness, critical thinking, communication, adaptability, growth mindset, high agency. And stakeholder awareness is your understanding of all of the different individuals and groups that you as a leader have an opportunity to influence in this case in specific situations. And so this exercises leadership opportunities and intentions exercise.

This is a chance for you to influence the way that these individuals and cohorts think and view you. And so we want to be aware and be intentional with how we approach those situations. So this is something that I do at the beginning of each week and the leaders that I work with and coach.

I have them all do the same thing at the beginning of the week. And it just starts out with like, first, the awareness. You know, what are the opportunities, leadership opportunities that I have this week? So I need to be thinking about who are the stakeholders that I'm going to have these interactions with? And the list could be infinite. The idea isn't to cover all of them. The idea is to cover the most impactful.

Or the ones that maybe you need the most work or preparation for thought -wise. So it could be, so for example, myself from this past week, one of them was a coaching client, someone that I'm coaching. Another is a podcast guest. Another is a new business contact, right? So those are three specific interactions that I was going to have for,

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (02:23.16)
That week that I wanted to prepare myself ahead of time so I could go into them clear and prepared and be intentional as a leader. So, start out with who are the stakeholders and then what's their state of mind? What's their landscape? What is their worldview all the way down to their perception of me or the situation that we're in?

What are my functional objectives that I need to accomplish? Are there work things I need to get done that I have to check some boxes while at the same time wanting to make sure that I'm coming across, I'm being the way that I want to be as a leader. How am I seen already and how do I want to be seen? And then how do I want them to feel? What I want to give them a sense of coming out of or during and after.

This interaction. And then from there, we were able to start to work on how do I go about doing that? How do I create that perception and that feeling? You know, what are the things I'm going to say? What are the things that I want to do? What do I not want to do? How do I not want to be? How do I prepare myself for that? And then like, how do I want to be it when something unexpected occurs, which always happens. You know, the idea isn't to plan for everything. The idea is to put yourself in a state of mind to be ready to be intentional and then to stay in line with that thinking as things, as the situation evolves. So I'll give you some examples from my, the three stakeholders that I, they happen to be individuals, but it could be a group if you're, you know, a team meeting, staff meeting, leadership team meeting. Those weekly meetings are always on my list.

I want to be aware of like what, how, what the thinking most likely, how I'm being perceived, how, how do I want to manage myself going into that? So, the coaching client. So, this is someone who I've been working with on their business and, you know, the landscape of their, their situation, what, what, what they're in the middle of right now is, they're having.

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (04:48.664)
I would say a slightly stressful and maybe an uncomfortable discussion with business partners, but healthy, not unhealthy, but it's a fine line. And then the typical business stressors are going on. So, my intention with that person is I don't need to bail them out. He can handle this.

I need to like guide him through, like let him do the discovery, but let him do it. If he has specific questions for me, I can answer him, but I don't need to try to make him more comfortable with it. I need to let him think his way through the things that he knows and solve this on his own. And so I'm trying to give him what I want him to gain from our interaction is it's just a sense of clarity.

If I feel him getting muddled and less clear, I need to help him move the fog out of the way. I want him to leave our interaction feeling more clear about his steps. The second of the stakeholders, for my examples, a podcast guest, and this will be a guy that I know that he'll be a killer guest.

And I'm super excited about it, but he is overwhelmed, like overloaded with his businesses right now. I know it. I think he knows that I know it. So I've got to, I've got to take that into consideration. My intentions are to be considerate while still getting the job done. I'll have to use my judgment as we go to make sure, you know, if I realize that it's not worth getting the job done.

Like getting in booked, getting this taken care of, then so be it. I'll make that call. But right now I think it is. I've just got to figure out how to do that. Knowing like I'm going to have to meet him more where he's at and do more of the lifting, the heavy lifting to make sure that it works for him. He's just in one of those places that you kind of go through when you're growing really fast and have a lot going on and new family members and he's a business owner.

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (07:06.744)
And so my, what I want to give him a sense of in these interactions are like, I'm making things lighter, not heavier. You know, I don't, if, if he gets an email from me or a text from me and he's like, another thing, like that's, I'm, that's going the wrong direction. So I've got to, I want to approach my interactions with him from the angle of, all right.

He doesn't have much to give right now. I know exactly, like I've been there. So I'm not coming in with heavy asks. I'm coming in with like light offers. I'm going to do as much of the figuring out as I can. Then the third example that I have, a new business contact, someone who was, I was introduced to through another acquaintance. And so got a huge business.

Several huge businesses. He's a go -getter. But our mutual friend thought that we should meet each other. So we got connected and had a call. And like, I know his perspective coming into this most likely is he's thinking, okay, here's somebody who has sent to me and said that they should be part of my network, but I need to evaluate that. And so he's coming into the conversation to see like, what am I? What am I about? What is Nick Berry about? Is this somebody that I want to be in my network? And I'm kind of doing the same thing, right? So my intentions coming into that conversation are to be me, like be authentic. I want to be very purposeful, very present, very prepared, have clear asks, have clear answers and enjoy the conversation. I'm going to do a...Some homework and make sure I know enough about him coming into the conversation that I have some talking points if needed. I have some information that I know I think will be material to him that I have ready to share. But that's it. I know how I operate best in those conversations. I need to know the purpose. I need to be prepared. I need to be present. I need to be clear with what I'm asking and how I'm answering and then just chill.

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (09:30.84)
So I think the way that I'm the, what I want to give him a sense of is like, I appreciate who you are. I appreciate what you've done. while I'm still being very comfortable in this conversation, like that doesn't, I'm comfortable with myself. You know, that's, I'm appreciate your accomplishments. I'm not overwhelmed by your accomplishments. So that's, those are things, you know, having outlined those things in varying degrees of detail in preparation for the conversations, helped me just see my plan a little bit clearer going in. And it has never turned into making me, causing me to overthink in the moment. I may have early on over thought a little bit with how much went into the outlining the opportunities and intentions, but you find what works for you. But it all becomes very habitual. It's kind of like you can commit these, your intentions to like memory, I guess, in your, to your subconscious takes over. But I feel like my behaviors are much better guided with this than without it, even though I'm not sitting there thinking my way through a playbook when I'm having these conversations. The thinking part of it, like that went into the preparation, like right beforehand, getting my information together or getting into the mindset that I wanted to be in. But it's just...It's a very powerful tool for me and it's been a very powerful tool for the people that I've worked with. I learned this sort of from a guy named Art Petty, who is an executive coach, an emerging leaders coach, super smart. And when he and I were working together, he has kind of a leadership framework. I mean, he's more sophisticated than mine.

Nick - Leadership Opportunities and Intentions (11:46.36)
And he, we, he would make me talk about the opportunities and intentions and essentially walk through the, the, something very similar to this. He didn't give me a, a set of questions, like a process like I have now. But like that's where the inspiration for this came from. And I mean, I still use it. I've shared it with anybody that I can share it with. So yeah, Art Petty, artpetty.com is the guy that where I got the inspiration from this. He's more the master.

All right. So opportunities and intentions. One of the six leadership muscles, stakeholder awareness. This, you know, the whole idea here is to make you more aware of how you can influence others and how they see you as a leader and how you can take ownership of your role as a leader and be more intentional about being that leader in your business.

‍If you have any feedback or any tools that are complimentary or similar to this, let me know. I'd love to see them.

Nick Berry Round Headshot

Nick Berry is an accomplished entrepreneur and CEO, whose track record includes founding and leading numerous companies since 2002.

He is also a mentor and coach to other entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for a trusted (and proven) advisor.  

Among peers, colleagues, staff, and clients, Nick has been referred to as both 'The Business Guy' as well as 'The Anti-Guru', due to his pragmatic approach and principled leadership.

He shares his insights and lessons learned, along with those of his expert guests,
on his podcast, 'The Business Owner's Journey'.