Radical Intentionality: The Manifestation of Caring in Action

My clients inspire me. Through their brilliance and wisdom, I am consistently reminded of the greatness, humanity, and possibilities within each human being. They are my injections of optimism, creativity, and courage that inspire me to be better with and for others.

In a recent conversation with a client, I will call her Kim to maintain anonymity, Kim shared what came up for her as she read my article on Inspiration vs Motivation, and as she reflected on how I show up in our work together. Kim said, “the way you frame or reframe things is so valuable. You have this radical intentionality about you.” I was grateful Kim shared her insights with me and honored and humbled to hear how she experienced me. This got me thinking about radical intentionality, who I am, what I do, how I serve, and why I serve others through consulting and coaching.

What is it that allows me to show up with radical intentionality? What is the impact of this on those who experience me? What is the impact on me?

What if radical intentionality is the manifestation of caring in action?

As I heard Kim’s thoughts reflected back to me in her words, I felt that feeling when you know something is important, but not yet quite sure what the meaning is. Kim later went on to clarify her experience with me. She said:

One of the first things I noticed about working with you is your way of “inviting” me to consider something or do something. That invitation is just so gracious and removes the scariness from whatever it is we are discussing. You both inspire and motivate because through your invitation, you give the grace of agency. I have a choice. I can walk through that door or not, and know that it is ok with you either way. That is liberating to be sure but even more importantly, it is empowering. THAT’s “radical intentionality.

~Client (Kim), Senior Executive for a Global Management Consulting Services Company

This reflection humbled me and inspired me to reflect further on what radical intentionality was. What emerged was: Radical intentionality feels like the manifestation of caring through purposeful action that serves the betterment of others.

I wondered, what the conditions are that enable me or anyone to show up with radical intentionality? This is what came up for me:

  • Freedom comes to mind. Free to be and bring my full, best self. A letting go of expectations of others, a releasing of the voice of doubt, and choosing to be present with yourself and what matters in this moment.
  • A steadfast belief in myself, my values, who I am, my purpose
  • Connection with my true self, and the beliefs and values which form the anchor for my choices, decisions, behavior, and actions.
  • Caring about and for people and their growth and success. For me it feels like congruence between myself and my self-expression that contributes to uplifting others or myself.

Where there is congruence between your true self and your self-expression, you are living in radical intentionality.

I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and insights on radical intentionality to enrich and evolve the discussion. What are the conditions that empower you to show up with radical intentionality?

Please share in the COMMENTS below how you have experienced radical intentionality and what that was like for you.

What did it feel like? What was the impact on you? How have you shown up with radical intentionality? What was the impact on others? What was the impact on you?


Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is a visionary connector, community-builder and human development specialist who helps people and teams unleash their human greatness so they can create better together. Brian believes in each person’s unique human greatness and the power of harnessing this to amplify impact for teams, communities, and organizations. Brian is an ICF Accredited Coach whose three-decade career spans business, technology, finance, and human development. He is co-author of the book Becoming You to be released later this year. Brian’s encouraging energy and relational and strategic approach invite the inclusive business leaders and teams he works with to expand their perspective to strengthen their belief and their ability to create better together. Brian works with clients to understand the conditions that create greater contributions, fulfillment, and success and then works with them, using proven frameworks, to help them create those conditions through the lens of their strengths. The results are greater self-awareness, confidence, connection, teamwork, creativity and innovation producing better human and business results. Brian is the host of the We Can Do Better Conversations series, which invite inclusive conversations on topics relevant to bringing greater humanity to our workplaces, communities, families, and relationships. Brian serves on the Executive Board for Overcoming Odds where he helped the Executive Director with board development, strategic business planning and expanding the reach and impact of the nonprofit’s mission. Brian has also served on the Washington DC metro area chapter Board for several culturally-based National nonprofits focused on professional and leadership development.

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