#149 Intention

In about 16 weeks, I will change jobs and change duty stations. I will move. This is relatively normal for the Army. People are always coming and going and the organization changes personnel all the time. What is a little significant about this change is that I will have been at my present location for almost exactly 9 years this tour, and 16 years throughout my career. That is highly unusual for most military people. To not be moving every 2 or 3 years. To have been in the same place for such a long time. Certainly, some of it has been by my design, and some has been by circumstance, but either way, I will be moving for only the 3rd time in a 22 year career. I know people who have moved 8 or 9 times by now and have boxes in their garage that still have the packing tape on them from the last move they made. For me and for my family, this is a huge change.

This will be a significant move for a lot of reasons. Professionally, my responsibilities will increase one-hundred fold overnight. The demands on my time, my energy, my judgement, will never end. The requirements of the job are endless. And that is exactly the way I want it. I have enjoyed and relished the time in my current job, but the challenges ahead excite me and have me forward focused already. It's time to go. It's time to lead troops again. Just saying that makes me feel very good. I have spent a lot of time in the past 3 years trying to justify why I couldn't, or wouldn't, or didn't need to lead Soldiers again, but the truth is that I can, I will, and I do need to do it. Most of all though, I want to. I want back in the place I was designed and built and know to be. I want back in the arena. And I want back there because I know that in so many ways, I am the right guy for the job.

Personally, this represents a lot more than just a job change or a new town to live in. This is a huge step in living authentically. About coming round again and living and working with intention. About accepting responsibility for my life completely. About bringing the full weight of my abilities, my passion, my drive, and my vision to every moment of my day. There have been many who have doubted me along the way, but I have always known that this is where I belong. This is about coming home. About coming back to where I belong but from an entirely different perspective. I actually feel differently about it now. I envision it differently than I have in the past. I am not excited about it as if I have been selected for something and then wondering how I am going to be 'successful' at it, but rather I am excited to finally be ready to accept the position as my own. There is a huge difference there. It's not about being excited about facing the challenges ahead, it's about being able to bring all of myself to the challenges. It's about leading instead of reacting. It's about a vision that is my own instead of worrying about what someone else might want for me. It's about knowing and following my heart and my gut and trusting them over anything and everything and anyone else. It is about stepping fully into the power of myself.

I have been representing this move to people as a new beginning for me. But maybe it's not actually new at all. Maybe what it is is finally being ready to step into a place that I have been working towards for awhile. And knowing it. Knowing for certain that this place is where I should be. I could not have done any of this without the journey. I would have failed again for the same reason I failed the first time. It would have been play-acting. Now I am ready. And maybe that is the new beginning. That for the first time in my whole life, I am ready to live. Ready to live fully. Ready to lead totally. Ready to accept responsibility for the totality of my existence. That, I think, is a new beginning. I am ready to take full possession of my life. Me. My family, my profession. All of it. A life to be lived with intention. A life to be lived, not to be acted upon. Choices to be made, not incidents reacted to. I am no longer a victim of circumstance, I am living a life that has offered me the fullest measures of victory and happiness and love as well as loss and sorrow and defeat. And I am all the more complete because of it. The life I have led has brought me to this place. I am grateful for the journey so far. Today, I am as happy and content as I have ever been. I went looking to find out who I am. I found out that, on the whole, I'm in pretty damn good shape.

For 2 years, I have written week after week about the reason we should focus all leader development inward. Why we should push people to study themselves. Why we should constantly be trying to strip away the layers of bullshit that most of us surround our lives with. For 2 years, I have said that the Army gets it wrong every time they confuse management with leadership. And I have been right every single time. My journey is exactly the reason why I have been right. My journey cannot be taught in a schoolhouse. All of the parts of my life that have led me to this day, to this place, to the adventure of the years ahead, cannot be taught by teaching management skills to a bunch of young Sergeants or Lieutenants. But for certain, mine is a leaders journey. A journey of discovery. A journey of insight. A journey of love and care and devotion. A journey that every single person who would call themselves a leader will take at one point or another in their lives. It will not look like mine, but the journey will certainly be taken. Mine has been an authentic journey. Parts if it have been excruciatingly hard. Parts have been joyous celebration. I have offered to you who read my work a chance to walk with me and learn with me and discover and think and question with me because I think it's important. Hopefully, I have challenged you to take a look at your own lives, your own view of your leadership and your own layers of complexity. Maybe and maybe not. What I know is that I am stronger today than I have ever been. I am more clear today than I have ever been. I am more focused today than I have ever been. I am more happy today with who I am than I have ever been. I am starting to live my life with the full intention of impacting my world. That is the purpose of leadership. I started with me. In about 4 months, that will all change quite dramatically.

When I started writing 2 1/2 years ago, I was defending some pretty sorrowful ground and doubling down on a bad bet. But I wasn't always wrong either. I was just stacking the facts in a particular order. When I started on my personal journey 10 months ago, I got a chance to see myself a lot more clearly than i ever had before. More honestly. More accurately. More authentically. Now the time has come to live a life of intention. To take my authentic, powerful leadership and apply it in the arena. Because that is where it can best serve the Army.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.