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Thought Leadership

A Leader Shares His Transformative Experience in Intentional Leadership


That’s the phrase David Kobe uses to describe his experience at the Intentional Leadership® program offered in partnership between UNC Executive Development and the Center for Intentional Leadership®. As an executive with more than 25 years of experience managing supply chains in the chemical industry, Kobe has attended his fair share of leadership trainings. This program was nothing like he experienced before.

“I’ve been through leadership training my entire life and it’s a how-to book of ‘follow these steps’ or situational leadership,” he says. “It’s all about trying to fit people into different paradigms. This program is so different. I was always trying to change myself to meet a set model or paradigm and thinking ‘If I can recognize this situation and act in a certain way, I will be successful.’ Intentional Leadership is unique in that it helps to maximize the tools you have to be most effective without changing who you are as a person.”

Intentional Leadership pushes participants to explore their own behaviors and take an intentional approach to both their professional and personal life. Kobe recognized that his view of others was not serving him as a leader.

“I was seeing people in a very transactional way,” he says. “’What’s your skill set, what do you bring, what do you deliver, how are we achieving our goals?’ Having been through Intentional Leadership has helped me see people more as people. It is not just the sum of our transactions together. It is important to connect. It is important to be a leader, to really make those connections, to appreciate those different perspectives and backgrounds. It’s almost as if somebody takes the blinders off. This program put that human connection back for me.”

Another valuable insight for Kobe was identifying his career-limiting beliefs and learning how to work through them. “I think people create these behaviors. They don’t even realize it, and then they wonder why they’re not going where they think they should be going as far as advancement. Everybody hits a wall at some point in their career. You are never going to learn from a book how to go around that wall. Intentional Leadership offers the opportunity to go through that wall in a really sincere way.”

Kobe’s time and investment in Intentional Leadership helped him progress in both his personal and professional life. If someone is open to change and personal growth, he feels this program could be the right fit for them.

“It’s a transformative experience that touches every aspect of your life, if you let it,” he says. “People who are open to change, I think it’s ideal. It is not a type of program that you can just go in and punch a card and not be affected by it. It came at the right time for me and it definitely has opened up some doors. Behaviorally, it’s been transformative, but it just made me more effective as more than just a business leader. Before this course, I felt at times like I was drowning, after taking the course, I am a proficient and strong swimmer.”