Naive Intensions Are Good for Business

Naive Intensions Are Good for Business

I’ve always been a believer that assumptions keep us from missing out on great opportunities and that making judgements only causes strife, anger, and anxiety.  The world is a sad, sad place when we go around thinking that people aren’t genuine and that miracles can’t happen.

They can and do every single day.

Naive Intensions Are Good for Business

I hold onto my idea of these naive intensions of others.  I want to believe that people are genuine and that they do give because they can and not just to get ahead.  I watch my daughter flutter around a crowded room being herself.  Enjoying the moment.  Playing with friends.  Not worried about connecting with someone solely based on who they are or what they do but because they are interesting, fun, and a good friend.

I call intensions or beliefs like these naive not because they are false or unsophisticated but because they are pure.  Naive conversations with friends with the sole purpose of enjoying a moment and not because of who they are or the money they make.  Business deals happening because of someone’s talent or potential and not the size of they bank account or social network.

I hold onto these naive intentions because it’s who I am, and the person I want to be in life and in business.  Sometimes doing so bites me in the ass and other times it rewards me in amazing life altering ways.

It’s more than a Red Rubber Ball Moment in the Workplace.  Leaders in organizations and in life motiviate others through passion, friendships, and conversations.  In researching for his book Better Under Pressure, Justin Menkes found that organizational leaders to perform their best demonstrating three traits:  realistic optimism, subservience to purpose, and finding order in chaos.  Doesn’t sound half bad.

Being naive in business or your leadership style doesn’t mean you fall victim to the Nut Island Effect, isolating yourself from top managers losing your ability to complete your long term organizational goals or tasks.  It’s quite the opposite.  Naive Leadership opens you to conversations, connections, and relationships without the bitterness, sarcasm, or feeling that others don’t have the best intentions.   In the Nut Island Effect, managers lost sight of this vision  resulting in management-employee alienation, and employee self-regulation of critical processes that ultimately led to catastrophic mission failure polluting Boston Harbor.

Don’t lose sight of what’s important to you.

**You may have noticed that I used the words intensions and intentions interchangably.  This is for the purpose of the story.  Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to be naive. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Chloe says

    okay, I learned two valuable new terms today, “Red Rubber Ball moment” and “Nut Island Effect”. Thanks.

    I am an RN working in a dismal corporate situation without any prospects for change. It is broken from the top down. I’ve been trying to fight the good fight, but I’m afraid that shit is pouring into my own Boston Harbor. I’m trying to see myself clear, but I can’t see how my blog can help me professionally as a healthcare worker. I hate to ask, since you don’t know me at all, but, can you?



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