So, Johnathan, I think I understand what you're talking about, but I want separate some of the distinctions. Cady referenced the classic "mind leads ki" description but I want more detail about what it's like in practice. (Also, the variant I heard, I think, is "Mind leads intent, intent leads ki, ki leads power" which is interestingly different).]
I'm guessing that you are already doing "mind/intent leads ki" in practice if you are doing internal conditioning. Think about the wilful movement of tanden and meimon (dantien and mingmen) and their effect on your structure and ability to both receive and emit force/power. It's "non-verbal" (that is, not cognitive "wordy" thought) volition that precedes your actually moving the tanden and meimon.The wilfulness is a form of conscious thought, I believe... though not in the way that "I think I'll get a beer" is a thought. But it is a trigger for the actions you must make to manipulate your body in the desired way.
"Mind leads intent" seems like a variation of "Mindfulness leads intent," mindfulness being the state of body-mental-environmental awareness that provides the incentive to have intent...another precursor stage to the process of enacting movement.