What does “Being” Mean and Why is it Important in Good Leadership?

Aug 11, 2022
What does “Being” Mean and Why is it Important in Good Leadership?

When we look at how we normally operate, how we’re ‘being’, we normally operate from a space of I want to have something so I’m going to do this activity in order to get what I want and be successful.

However this perspective is actually backwards and in order to achieve true success (no matter what that looks like to us personally) we need to come from a different approach of ‘I’m being, I’m doing and then I’m having.’

Here’s a short story from my friend and fellow coach Eric Thibodeaux that really illustrates this:


‘We lived in Alabama, and at the time I was working on my master's degree. So every morning, I would get up at six o'clock and drive to the university. And I was also a firefighter EMT. 

Along the way one day there was a motor vehicle accident that happened right in front of me. I responded, called in for support. And basically there were four people involved and I was able to successfully treat two of them where they survived. One did not survive and the other person was down an embankment  and it really wasn't safe for me to go down there.

The day before this had happened I had been on another call and I had used pretty much all the supplies in my bag. My oxygen bottle was down to nothing. I was already very late for dinner and I knew my wife was going to question me and ask ‘Where have you been?’ but regardless I went to the fire station to resupply my bag and my oxygen tank because being committed to providing and having those resources when I need to help people and being responsible to follow up when I need to be, in this case, resupply my kit. 

So everything flows from if I'm being responsible and being committed, doing comes easy. Having flows easily. So if I wouldn't have been committed and responsible, the next day, I would have come across that accident, without the supplies, without the oxygen to treat the two patients, and the likelihood that they could have died was high. Because the intervention that we provided was life saving.


This example shows how powerful being is - if Eric wasn’t being responsible and wasn’t being committed to his role as a Firefighter EMT he wouldn’t have been able to do the doing and take the life saving action he did when he came across the accident. 

So as CEO’s how do we need to be in order to lead our teams?

Being a leader also requires 100% responsibility and 100% commitment. At the end of the day it’s not our team’s fault or our clients fault. The responsibility needs to come down to us. That’s what being a leader means. As CEO’s we often want to bring out the best in others and inspire them to be accountable and show up as their best selves. 

In order to do that you need to take responsibility, have commitment, and encourage others along the way. We need to lead by example. 

A great way to view this is to think about your parents - were they people who told you to do something while acting differently themselves? If that was the case then we probably ended up mimicking their behavior more than following their advice OR we did the opposite to how they behaved (especially true in the case of negative parenting experiences). All the ways in which we are being affect the people around us and vice versa. 

Our ways of being are often ingrained into our subconscious and so tend to happen automatically. Therefore if you’re having an experience where what you want does not line up with your current experience then you really need to look closely at who you are “being” day to day. Some people are natural leaders but for some of us this can take a little work, self-development and commitment to make the change.

If you’re not being a true leader then you will probably find yourself showing up either trying to control or from a place of fear where you are pointing the finger all the time and not taking 100% responsibility for your results, whether that’s not having your teams back when something goes wrong or not owning up to clients and recommitting to them when something fails. 

Being in integrity is such a key part of being a great CEO and leader because that builds trust and that in turn builds respect and authority. A lot of times CEOs think of control as building authority, because they don’t trust anyone else to do XYZ but the fact is that real leaders let go of control and trust their teams to do the work and if they fail, to stand up and take responsibility because they are mirroring the behavior that they see in their leader. 


| Control is an illusion, everything is a choice.


A great way to change our subconscious and way of being if it isn’t aligned with how we want to be is to really look at our thoughts and identify the limiting beliefs and stories that are coming up for us. Neurocoaching helps you get to the heart of this and also rewire your brain so that you can start adapting to new more positive ways of being. This is not an overnight phenomena but instead a process of recommitting to learning and being that is different to how you currently are today. 

You have the choice to keep the things that are serving you and to change the things that aren’t serving you. It all starts with recognising that if you’re not being who you need to be, the leader that you want to be, then you need to change. And from this awareness we can move on to what I do need to do so that I can be the leader that I desire to be? 

The world is constantly evolving and over the last few years with Covid we have had to change and adapt more than we ever thought possible so it’s important to view who we are being as this evergreen process of always reevaluating and checking in with ourselves to make sure that we’re showing up as the leaders we want/ need to be. 

Today I challenge you to ask yourself , am I being the leader I need to be? And if you're not, how can you change it to actually become the leader you need to be?

Watch my YouTube video on this topic:

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