Coming from Being vs Doing

A few months ago, I was coaching a leader about his massive to-do list and how to stay on track.

The decisions in front of him weren’t clear.

Should he do some of these things, none of them, all of them? Which should he do first?

This is one of the problems with to-do lists: once we get a little backed up, we can be overwhelmed with tasks and many of them are stale.

I asked my client what to-do list was really about — where would all of this work ultimately take him?

We explored that question until we uncovered that deep inside, my client really just wanted to be a great engineering leader.

We played a game where he embodied being a great engineering leader as if he was already there.

His demeanor shifted, his shoulders relaxed, and his breathing slowed.

From this space, I asked my client what he would do next.

The actions that came from this space were different and much more powerful than those piled up in his to-do list.

No matter how many things we do, the person we want to become isn’t always hiding at the end.

But if we decide to act as that person first, before we are ready, we can find actions that get the results we are after much more quickly.

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