The Easiest Way To Be A Great Leader | The Coaching Institute

The Easiest Way To Be A Great Leader

By Lisa Wiking

How many times have you thought “I just wish I had a great team” or “I wish I could get the right people for my team”? How many times have you heard “You have to do this to be a great leader” or “You have to do that to be a great leader”?  In society today, there is a belief that when you have a good team then you can be a great leader, or if you do certain things then you will be a great leader.

Actually, this is not where you begin.  For how long do we have to keep trying it this way before we figure out that it’s just not the way it works.  I’m sure you’ve heard the definition of Insanity: “Doing the same thing and expecting a different result”. 

There is a simple equation that if you live by it, will transform not only your leadership skills also your life for ever.  Before I show you what it is, let me show you what it’s not.  HAVE + DO = BE.
Let me explain.  The way society has trained us to think is, “When I have that productive team, then I can do the things that a productive team leader would do, then I will be a great leader.”  We think it’s like this in all areas of our life.  “When I have that lovely house, then I will do all the things I need to do to keep that lovely house and then I can be happy.”

So, let’s break down the equation:  Having, is what we are trained to focus on, what we want, all the material things, or that healthy body or the goal that we have been working towards, until we get that goal, we can’t ‘be happy!’. When actually, the ‘having’ is the bi product or the end result of the equation.  It’s the last thing that happens in the chain of events.

The ‘doing’ is the action required, this is an important step, because nothing happens without action.  In leadership this is the ‘effective communication’ the ‘leading by example’, ‘setting clear expectations’ and ‘encouraging and supporting’ amongst many others.  Without action there is no result.

The easiest way to describe the ‘being’, is that it’s ‘within us’.  It’s the ‘emotional states’ we choose to experience, it’s ‘who we decide we are’, it’s ‘our thinking’, it’s ‘what we tell ourselves’, it’s ‘how we feel about ourselves’, it’s ‘what we focus on internally’ and it’s ‘what we choose to listen to and believe’. The major difference between ‘having’ and ‘being’ is that one is the goal and one is a state.   We all know that a goal is something you have to focus on and work towards.  A state is the opposite; a state is something you can have at any given moment if you choose. 

For Example:

Think about the saddest moment in your life, and answer the following questions before moving onto the next one:

  • What happened?
  • Who was there?
  • What could you see?
  • How did you feel?
  • What were others saying to you?
  • What did you tell yourself in that moment?

How are you feeling, right now? Quite sad? 

Ok, break state; have you ever seen a camel and a tortoise together?

Ok, now go back and do it with the happiest moment of your life, so think about the time you remember when you were most happy.

Now, how are you feeling, right now?  Happier, I would imagine?

So that’s the beauty of the ‘being’ – you can have it right now. There’s no time delay, there’s no waiting, it’s simply a matter of you making the decision that ‘this is who I am going to be’.

So the key to this information is to understand the equation and the way that it works. The true equation works like this:  BE + DO = HAVE.

When you know what qualities make a great leader and choose to be those qualities, then you can focus on doing the things that great leader would do, which means you will have the results that great leader would have.

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