Leader Shifts 13 - DOING to BEING


This is the thirteenth in a series of posts which articulate fundamental shifts in leadership paradigms from the 20th to the 21st century.

The overarching expectation placed on leaders in the 20th Century was on doing. Results, accomplishments, goal-achievement, numbers and performance were the way in which people were measured and the reason they were promoted into leadership positions. The ripple effect of this ethos means that most leader teams are still full of high D, A-type, doers and executors. Performance will always be important, BUT, performance at the expense of people, planet and principles is becoming less and less admirable.


21st Century leaders need to be “Be-ers” before they are “Do-ers”. Driven people who prioritise results and their own achievement above any other consideration don’t lead other people well. Instead of growing their best people, they tend to compete with them. Instead of promote truly transformative and sustainable impact, they exploit resources for short-term benefits. Instead of inspiring others to purpose-driven excellence, they coerce them into exhaustion and rough-shod results. Effective organisations are seeking and developing responsible, purpose-focused leaders who work with others to create sustainably healthy teams and businesses.


#AstuteLeaders prioritise who they are over what they do. Their doing is fueled by deeply-rooted purpose-driven beliefs, character, values, relational maturity and wisdom. Results still matter but “how you do it’ matters more than “what you did”.


Reflection question: As an Astute Leader, what habits will deepen your leadership being?


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