Keep A “To Be” List
The “To-Do” List.
Almost all leaders keep one.
It may be a simple post-it note or a small lined pad. It may be the more elaborate Franklin Planner, Planner Pad, or Get-Things-Done (GTD) systems. For those of us techies we may even be using the Opus Domini or Wunderlist on your tablet or smartphone.
With so much to do, and so many demands, we feel these lists are essential to how we manage our day, our lives, and our careers.
But what about our reputation and character? As leaders, do we find the time to place on our list those things that will enable us to grow, lead, and be an example of great leadership in our various roles at work and home?
In other words, do you have a “To-Be” List?
In Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography he describes his little book he carried with him at all times. In it, he listed 13 virtues he wanted to develop into better character traits. He chose one and focused on that for a week, then the next week another one, and so on. He may have been the first person to truly create a “To Be” list.
Having a “To Be” list accomplishes the same purpose as does a to-do list. It shapes the things we want to do daily in order to accomplish a goal. Instead of tasks and projects, it is our leadership traits.
In his book Life’s Ultimate To Do Be List by David C. Cook, he asks that if, at times, you feel more like a human “doing” than a human being. Does that seem true for you as well? Do you desire to finish your day measured by who you were rather than what you’ve done?
We can change that today. There are numbers of ways to make this happen.
We can make a list alongside our to-do list. You can choose a weekly leadership trait and focus on it like Franklin. You can select seven and choose one each day throughout the week, similar to what Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and Square) does. Perhaps you can do it twice daily (one trait in the morning and one in the afternoon). The method is yours to create as long as it’s effective for you to grow. Personally, I write one quick statement across the top of my daily list as reminder of who to be. Ones that I’ve used are “Be Remarkable”, “Do Right”, and “Business is People“. Makes yours unique to you.
Let’s take these next weeks to focus on our being, rather than our doing!