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The Being Level: The Leader Matters

Team members live at varying mindset levels in their roles, responsibilities, and expectations.  The leader's involvement matters whether at the “Knowing Level,” where they simply understand these things or at the “Doing Level,” where they perform them. But it is when they move to a “Being Level” that everything changes.  At the Being Level, their mental and emotional connection to what they do far exceeds those at the Knowing or Doing Levels. They live the expectations and truly believe in what they are working toward, and the leader’s role here matters most as it is rare for team members to get there on their own. It takes a connected purpose and belief in where each person fits, and the leader must help make this connection, provide direction and support around it, and reinforce the behaviors to get there. And most importantly, the leader needs to get there first.

When looking at where your team falls on this “Being Ladder,” view it through the lens of what matters most to your organization. We prefer the lens of the organization’s purpose, but you can also measure levels of being for specific projects, initiatives, or expectations. The key, however, is to make them the most critical things to your organization. Once you identify the things that matter most and define the behaviors to deliver them, look at the levels your team and you are at on the Being Ladder to help coach or celebrate team performance.

Here are some tips:

  • Define a clear and compelling purpose and wrap it around each business element, including each role. Each team member must know why they matter in the organization’s drive toward it.

  • Get to the Being level yourself. As the team leader, you must strongly believe in the purpose and what you are working toward. Seek help, if necessary, from your supervisor or peers if you are struggling with this connection.

  • Define the expectations that will deliver your purpose and set those for each role on the team so your team members understand what must be done and delivered.

  • Develop a leadership rhythm around the most important expectations to deliver the purpose. Define and simplify these things so anyone can understand and believe in them.

  • Measure and share results. Provide recognition for those winning and coaching for those who don’t. Make the celebration process as public as possible. We are what we celebrate.

Another thing to consider here is your understanding of what makes each team member tick. Seek information about how they think and feel about their roles… and life in general. The more information you can gather, the better, as it will help you connect the dots on how they matter in pursuing your purpose. When people feel that they are important in producing something significant, they tend to engage with their role in it at a much higher level, especially when it is relevant to their own lives.

And remember, the leader matters here. Your connection to the important things, those behaviors that deliver your highest objectives and purpose, helps to model what you expect from the team. If you struggle here, reach out to others for support and guidance. Without a personal commitment and desire to be at a Being Level, your team will be left to struggle on their own. Leaders must lead here to show the way.


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