The other day, I had lunch with a leader of a large corporation. We were meeting to talk about future plans and to talk about business, however what I walked away with was much more.
As we began to talk, we started to share about our lives, our families, kids, stories, etc. He then moved into talking with me about what he has really been journeying through and wrestling through over the course of his career.
He mentioned that about two years ago, he sat with one of his great friends; one of those friends that few of us really have, the ones who will hold us accountable and be honest with us. He asked his friend, what is one thing that you see that I need to change that I cannot see.
His friend responded, “That’s simple. You have built your life around ‘doing’, but you stink at ‘being’.”
Our conversation went on from there, where we chatted about work/life balance, how to focus your priorities on relationships, and in general how to be a better leader at home and work. But as we talked, I could not shake his friends comments from my head.
Even though I am much younger than he and I have a lot less experience, I can only image that the ones who know me best would say something very similar. I think if I asked the same question, I might hear comments like:
- You are great at accomplishing things, but you do not invest in me one-on-one like I wish.
- Or you have started so many great things, but I feel like you may not finish what you started with me.
What he went on to challenge me about is how we as leaders need to trust in the Lord with all you heart and to fully understand two things:
- That God loves us and finds value in us more than we can ever imagine.
- He finds much more value in who we are than in what we accomplish.
We tend to “do” because we feel like people need us or because we want to please others, but what is more important is being who God created us to be. We will never “do” enough in life. We will always have the human desire to do more, accomplish more, and get more. But you and I as leaders have to focus our energy on being instead of doing. We have to start doing what is most important in life:
- Are we investing in those he has placed around us?
- Are we living our lives to the calling that he has for us and not what others want from us?
- Are we satisfied with Him because he values who we are and not what we do?
- Are we truly valuing the people in our lives?
I believe we will be better employees, co-workers, leaders, husbands, children, and friends if we stopped always trying to ‘do’ and start trying to ‘be’ a little more often. If we are focused on being, we will take care of ourselves and invest in others much more than accomplishing a to-do list; and I guarantee you will not regret that decision.
B, thanks for our lunch conversation – you have inspired me to ‘be’.
Question: What helps you stop “doing” and allows you to “be”? (Respond by leaving a comment below)