In the early 2000’s I conducted research to find out what characteristics were common among great leaders, both living and deceased. I learned that first and foremost, great leaders have a powerful connection to a higher purpose—the reason they are here on Earth—what I call, Destiny. They also had a keen awareness of how they wanted to live the values they wished to practice in their lives—what I call Character. And they had deep clarity about their gifts and talents and how they would use these to serve and change the world—what I call, Calling. The shorthand for this is Why-Be-Do®, because these three characteristics provide deep inner awareness of Why we are here, how we want to Be while we are here, and what we will Do with our lives. All great leaders have this profound clarity—an inner compass pointing to their North Star. These findings were published in two books, Inspirational Leadership in 2003 and Inspire: What Great Leaders Do in 2004
In a recent research paper from Cornell entitled, “The Ideal Road Not Taken: The Self-discrepancies Involved in People’s Most Enduring Regrets,” the authors describe three aspects of a person’s sense of self. First, the “actual self” which defines the qualities we believe we own. Second, the “ideal self” which describes the qualities we would ideally like to possess. And finally, the “ought self” which is the person we feel we ought to have been, if we had lived up to your duties and responsibilities.
After surveying hundreds of participants in six separate studies, the authors reported that, contrary to what one might assume, people do not fret so much about the gap between the actual self and the ought self. Instead, 76% of those surveyed regret the gap between their actual self and their ideal self—in other words, their failure to strive towards, and achieving, their dreams.
Download this free worksheet to help you map out your own Why-Be-Do® and consider signing up for our next Coach Certification Program where you will learn how to create your own ONEDream® and how to coach others to do the same.