LeaderShift Project ArticlesTo-be list
To-be-lists are an important part of a client’s to-do list, which I encourage all clients to create.

I make a to-be list for any meeting I go into, or in advance of important events. For example, if I’m going to facilitate a workshop that’s full of millennials, I could do it in a way that would bore them to tears, as if I were talking to their great- grandparents. Or I could do it in a way that would resonate with them. It all depends on the mindset I bring, and how I decide to be. My to-be list for that facilitation might look like something like this:

To Be:

  • Fun and engaging
  • Casual and informal
  • Brief and succinct
  • Curious and armed with lots of stimulating questions


Those are ways of being that I think will resonate with millennials. I recommend this type of intentionality behind your to-be list to lock in your success.

Latesha Randall wrote the book “The To-Be List” on the topic. According to Randall, Doing is a short-term endeavor. You will find purpose and work/life balance through Being.

Let’s look at a common situation. It is crucial to prepare a to-be list before any work event. I’m not thinking about a big training session or sales call. It might be useful for an interview or presentation you have coming up. You can use this tool to acknowledge the results you want to experience at any given moment.

The task sounds simple enough, but it would help if you asked yourself a few questions before creating your to-be list:

What is my desired outcome?

Define what results you aim for and what actions you want people to take. You might align your team around launching a new product, collecting at least ten business cards at a networking event, or mending a rift in a relationship following a difficult discussion. Results will vary depending on the circumstances.

I try to break the task into smaller pieces and complete it in stages. It’s important to see your priorities because sometimes you can get caught up in the small stuff. This will help you focus on the important things, like completing steps according to priority.

Do I want a certain impact?

The outcome is affected, but it is quite different from the impact. What matters is how people feel. If you wince at that thought, you’re not alone. In the words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” And that, my friends, is what will drive them to accomplish what you want. Are you looking to inspire, motivate, and empower your audience? Would you like people to feel collaborative and creative? Do you want people to feel trusted and confident? Describe the tone of the message in as much detail as possible.

What do I need to BE to achieve that?

Outcome/impact planning meets the to-be list here. Your vibes will be picked up by others, regardless of your position. Show up in the best way you can. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial if you were open-minded and nonjudgmental? Optimistic yet realistic? Direct and concise? Understand yourself and your audience first.

A doing/being analogy I use frequently I learned from Abraham Hicks. Imagine that you want to toast some bread– you take two pieces of bread out. Then, you put them in the toaster and press the toast button. But did you check to make sure the toaster is plugged in? If there’s no electrical connection, you’re going to work really hard to make that toast, to no avail.

The to-be list is like plugging in the toaster. The toaster cord gives you the literal connection to make it easy; figuratively, it’s about connecting to who you need to be for success.


This week, what are you going to do? Write a list and be the best version of yourself!

Do you need help getting in the right mindset? Try Mindset Medicine, a one-page reference sheet that will help you naturally build a growth mindset. Download it for free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment