The 9 Ways of Being in Leadership

We hear from Samia Shehadeh - a seasoned Leadership Coaching and Business Psychologist with a track record that spans almost three decades. Helping individuals and organisations excel, she has empowered effective self, team and organisation leadership, and has worked internationally with blue-chip organisations, government and leading management consultancies PwC, SHL and IBM to deliver substantial change projects and leadership and culture development. Today, Samia coaches leaders and high-performing individuals, supporting them and their organisations to lead themselves and others to act and be a force for good. She believes that leadership of others begins first with the leadership of self and works diligently to connect her clients’ inner being to outward doing, so they can act with increased congruence, alignment and integrity through a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

Samia has lived in seven different countries on three continents and travelled extensively, having witnessed social and economic disparity and substantial planetary ecosystem changes. It is through this lens of experience that she views complex contemporary issues and recognises the importance of empowering those around her. She is especially interested in enabling the Sustainability agenda to become systemic.

As a PCC ICF accredited coach, Samia helps deliver internationally recognised Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses, Applied Neuroscience and Coaching courses as well as Leadership and Team Workshops.


9 Ways to be Intuitively Present in Leadership – A Framework to Raise Awareness and Support How Your Being Impacts Your Doing

We live in ‘VUCA times’ (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) amid fast-changing headwinds and prevailing ambiguities. We understand now, more than ever, the interconnectedness of a multitude of systems at both local and global scale, and we constantly navigate the world around us in the face of overwhelming distractions and needs. Our organisations and our planet need intuitive, decisive leadership that empowers and inspires – a reliable beacon to guide the way.

And what if that beacon was already in you? Emanating from an inner core of intrinsic potential giving rise to:

  • a deep and humble self-belief anddetermination
  • an understanding of what drives andmotivates you
  • a feeling of congruence, alignment,integrity, authenticity
  • behaviours and actions that trulydefine who you are, energise you and others, engage people and teams, and provide you with desired outcomes and results
  • newfound peace and fulfilment.

It is a well-known fact that leadership of others begins with leadership of self. While we may never be the perfect finished article (nor do we want to be), there are immense benefits to acknowledging and accepting this fact.

And what about change, exactly?

It is, after all, many things. Change has a certain imperative; an effort associated with it; we, our people, teams and organisations are oversaturated with it. It is an abundance of effort and can often feel like an end game; a fixed stopping point until we start again for the next cycle of change.

Now consider evolution…
Evolution feels smoother and more natural; it just kind of happens. It’s fluid and more effortless, and if we add a dose of consciousness and well-placed intentions, it guides us where we want to go, in a smooth ‘rolling hills’ sort of a way.

And what of this leadership revolution?

CEOs and leaders everywhere are all at a crossroads, a critical juncture presenting one of the biggest challenges for generations: the survival of our species and the ecosystems we rely on.

And somewhere in the enormity of that statement, lies YOUR SURVIVAL and the survival of YOUR ORGANISATION.

Leaders today have more to contend with than at any other time in history.

The economic models that seemingly reward us with wealth simply ensure that we continue doing what we’ve always done, systemically exploiting the finite resources of our planet and destroying the biodiversity around us.

Leaders today have more to contend with than at any other time in history.

As Einstein pointed out, we cannot resolve our problems with the same order of consciousness that created these problems in the first place.

There is indeed a need to evolve our economic and cultural ways and repair the production and destruction model to better suit the needs of humanity and its ecosystems.


As leaders of organisations that have a direct impact on today’s economic and cultural factors, the outcome of the question is on you. You are the being who does the doing and your ways of being in leadership impact your ways of doing leadership.

Who you are on the inside – your very essence and the way you perceive, interpret and think about the world and yourself and your experiences – impacts your outward manifestations of self – what you do; while what you are doing becomes the actions you take and the outcomes you achieve.

So how do we connect our inner being to our outward doing?

There are vast numbers of leadership models to help us understand what it is that we need to do to be great leaders. They mostly outline the how-tos and tell us, for example, that we must delegate, we must consider the situation, we must transform, we must decide, we must work to goals, and we must motivate.

There are as many great ways of being in leadership as there are great leaders. Just think about that for a moment.

While we can be aware of ingredients, or perhaps experience some of these ingredients in others, how each of us chooses to mix them and cook them is purely a matter of preference.

So where do you turn on your journey of Leadership Being and Doing?

There is a framework you can use: an organic, personal roadmap that charts a tailor-made journey just for you, the Way of Being in Leadership model, with its nine constantly evolving Ways of Being. You travel in any which direction you choose, through whichever Way of Being you want to focus on.

Each of these nine Ways of Being is contained within its own Fibonacci spiral, each connected and part of a bigger interconnected ecosystem.

You learn to walk by falling, picking yourself up and trying again and again… and then before you know it, you can run. And leadership is like that too.

Fibonacci spirals are omnipresent. They can be seen in the unravelling fern, in the galaxies, in the crest of a wave, in the nautilus shell, and in life’s experiences.

The nautilus, a cousin of the octopus, starts life small; it lives in its ever-evolving Fibonacci spiralled shell, and as it grows it builds its shell one chamber at a time. As it outgrows one chamber it moves into the next, bringing its whole being to the next level and then the next level and so on.

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The chambers that come before are not wasted. In fact, they add to its buoyancy as it grows. Nothing is wasted. Everything is of value and of service. Leadership is the same!

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Ways of Being in Leadership Model

9 ever-evolving inner ways of BEING that impact on DOING

  1. Leader of Self

At the core of the model is YOU, the individual leader and your inner self: your learning mindset, your motivations and how you perceive, experience, think, interpret and interact with the world around you and the systems you operate in. Your desire and mindset to positively impact the systems in which you operate guides you on this journey of development and lifelong learning and self-leadership.

You will become more mindful of your inner self and what you stand for, what drives you, what you are connected to, and the impacts your being and doing have. This raised awareness of who you are powers the congruent aligns you to act in ways that are a force for good in the systems in which you operate, including for our planet.

  1. Purposeful and Intentional

You are motivated and committed to identifying (a) need(s) – This could be at a systems level, team level or individual level. You are intent on setting positive intentions and are willing to create outcomes and consider the results you desire. This, combined with ‘you’ leading yourself, contributes to actions that are more inflow and congruent with who you are.

  1. Resourceful – Inner Qualities and Inner Strengths

For action to happen, you are prepared to tap into your inner resources of courage, adaptability, autonomy, compassion, self-care and others. This will allow you to behave in desired ways, depending on the situations you find yourself in when addressing your identified need(s).

Even if you feel unable to find those resources within you, your willingness to explore different sources and possibly dig deep to locate them will prove critical in terms of impacting the ways you act.

  1. Systems Thinker

Your focus here shifts from internal to systems thinking, although this is still about your inner self.  You are mindful of interacting with the larger systems in which you operate and influence—professional life, personal life and beyond—and you appreciate that there are impactful and (im)balancing dynamics across boundaries. Driven by renewed purpose and a valued sense of self, you are willing to explore and interact to push boundaries for the benefit of yourself, others and the systems in which you operate, including the world’s ecosystem and the health of our planet.

  1. Collaborative

As a leader, you will rarely achieve systems-wide outcomes on your own. Instead, you are open, willing and wanting to develop relationships that are cognisant of the various influencing and impacting powers, knowledge and experiences of different people. You appreciate the inter-connectiveness of the system(s) and where they fit in. Here, generative collaboration produces a collective intelligence in the system(s) and creates solutions and innovations well beyond what is planned for.

  1. Outcome-Driven and Solution Focused

You are aware of (possible) problems and work with a desire to focus on solutions. You are motivated to consider outputs and outcomes and use this to harness yours and others’ energies and motivations to action the needs identified, as well as possible needs not yet understood.

  1. Decisive

You enable yourself and others to harness all the DIFFERENT parts of the model to power the decision making and action. You know and are willing to work with the fact that different situations require different decision-making styles and varying levels of input from people within the system(s) whilst weighing up risks, financials, possible paradoxes and other factors to benefit the system.

  1. Clear and Impactful

Vast amounts of information need to be managed, processed, made clear and communicated. You purposefully gather information and realise clarity over the value of the information.

You seek to share that clarity, in positively purposeful, impactful ways, with others who need it to achieve outcomes.

You are aware of the impact of verbal and non-verbal communications and use that to positively and ethically influence.

  1. Regulator of Emotions

You, as a leader, are the custodian of the emotions in your charge–that includes yours as well as others.

In your quest to engage people, consciously and other than consciously, you create psychological safety for people operating in the system(s) you impact. This enables people and the teams you impact to be better equipped to achieve what you and they set out to achieve, and outcomes are delivered successfully and with more motivation and wellbeing.

This framework allows you to tap into your inner self, your inner ways of being and supports you in finding out what is important to you, what drives you. It takes you on an ever-evolving leadership journey.

It does not proclaim to structure the seemingly intangible and amorphous self that has been at the centre of philosophical debate for centuries; it merely gives it a (temporary) form so that we can work with and better understand your inner self as it evolves with renewed intention.

As you raise your awareness of your inner workings, you begin to feel more aligned with who you truly are, and this congruence changes the way you feel energised and what you act upon. As you explore this more in every domain where you are required to act, more alignment and authenticity ensue and actions flow more effortlessly with integrity.

This better understanding of self provides you with a means to gain the ability to lead in ways that remain true to self. It also allows for your energies to be better divested to better support yourself and others to achieve and deliver on the needs of the organisation and the bigger, broader systems.

You can expect heightened purpose, productivity, decisiveness, innovation, agility, positivity, happier you and happier stakeholders, increased impact. This energy exudes from you and draws people to you. It engages and inspires others to walk with you, as they sense the congruence, authenticity, purpose and drive in you. And as a result, more agile and adaptable individuals, teams, organisations and outcomes evolve.

This leadership evolution creates a space for exploration and conversation—a common language and a personal mindset shaping tool. It is particularly suited to our VUCA world as it creates agility and flexibility with purpose and determination and sustainability, not just for ourselves, but for our teams and organisations.

Bring it to life through a curious and inquisitive mind, a willingness to reflect and grow in mindfulness, and in taking the time to do so. Consider its 9 Ways of Being and use it to self-diagnose and develop. Ask those around you for their feedback. Be intentional. Seek a mentor, a skilled facilitator or a leadership coach. Be willing to experience an ongoing journey to accept the stage you are in.

In the coming months, watch for my series of questions about each Way of Being. These questions will help you consider aspects of your Ways of Being to reflect and to set intentions, desired outcomes and pathways to act.

Alternatively, contact me and let us explore your needs and walk the journey together once we feel we can be true journey companions.

Unleash your Way of Being into ethical and worthy causes. Consider your drivers, what’s important to you and to future generations. Use your empowered, congruent self and your privileged position of Being in Leadership to act and fight for our planet and for everyone’s right to live a happy and healthy life within a flourishing world ecosystem in true equilibrium.

What’s your evolution and what’s your revolution?

And with that challenge, sustain yourself with a coach!

I support leaders and organisations to sustain themselves and evolve in their leadership style so they can naturally and organically up their game, deliver and be a force for good.

I also support leaders and organisations as they evolve in the current environmental and sustainability revolution.

I’d be delighted to discuss how I can support your ongoing evolution with you! You can contact me on

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