Energy for a New Year
Lousy leaders drain people; successful leaders energize. Do eyes light up when you’re around? Those who make the biggest difference, energize others.
The law of energy is put more in than you take out.
Any person or system that takes out more than it puts in is dying. Reserves last for awhile, but death is imminent.
Successful leaders replenish energy in others. Energy looks like hope, optimism, and confidence.
Leaders who over-emphasize deliverables and projects suck life out of people.
Leaders who energize, focus on projects and people. Foolish leaders forget people come first. People complete projects.
Leaders who prioritize people are energizers.
Successful leaders monitor energy. What’s the mood of your team?
Surprising sources of energy:
- Doing things you love. Rest is helpful, but doing what you love energizes. Help your team do things they love. Just ask, what do you love doing?
- Challenges energize when they’re just out of reach. Too far and they drain.
- Finishing energizes. Successful leaders create and celebrate finishing points. Great finishing points energize for the journey.
- Developing new skills infuses energy. What are you doing to develop those around you?
Leaders who withhold encouragement discourage.
- Ask people how they like to be encouraged. “What can I do to encourage you?”
- Validation encourages. Don’t explain away people’s perspective or feelings. Go with them, even when they aren’t yours. Going with isn’t agreement it’s understanding. People feel validated when they feel understood.
- Use questions rather than directions. “Can we solve this?” is better than, “Go fix this.” Once a person says, “Yes, we can solve this.” Their brain rises to the challenge. They find courage to take the next step.
- Systematize encouragement by putting your team member’s names on a calendar. Monday is your day to encourage Bob.
How can leaders energize others?
I’m not sure what this means.. ???
People need 15 seconds in the sun ! Celebrate
I shared it, I never really thought about so many great things that you bring up. As the worker bee you just go to work. In all the places I worked and listening to my husband I wish more will come by and heed your great advice.
Thanks Kymee. I’m thankful for your encouragement.
Great advise, Dan, and particularly applicable to the volunteer teams I lead. These points are much more challenging for me to apply on the job, being a self-employed leader. I think that energy loop is called a short. 😃
Thanks Steven. I hear you on self-employed. It makes me think about the value and importance of intentionally finding people, whether they are employees or not, who can help charge our batteries.
Identifying “mentors” is one of my goals for the year.
These are rich thoughts. Thank you. I have been blessed to present twice recently on “Burnout” and regaining energy, etc. There seems to be increasing interest in this. Ironicly, this may not be a good sign, but it is when discussion is finally opening up. It is tangible in people’s minds and behaviors the draining impact of negative leadership. And energizing in workplaces where there is positive leadership. Thanks for your posts.
Thanks John. Maybe a healthy conversation about burnout could result in renewed energy. Ignoring the elephant in the room is exhausting.
Hi Dan – my first post to your website though I’ve been reading your daily inspirations for over a year now. I whole-heartedly agree with today’s post. Not everyone with assigned power recognizes or chooses to ignore the needs of humans in the workplace and everywhere else we live. So it boils back down to each of us to live our lives in a way that demonstrates the real power of encouragement and focus on what motivates humans to do their best. – Happy New Year!!
Thanks Liz. I’m thankful for your first comment and for being a daily reader.
I love the idea that all of us, regardless of position, can assume responsibility to be energy givers vs. energy drainers.
Energy, enthusiasm, encouragement — it’s contagious to those around us. And a natural result of putting more energy in is that it requires energy to do it. So leaders HAVE to leave time for themselves — to do things that re-energize them.
Thanks Scott. Bingo! Fuel your own batteries too.
I also like the idea that energizing others can be energizing to us. There is a return on generous behaviors. However, there is a limit, too.
Celebrate victories, even small ones. Taking the time to stop and appreciate an achievement builds a greater desire to repeat the achievement. When milestones come and go without any appreciation, they loose their appeal. Few things encourage performers more than a pat on the back and the sincere appreciation of their leadership.
Thanks Dan. When people don’t notice our achievements then we feel devalued. Feeling devalued drains us. Feeling valued energizes.
I wonder if creating a culture of encouragement in the office would would result in coworkers encouraging one another with the same affect as the leader providing the encouragement. Your thoughts? How can one create such a culture outside of leading by example?
Thanks Jerry. Great thoughts and questions.
We can’t minimize the importance of upper leadership in leading the charge for culture change. If people at the top haven’t bought in, it’s nearly impossible to change an organizations culture. You can impact a division or an office but not the entire organization.
However, just because the impact of upper leadership might reach further, is not a reason to throw our hands up and give up. We all matter.
Effective change usually starts slow and gains momentum. Someone has to get the ball rolling.
Perhaps someone lower in the organization could begin refueling upper leadership. Lead up. Be the leader you hope your leader becomes.
Wow , this is great . It’s all about ENERGY , in this universe. We all are like a TV transmission tower emitting energy . However, it’s the CHOICE that the leader makes while choosing the energy , because the end result will be dependant on the choice made .
I completely agree and love this Energy for a New Year post.
Thanks Dan…I will wait eagerly for more ……..
Thanks Jayant. The “TV transmission tower” is a wonderful illustration. We need to realize, whether we like it or not, that we are transmitting to others. Good one!
Law of energy I am familiar with is it cannot be created or destroyed, just transformed.So the energy is there just how I choose to direct it is the question.
ok so in a work environment this energy is either converted into cortisol(kinda a bummer) or oxytocin(kinda great). All other environments too by the way.
Either can be recharged ad infinitum. Just depends on if people want to feel groovy, super cool and healthy or feel terrible super awful and unhealthy.
If one goes past the energy, cause there is a difference between enthusiasm and stupidity, go to THE CHEMICAL REACTIONS the energy in use creates……………..
Then choose to energize activities that create the chemical reaction you like experiencing.
Or just keep your head in the sand and have this happen to you on an unconscious level. No biggie most people do.
SP back to oxytocin generating at an EPIC level! Feeling groovy!
Thanks Scott. The law of energy, for this post, is about people not the laws of thermodynamics. Although there may be some application, I’m definitely not qualified to speak to it.
I interviewed Simon Sinek yesterday. Thought you might like to know.
Heck yes I wanted to know that!!!
How did the interview go?
Interesting Dude, huh?
Take care by the way we are energy systems it is all about thermodynamics.
I’m going to tweak (just a little) my favorite question in your post?
“How can we solve this?” What a great question to lead people to come up with solutions to stall.
How can we solve this? Then brainstorm and accept all answers. Nothing is too far out. Likely the solution will flow from the list of ideas that come from people being encouraged to suggest solutions no matter how outlandish. What a success.
Encouragement always works wonders.
Thanks Dauna. You are welcome to tweak anything you like. I enjoy reading your comments and appreciate your insights.
Happy New Year
One more thing, Dan. I LOVE the picture with this one. Your visuals are always quirky and thought provoking. Love ’em.
I get a little crazy when I look for pictures. One thing leads to another and then I end up with some wacky picture. Thanks for noticing.
I like the statement, “You have to put more in than you take out”. My father taught me at an early age that there will always be times when we need the help of others. Over the years I have been recognized for my ability to expedite more efficiently and effectivley than most. The rerason is simple, “I NEVER HESITATE to help those who need, or, ask for my help”. When I need assitance or a favor in return, most if not all do so unbegrudgingly, (because they know I’ll do the same).
You cannot continue to ‘keep going to the well’, and expecct others to drop evrything to come to your aid. That is a recipe for burnout, leaving a trail of individuals in your wake who no longer are willing to go out of thier way for you. At the heart of the issue was, is, and always will be about (doing the rite thing). Cheers Dan
Thanks Sergeant. Your story demonstrates the power of the reputation of being a giver rather than a taker. Continued success.
Great post – and loved the comments! The comment made by Liz resounded the most with me. Assigning ourselves the leadership role by encouraging others is the best use of energy.
Bingo! The comments are the best part of Leadership Freak.
I always try to quickly get to the “what do you love doing” conversation with team members. I also FULLY understand that what someone might love to do may not have anything to do with their current employment or vocation. Leadership is about getting people to THEIR goals not yours. Along the way they will perform amazing things for you.
Thanks Jeff. The more we know about others the better leaders we become, if we use that knowledge to enrich rather than manipulate. One of the main roles of leadership is understanding what makes people tick.
Thank you for such inspirational and practical post. I reblogged it along with my other related leadership posts:
Happy new year and keep bringing magic, Dan!
Thanks and best wishes for 2014.
I could’ve used an extra set of jumper cables today! Wow, is it cold. What could be better than giving someone a boost who really needs one? Giving someone a boost of energy when they least expect it.
Very encouraging post today Dan!
Time for some hot chocolate!
Thanks Redge. It’s frigid here in PA too. And, I hear that we are heading for below zero and single digits. Ouch!!
When things get cold, energy is all the more valuable.
Reblogged this on Movers, Shakers, Leadership Makers.
Reblogged this on IAm Synt.
Will share this with many and definitely embrace it.
Dan, your “energy post” created a lot of energy–f1r3fly3s pr0Duct10N5 alluded to it. And then in response to Jerry Becker’s comments, YOU, Dan, were energized to come up with another essential energy component. MOMENTUM!
We’ve all seen it in sports teams or been part of it when our staffs
go nuts and turn things around. Momentum’s secret in life can be found in the word “Moment.” We create Momentum moment by moment. The moment we choose to create Momentum, we change outcome. That’s energy.
Love this Dan. A challened, trusted, and encouraged team of people accomplish greater things than one can imagine!