Fresh Fuel for Dry Tanks

Your tank is empty because you drained it.

rusty gas pump

Empty because you:

  1. Give, give, give. Doormats end up frustrated, angry, bitter, and empty.
  2. Take, take, take. Self-centered people collapse from within.
  3. Persist with strategies that aren’t working. Head-bangers fail, eventually.
  4. Let blood suckers permeate the team.
  5. Have walking-dead-friends, who haven’t grown and don’t want you to grow. Growth is change. Healthy change is the point of renewed vitality.


Sips are better than gulps.

Don’t wait for vacation to fill your tank. Find sips of vitality along the way. Leadership Freak blog is based on the belief that tanks are filled in small, daily doses.

In before out:

The more fuel you put in, the more service you can give.

  1. Schedule 15 minutes a day for listening, not talking. Invite a manager or frontline employee to talk.
  2. Spend an hour learning, every week.
  3. Take a walk to nowhere. For those who’ve forgotten: “How to Walk.”
  4. Meet with leaders from other industries or specialties.
  5. Hire a coach.
  6. End unproductive, ineffective activities and behaviors.

Bonus: Serve in ways that refuel. Follow your energy.

Quit before empty:

A person I coach works till their tank is empty. Exhaustion forces them to rest. We discussed their peak time of productivity and how to quit before exhaustion sets in.

Fully drained feels great, once in a while, but exhaustion fails as a daily strategy.

Simple trumps complex:

Adopt simple refueling strategies that feel good. When refueling is a burden, you stay drained.


This afternoon, I’m getting on the phone with a highly regarded musician/composer. He’s going to talk with me about talent versus skill. He doesn’t like traditional views of excellence. That’s fuel for my tank.

How can leaders refill their tanks?