How to Stop De-energizing the team
It takes a miracle to re-ignite a fire once you’ve hosed it down.
Skillful leaders use words to energize and release. Foolish leaders rein in and control.
Everyone has a fire inside. Leadership’s role is throwing gas on it.
10 principles of energy:
- Leading is easy when teams feel energized.
- Energy levels are leadership’s responsibility.
- Untended fires go out.
- Energy is a gift. You can’t buy it.
- Energy indicates love. High energy says people are doing what they love.
- Everywhere you see energy follow it, study it, and fuel it with words.
- Progress and success energize. Create and celebrate wins.
- Excellence energizes. Mediocrity deflates.
- Failure deflates. Evaluate failure and move forward quickly.
- Remove wet logs. Energy is contagious but, one wet log cools the whole fire.
Ask seven questions to explore, ignite, maintain, and fuel energy.
- Your eyes just lit up, what energized you?
- What was energizing about that? (The second question is the most important.)
- How might we focus your energy to accomplish our mission?
- What cools your energy?
- How can I fuel your energy?
- How can you monitor and maintain high energy?
- Who on your team loves to do what you hate?
Tip: Explore low energy when energy is high. Don’t bring it up when people are down.
5 things energizing leaders never say:
- “Do it my way.” Every time someone does it your way they lose energy.
- “It doesn’t matter.”
- “Do it or else.”
- “I sure told them what to do!”
- “Just do your best.” Fuzzy expectations never energize.
It’s easier to throw wood on a fire than to start one from scratch.
6 ways to energize teammates:
- Clarify focus. Wandering in the weeds drains energy.
- Simplifying next steps.
- Keep people in the loop.
- Respect their talent and contribution.
- Solve meaningful problems together.
- Finish something today.
What do leaders say that de-energizes?
What can you add to any of the lists I’ve offered?
People who stop Leading……when I do it…..ok speak only of me and my EXPERIENCE….I concentrate my mental focus on what I do not want instead of what I DO WANT.
During those moments I AM NOT A LEADER. It is ONLY when my mental focus is on what I want and I am taking actions to bring that what I WANT that I AM LEADING.
Leading for me is MOVEMENT, not standing still thinking about what I do not want and what is wrong with Gods other kids. Above my pay grade.
I am not a list guy. SO just share what I do. One works no need for the rest. Not a list guy.
So here is my LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
1. Follow Trevor Blakes suggestions as closely as possible. Those suggestions are found in his Book….Three Simple Steps. Starting a class with him next Wednesday….THRILLED! 74 dollars to selling two companies for over 400 million bucks. RESULTS…..RESULTS. I respect RESULTS.
2. Get my own house in order. Full time job. When this is right…..others are attracted. I do not waste time trying to figure out what others should be doing. That is their job, not mine and distracts me from mine when I seek what is wrong with them and what they ought to be doing.
3. Happy Now….Vision for my Epic Future. Worked for Vishen Lahkiani get from 4.50 a day to a multimillion dollar company with over 100 employees in over 21 countries. RESULTS.
I need not really understand what these guys are teaching me I NEED TO DO. I NEED TO DO WHAT THEY DID. DUH!!!!!!! hehe
That is MORE than enough to keep me busy NOW!
Be HAPPY NOW, not then I achieve my INTENTIONS. See happy IF, not focusing on what I want, not LEADING. Happy Now in ANTICIPATION of the completion of my Intentions…..LEADING. Here kitty kitty……
Thanks Scott. It took me years to realize that you can’t get where you want to go by focusing on what you don’t want.
Still practicing to get the hang of only thinking of what I want.
Have a great weekend Dan.
A very catchy theme with good visual on the crucial role of a leader to energize the team members by throwing new challenges before them and getting the best out of them. I have liked the summary list of ’10 principles of energy’ as put by you.
I would like to add 2 new ways of energizing team-mates, ‘Good transparency with clarity of purpose’ and ‘Linking their professional prospects with betterment of family life on a perpetual success basis’. A constant encouragement, required guidance and support, and celebrating small successes too energize people at the work place level.
Thanks Dr. Asher. Wonderful additions to ways to energize team-mates. I have seen linking professional prospects with personal goals transform people. Once we realize that we are working for ourselves as well as the organization, energy increases.
Dan, your daily comments are the first thing that pop up on my screen every morning. I can never thank you enough for the help you have been as we work to grow our new sales team!
Wow! Thanks David. It’s a pleasure to serve.
Dan, your daily posts help to keep me focused and help me realize more of my situation and environment at work. Sometimes it is the only picker-upper I get, other times, it rubs me raw. Either way, very few times have I not had too much interest in a single post.
I did want to add to your lists.
You can throw gas or wood on the fire by:
-Publicly putting your support into someone
-Say thank you for small tasks, and reward people for success at the big issues. The reward should be commensurate to the success and size of the accomplishment. Your best performers will get deflated if they don’t feel valued.
-Have team meetings where you celebrate accomplishments.
-Let those who worked on the project present, even if it is to people above their level. If you always present, you are always taking the credit for their work.
You can throw water on the fire by:
-Make major decisions without consulting the experts in that area. You may be the boss, but it is their work you are messing with.
-Never provide feedback. No news may be good news unless the last news was bad, but everyone needs to know the truth about their performance, even if they don’t want to.
-Never holding team meetings. For some departments, a team meeting may be the only time people come together as a team. If you don’t, all you end up with is a group of people going their own directions with the only boundaries being the walls of the office and their moral compass.
-Publicly degrade, disrespect, or “chew out” an employee, in any circumstance. This makes you look like a total jerk, and it crushes the spirit of the person being chewed out, but it also puts fear into everyone else, and not a healthy type of fear. It will also kill loyalty immediately.
-Never apologize, in private or public, based on circumstance. If you can’t apologize and ask forgiveness, you are not humble enough to truly lead.
These are just some of the things I’ve noticed, been at the receiving end of, or have done myself.
Have a great day Dan!
Thanks John. Your additions are very useful. I’ll give testimony to the usefulness of well run team meetings. Personally, I hate meeting because I’ve been in so many bad ones. That makes me reluctant to schedule a team meeting. What I’m learning is a well run meeting is definitely an energy builder.
Please…fan the flames! FAN THE FLAMES! Don’t snuff it out! (grins)
Another good one Dan. : )
Thanks Samantha. If flame-killers weren’t so prevalent, you would have to say it twice. But, frankly, it needs to be said more.
I was thinking about this earlier today actually….about the times when I’m actually feeling hopeful and excited (and in my situation this is critically important) and then the very peeps I LIKE and have looked UP to even (not as unequals but looking up t them for being strong in the ways that I’m not …gifted differently) and then they SAY something that just….
KILLS THE FLAME! haha
I’m laughing about it but at the moment it happens…it’s not funny!
And I wonder…WHY does that particular person DO that? Can’t they see that I LIKE them? WHY do they react this way? Why do they feel the need to rain on my mini parade?
Do you remember the first Gremlins movie?
The Christmas scene where Gizmo has his lil party hat on and he’s blowing hsi little trumpet or whistle…(something like that) and then one of the BAD gremlins tosses a spit wad or something at him. His precious little mouth drops open with those sad deer in the headlights look in his eyes…ears drop down….
Based on my experience in corporate world, one thing is very common that managers and management say- be visible and communicate more. It appears good but actually it is not. Visibility means one should always appear to the management. Communication means one should pass unnecessary information about colleagues and other people to the management. What I mean to say is that most of the practices that drain energy is subjective. It clearly indicates that leaders should minimize subjectivity and increase objectivity in performance indicators.
Secondly, I would add two energizers to the list- equity and fairness. Any system should have equity and fairness. Equity means, each and every employee should have equal opportunity to grow in the system. There should not be any kind of subjectivity. System should have fairness in all kind of dealings. It means system should not have discriminatory practices.
I am sure, any organisation having equity and fairness have all the potential to achieve even difficult goals.
I love this post!! The coals of fire on my mind are in the opening lines! Thanks for causing self-reflection, increasing self-awareness and encouraging more effective leadership!
Thanks Dr. Gupta. So I guess playing favorites is out? 🙂
How about the dreaded: “This is how we’ve always done it!”
Good one James. Or, maybe I should say, bad one. 😉
In my line of work, how to carry out any task is constrained by about 200 SOP’s and a quality assurance scheme that demands everything is done a certain way. ~Compliance with the QA system is vital – it’s a business necessity, and it’s an imposed system, not a collaboration. “Do it this way” and “This is how we have to do it” and “Do it this way or else” are common replies. Any tips on energising in a situation like this?
Quoting: “Energy levels are leadership’s responsibility.” Responsibility, yes or at least probably, but not as in PROVIDING it!!!! I do believe you can supply an environment that provides energy. And you can facilitate a discussion that enables a person to generate energy. The words, extrinsic and intrinsic, are often used with human characteristics – e.g., motivation. Thinking similarly about a human’s energy level, it’s i believe intrinsic (self-acquired) rather than extrinsic (given to / provided to).
I’m not sure this was intended interpretation for the words quoted (and others in the lists provided in this post); but from my perspective, they are perfect!!!