7 Ways to Defeat Energy Vampires
One energy vampire* drains the entire team.
A small energized team goes further than a large team with one black hole.
Negative energy dominates apart from intervention.
Successful leaders, monitor, manage, and fuel energy.
Energy is always positive or negative.
Nice energy vampires.
- Dreamer vampires start too much and finish too little.
- Helpful vampires drain energy with too many suggestions or corrections.
- Over-commited vampires let you down.
Nasty energy vampires.
- Always-right vampires demand their own way. They don’t play well with others.
- Fighting-the-wrong-fight vampires don’t share your values.
- Kingdom-building vampires have a personal agenda.
Unintentional energy vampires.
- Vampires who have ideas but don’t understand how to get things done.
- Too-much-detail vampires who kill ideas before they get legs.
- Enabling vampires who enable failure by over-protection.
Transform, remove, or marginalize energy vampires.
7 ways to become an energizer:
You’re surrounded with interactions that drain energy.
Leaders take responsibility for organizational energy.
- Evaluate your leadership by asking, “When people walk away from me, are they energized?”
- See effort. People are energized when they feel seen. Negative energy says, “No one sees me. No one cares.” People who say it doesn’t matter believe they don’t matter.
- Go with, not against. Their imperfect idea is better than your perfect idea because they own it.
- Design long-term projects with short-term wins.
- Confront energy vampires. If necessary, remove them.
- Refocus purpose. Why are you doing what you do?
- Spend more time with people in the middle who respond to encouragement.
*”Energy vampire” comes from Jon Gordon’s book, “The Energy Bus.” This post is inspired by his book.
What types of energy vampires have you seen?
How can leaders, monitor, manage, and fuel energy?
I like the idea of “over committed vampires” – it’s so easy to be that guy. This is a good visual to recognize it.
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Thanks! I am an over-committed energizer,but I have never focused on energizers being honest. Energy can be fueled by being enthusiastic and radiating that. Managing means keeping a balance and knowing when to stop radiating energy and moving on to something more calmer 😉 Monitoring energy by keeping an eye on the overall team energy and making sure I divide tasks to people knowing how energetic they are + keeping in mind their strengths.
The challenge as leaders is when when very nice and bright are the vampire bundle. Very challenging and at what point does one bring out the wooden stake or at least garlic? Is there more written on this? Jettisoning talent is daunting but undoing many years of behavior and coddling – the energy to redirect is even more daunting.
Good check list for us, because the most you can affect is your own behavior. All of these vampires co-exist at the work place. Maybe together in a larger group they stabilize each other? Even better points for action if not. Appraisal, purpose&direction and constructive discussion are the medicine.
Dan, you come up with the best topics for thought and conversation. I knew a physics-mathematician chum in high school who would come up with an algorithm, equation or formula for every problem or issue irrespective if it was science or social. If I had a girlfriend problem, he would “solve for X,” for example.
In a cognitive science course, our class was tasked to solve a “personnel capability” issue among a team on a space ship in outer space—where 6 persons were of equal intelligence, but one was acting negatively for whatever reason.
I recall my eccentric chum creating a CAPABILITY equation where P + E = B…or Personality plus Energy equals Behavior. Now don’t get all excited, as I know this doesn’t exactly fit your post of today. Also, be reminded this is high school thinking.
However, at the head of our ability (cap-ability) is what we believe. We come to believe what we live and learn. The more we believe, the greater is our energy to perform, and the better is our performance. Ultimately we become part of this capability equation.
Unfortunately, one major reason why many do not understand what is happening in their environment is that they are too immersed in the events that surround them.
I don’t really get this one. I think the posters, above, are much brighter than me. ; )
The idea of Energy within Teams and from Leaders is always an interesting and compelling one. In terms of practical tips to keep up one’s own energy as a leader and the leader of teams I find that The Energy Project http://www.theenergyproject.com has many practical ideas.
Would like to read more about how to cope/respond with each of these team issues when perhaps they stem from top leadership and not those underneath your report?
Hi Dan, I completely agree that there are vampires, though I’d say not all do it intentionally. I wrote an article o Happiness Vampires that I’ve come acrsoss – http://martinsummerhay.livejournal.com/3280.html
don’t forget that Enthusiasm is not Skill.