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.

  1. Dreamer vampires start too much and finish too little.
  2. Helpful vampires drain energy with too many suggestions or corrections.
  3. Over-commited vampires let you down.

Nasty energy vampires.

  1. Always-right vampires demand their own way. They don’t play well with others.
  2. Fighting-the-wrong-fight vampires don’t share your values.
  3. Kingdom-building vampires have a personal agenda.

Unintentional energy vampires.

  1. Vampires who have ideas but don’t understand how to get things done.
  2. Too-much-detail vampires who kill ideas before they get legs.
  3. 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.

  1. Evaluate your leadership by asking, “When people walk away from me, are they energized?”
  2. 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.
  3. Go with, not against. Their imperfect idea is better than your perfect idea because they own it.
  4. Design long-term projects with short-term wins.
  5. Confront energy vampires. If necessary, remove them.
  6. Refocus purpose. Why are you doing what you do?
  7. 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?