3 Laws of Vitality: Defeat Energy Vampires Before they Defeat You
Energy vampires* cheer when:
- Urgencies distract from priorities.
- Meetings suck the life out of people.
- Tough conversations get rescheduled or avoided.
- Elephants – taboo topics – crowd conference rooms.
- Outdated systems and processes become holy ground that everyone endures, but no one can touch.
3 Laws of vitality:
#1. The law of the rudder: individuals, teams, and organizations move in the direction of their conversations.
Today’s conversation reflect tomorrow’s destinations.
Vocabulary – the words you repeat and the topics you rehearse – establish direction.
- Problems aren’t the problem. Getting sucked into problems is what drains vitality.
- Talk about opportunities more than problems. Leadership’s fascination with problems creates dark environments.
- Talk more about what you can do and less about what you can’t do.
#2. The law of the oar: vitality needs a “with”.
Vitality goes up when teams rows together.
Grab an oar and row. Eyes brighten when you jump in someone’s boat and row with them.
The surprising leadership question is, “How might you jump in someone’s boat?” Row with others before asking them to row with you.
#3. The law of the rope: vitality goes up when teams pull in the same direction.
Individuals lose footing and teams lose cohesion when one member pulls sideways.
- One team member with a personal agenda drains team vitality.
- Small distractions have disproportionate negative impact. Say no to good ideas and pour energy into core competencies.
- Too many new ideas insult the people working on established systems and processes.
What would have happened if the most decorated Olympic athlete, Michael Phelps, had said, “I’m great at swimming, but I suck at weightlifting. Maybe I should get better at weightlifting?”
Sideways energy is a “good idea” that distracts from current success.
What increases organizational vitality? What drains it?
*Energy Vampire comes from the work of Jon Gordon in, “The Energy Bus,” and, “The Power of Positive Leadership.”
This reminded me of your Ted Talk PITSIT’n. I saw it right after finding this blog. What is the problem? Its not the “PROBLEM”. Don’t focus on what you think the problem is. After hearing that talk I completely changed how I engage employs who want to talk about a problem. I made that Ted Talk mandatory for all team leaders. Thank you.
I should have included the link.
Hey Walt, Thanks for reminding me and sharing the link!
If you could kindly tell me how to locate the Ted Talk you are referring to, I would be much appreciative! Thank you
What increases organizational vitality? Engaging the people to come together and work for “the betterment of the way we do business”. Be willing to take opportunities and turn them into success. Don’t hold yourself back or your employees!
What drains it? Not changing the way you do business, in the sense if your failing! If everything is running well, then carry on.
Thanks Tim. I have to tell you that your first suggestion – engaging people – is on my list of “laws of vitality.” I didn’t have room to include the law of engagement. The basic idea is you must engage people if you expect engagement. Make them part of the process early and often. Too often, leaders do prep work in isolation and role out their “answers” to the disengaged masses.
Must be the moon alignment, we seem to be in Sync alot😉!
I agree! Also, thank you for including engagement in the comments. Engagement is a big topic in organizations. It seems to run or “clog” the process of productivity as well as relationships! Engaged people drive the organization.
Where is everyone today? This is a good subject, would have thought there would be a lot more input.
I like the topic… 🙂
At least you are here Walt.
I’ll tell you a really quick way to drain energy, enthusiasm and trust. Tell people who are barely keeping their heads above water that they don’t have a problem, they have a “wonderful opportunity”. Example, when half the team is sick, it’s a great opportunity to show how hard everyone can really work.
Thanks Mitch. You make me think about “always wanting more….” The mantra of more, more, more, get old after awhile.