Everything that Sucks Energy Begins with “P”

Only 11% of us had a great deal of energy yesterday.*

I asked a group, “What aspects of work suck the life out of you?” Every response pointed to a “P” word – people.

  1. Blabbermouths.
  2. Office politics.
  3. Disconnected management.
  4. Constant tweaking.
  5. Complainers.

Energy is social:

The first principle of organizational energy – Energy always moves from one person to another.

Every interaction is an energy exchange.

Some people suck energy. Jon Gordon calls them energy vampires. Some people, like the Energizer Bunny, give energy.

Evaluate your leaders by asking them, “When you show up, does energy go up?”


Positive environments are dominated by “Positive Energy Exchange.” (The acronym for Positive Energy Exchange just doesn’t seem right.)

Successful team members give each other energy.

The energy chart:

Divide a piece of paper into four quadrants. Label the upper left quadrant, “Sucks Energy.” Label the upper right quadrant, “Fuels Energy.”

Put everyone on your team in one of the two upper quadrants. Just go with your gut.

Think about the energy vampires in the upper left quadrant. Record their energy-sucking qualities in the lower left quadrant. Use the lower right quadrant to record the qualities and behaviors of those who fuel energy.

Cut the top half of your energy chart off and throw it in the garbage.

Hand a copy of the lower half of your energy chart to everyone in your next team meeting.


Explain the process you used to develop the lists of qualities of energy vampires and the list of traits of those who fuel energy. Don’t point fingers at anyone.


  1. What are you doing that sucks energy from others?
  2. How would you like to fuel each other’s energy? Be specific.

Positive environments are never an accident.

What sucks the life out of you at work?

How might people fuel each other’s energy?

*Are you Fully Charged, Tom Rath.