How to Flame Up, Not Out

Leaders flame-out because consequences come slowly.

  1. Neglecting your team doesn’t bite you immediately.
  2. Chasing urgencies – instead of priorities – seems like success for a while.
  3. Working long hours works for a while.

Consequences catch us around the next corner.


Leaders flame-out because consequences come slowly.

The law of consequence:

Habits have results. Decisions and actions eventually come home.

A series of small compromises leads to big consequences.

It might take years of unmanaged stress before your heart gives up and you flame-out, for example.

How to Flame Up, Not Out:

Manage energy, not time. (Loehr & Schwartz)

Time can’t be managed, but you can manage work-rest rations. Pour out energy and intentionally restore it.

Energy restoring tips:

  1. Sprint and rest. Engage in concentrated hard work for 52 minutes and take a short walk.
  2. Begin and end your day slowly. You can’t control everything that hits you during your day, but you can control the beginning and end. Begin your day stretching or another centering activity.
  3. Adopt rituals. Send a gratitude email at the end of every day, for example.
  4. Know who you are. Introverts find energy in quiet. Extroverts restore energy in social settings.
  5. Turn off technology an hour before bedtime. (No email, Facebook, or Snap Chat.)


Notice energy.

Spend a few days noticing when you’re at your best and when you’re drained.

  1. When are you sharpest during the day? Are you a lark or a night owl? How will you guard and maximize your best time?
  2. List three things that fuel your energy. How will you do more of that?
  3. List three things that drain your energy. (Procrastination, for example.) How will you do less of that?

Next level:

Leadership begins with you but always ends with influencing others.

Learn to manage your energy. Teach others the principles of energy management.

How might leaders restore their own energy?

Bonus material:

The Power of Full Engagement: The Four Energy Management Principles That Drive Performance (

Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time (