Four Steps To Become A More Energized (and Energizing) Leader

AdVance Leadership » Four Steps To Become A More Energized (and Energizing) Leader

Welcome to Friday 411, issue #063. In 4 minutes, with 1 insight and 1 action, you’ll discover how to increase your energy throughout the day.

1 Insight

For leaders, energy management is more important than time management, and you can renew your energy through Energy Habits.

Your energy is contagious. As a leader, if you feel excited, your team will, too. Feeling hopeful? Inspired? Optimistic? Your team will catch those emotions and emulate them.
The same is true, though, if you have difficult emotions. If you are sad or angry or frustrated, your team will pick up on those emotions and follow suit.
There are two characteristics that influence your emotional outlook:

  • Your perspective: what you believe to be true about a situation.
  • Your energy: the amount of fuel you have in your “tank.”

In today’s post, we’ll focus on energy.

Energy: A Key to Capacity

In our corporate leadership training, we discuss 7 traits that solve 95% of leadership challenges: character, competence, capacity, clarity, community, culture, and consistency.
The third trait — Capacity — focuses on the resources that you need to lead well. The four most important resources are:

  1. Time
  2. Attention
  3. People
  4. Energy

In our experience, leaders underestimate the importance of energy. Most don’t realize how energy can enhance their ability to lead. Or how energy affects (or infects) their team. The reality is that a team will rarely rise above their leader’s energy level.

Energy Management

Energy, unlike time, is a renewable resource. Time management aficionados love to point out that time is exhaustible. Once you’ve “lost” a minute, you’ll never gain it back again. But energy is different. It is renewable.
We were first exposed to the idea of Energy Management in the book The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. Even though it’s no longer in print, we highly recommend it. It is still available on Audible and Kindle.

Energy Habits and Tanks

If you’re going to increase your energy as a leader, identify your Energy Habits. Many of the activities you do drain your energy. Energy Habits, on the other hand, fill your Energy Tanks.
You have four types of Energy Tanks that need to be filled regularly by Energy Habits:

  1. Physical — your body needs to be refueled.
  2. Emotional — you need energy to feel appropriate emotions.
  3. Mental — your brain requires energy to stay clear and focused.
  4. Spiritual — you need to stay connected to something bigger than you (even if you’re not religious).

How to Increase Your Energy

To increase your energy as a leader, follow four steps:

1. Build your buffet of energy habits.

There are multiple activities that you can do in each of the four types of Energy Habits. Knowing the types of activities that give you energy helps you determine what you need.
Here’s a short list from my (Garland’s) buffet:
Physical Energy Habits:

  • Working Out
  • Eating nutritious meals
  • Walks
  • Hot showers
  • Naps

Emotional Energy Habits:

  • Dates with Dorothy
  • Coffee with my dad
  • Taking my kids on dates
  • Listening to my Spotify playlist, “Songs that Make Me Happy”
  • Driving with the top down
  • Looking at cool hats — like this one from the Eugene (Oregon) Exploding Whales

Mental Energy Habits:

  • Journaling
  • Reading about business, leadership, or personal growth
  • Meditating to gain focus
  • Visiting museums
  • Traveling to new places
  • Hikes through the woods without technology

Spiritual Energy Habits:

  • Reviewing my life purpose
  • Prayer
  • Reading devotional material

Chances are, your buffet of Energizing Habits is different than mine. In fact, you may see activities on my buffet that would drain your energy. That’s totally fine.
What’s important is that you identify your Energizing Habits. Think about the activities that bring you joy and make you feel renewed and more alive. These are Energizing Habits.

2. Plan Times to Engage in Energizing Habits throughout the Day

You will identify more Energy Habits than you have time to do on a daily basis. That’s okay. It’s not about completing a list. It’s about finding time every day to do something energizing.
Think about the times throughout a day that you:

  • Need to be at your best
  • Lose the most energy

For me, there are three times that I regularly engage in Energy Habits:

  1. First thing in the morning. This is when I need to be my best.
  2. Lunch time. I often have meetings right after lunch and want to be engaged.
  3. Middle of the afternoon. Between 2:30 – 3 each day, my energy drops significantly.

3. Stack Your Energy Habits

Once you’ve identified times when you need to be at your best and/or times that suck energy, stack your Energy Habits to provide the type of energy you need at each time.
I have several times throughout the day that I engage in Energy Habits:

  • As soon as I wake up, I spend the first 30-90 minutes with Energizing Habits. It usually involves journaling, exercise, reviewing my goals, and planning the day. My morning energizes me in all four types.
  • Lunch time — I usually eat a healthy meal with Dorothy or a good friend. This gives me physical and emotional energy to prepare for the afternoon.
  • Mid-afternoon — I’ll make an espresso and go outside for a few minutes or even go on a walk. Yes, the caffeine gives me artificial energy. But I love coffee; it gives me joy. Being outside gives me mental and emotional energy as I step away from my computer and soak in some vitamin D.

4. Use Energy Habits Before High-Demand Times

If you need to be at your best — for example, a significant meeting or presentation — engage in your Energy Habits right before. Before I lead a training or workshop, I make sure that I listen to music that gets me excited and inspired. It ensures that my energy matches the needs of the moment.
As a leader, energy is one of your most important resources. Energy management is an essential habit you can cultivate for your own benefit as well as your team’s.

1 Action

Build your buffet of Energy Habits, and plan times throughout each day to engage in those Energy Habits.


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