It's time for a new kind of leader, one whose fundamental role is to serve as a Chief Energy Officer, responsible for mobilizing, focusing, inspiring, and regularly recharging the energy of those they lead. Energy, after all, is contagious — especially so for leaders, by virtue of their disproportionate position and power. The way leaders feel at any given moment profoundly influences how their team members feel, and in turn, how those teams perform. As opposed to doing the work of those they lead, a leader's responsibility is to intentionally and systematically fuel their team members so that they can bring the best of themselves to their jobs.
A leader's impact comes not primarily from the actions she takes, but by the way she makes her team members feel along the way. People don't need false or half-hearted praise, but rather simple recognition and appreciation for real effort and for their contributions.
In the end, these same principles apply even if you are not a leader. Whether or not you have a disproportionate impact on a group of people due to a position of authority, you are your own Chief Energy Officer, and your energy is contagious. Be aware of the impact you're having on those around you.
For tips and ideas on how to lead by example, check out our Facebook album where you can like, share, and comment on your favorites.
- Celebrate wins. Take time to publicly acknowledge team and individual successes and to express appreciation for a job well done. Recognizing achievements energizes and inspires people, leading to higher productivity, creativity, collaboration, and engagement.
- Walk the talk. Take 10 minutes to reflect on the qualities you can't stand when you see them in others or in yourself. The opposite of these qualities is a reflection of what you stand for. Choose the one that you believe you embody least well. What specific activity could you build into your life to close this gap? When our behaviors are aligned with our deeply held values, we feel better about ourselves and more connected with others.
- Practice realistic optimism. We can't change what happens to us, but we can make a choice about how to respond. Challenge the story you're telling yourself when something happens that makes you feel bad. Is there a more hopeful and empowering story you can tell without denying the facts?
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