Have you ever given thought to how your energy impacts your leadership? Take a look around you and notice how your presence impacts those around you. Perhaps, it is easier to first notice how the presence of others impacts you. Have you ever noticed when certain people enter your space, that you are suddenly drained or perhaps energized instantly? Do you ever have those days when the phone rings and you see the number and you have an instant reaction to either pick up that phone or you want to let it go directly to voicemail? Do you wake up happy when you see the sun shining through the window or when you see the rain? Does the weather impact your moods? Do you have a favorite color or dance when a particular song plays on the radio? Do you get extra stressed from your morning commute? Do you know how you enter a room? Do you know how you enter your place of work every morning? Are you saying “Hello” and “Good Morning” to everyone you meet or are you thinking, “I need another few minutes of sleep” or “I’m not ready for today yet?”
How we carry ourselves matters. How we interact with those around us matters. How we receive others matters. How we are perceived by others matters. Every interaction we have throughout the day matters. Think of a battery. If you charge it, it has energy. If you drain it by using it, the energy is depleted. Think of yourself as a similar battery. We need to be charged to successfully interact with those around us. Some days I come home literally exhausted but feeling well used and energized emotionally. Other days, I feel exhausted and emotionally drained. What is the difference? Both days I have been extraordinarily busy, but one of those days included interactions that helped to literally charge my battery in some sense. In some way, the interactions on that “charging” day allowed me to be actively involved instead of being on the sidelines. My brain gets used and all of my skill sets are engaged in creating something or solving something or helping others to have those experiences. Some people might refer to this as being in the “Flow”. Keep in mind that we each have a different experience of what “charges” our battery and for some it may be a day of solitude. Each of us may need a different source of charging on different days. For me personally, there are days when a room full of people working together is the best way to charge my energy and there are days when a quiet walk along a lake or a quiet cup of tea and writing or knitting while sitting on my couch will be what is needed.
The energy of the Leader is the first thing others interact with and can occur even before you enter the room. It may be present in the air or how you are dressed or how they read your first email or heard your first voicemail of the day. The energy of the Leader is a critical success factor and for many, a key indicator of what kind of day it will be. Make sure your leadership batteries are charged on a regular basis. We remember to plug our phones in every day and some of us carry that extra phone charger throughout the day as well, just for that quick recharge. Yet, we forget to stop and provide that same care to ourselves and those around us. On a scale of 1 (low battery) to 10 (full charge), what is your average daily energy level? I will be honest in saying that there was a time that I would have to say mine was an average of 5 and some days it does get that low. When I noticed my average level (and I had to stop to see it), I began to make lists of all the times I felt more energized. I am not just speaking about physical energy but emotional energy as well. When I looked at my list, I realized when I was actively involved in creative pursuits I was able to recharge faster. Can you guess what I did next?
I went in search of ways to be creative and local craft stores became my best friend for a few weeks. I had at one time been a jewelry designer and had learned to knit once too. I started collecting inexpensive jewelry findings and yarn and knitting supplies. I began to reconnect with my personal creativity and I began to share stories about what I was creating. Even though I was frustrated by having to relearn some of my skills, I was charging my personal battery and I felt physically and emotionally better. My interactions with those around me improved as well. I began to notice who I needed to include in my workspace for meetings and when meetings became productive and when they were simply energy drains. I rearranged my workday to ensure I took quiet time to organize my day and myself. All of these activities help to charge and recharge my leadership batteries on a daily basis.
The energy of the Leader matters. What are your activities that charge your battery? What drains your battery? When have you felt truly alive and engaged in your work and in life in general? What do you need to do in order to be able to do more of that?
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