Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leading Like the Energizer Bunny

Guest post by Great Leadership monthly contributor Beth Armknecht Miller:

Guess what?  It can’t be done.  No human can keep on going and going without recharging their “batteries”.  And when leaders start running on empty, bad things can happen.

Leaders who aren’t able to effectively manage their energy are subject to:

·       Making poor decisions
·       Communicating ineffectively
·       Missing the obvious and the subtle
·       Managing their emotions improperly

So what techniques do leaders use to manage their energy?

1. They surround themselves with people who are energy producers not energy users.
Take a look around you. Where are the windmills and solar panels in your organization and personal life? You should be able to think of their names quickly. When you need a boost reach out to them.

These are the people who see a half full glass and immediately start making lemonade out of a pile of lemons. They are also the people who respect you and value the gifts you bring to the organization, and they are the ones who step in to help you when you need help.

2. They take short periods of time each day for just themselves.
We all have our own biorhythms and we know at what point in the day our energy will drop and when we are at our best. Prepare for those drops in energy before they come and take time to reenergize. Talk a walk and visit with your energy producers or find a quiet place to close your eyes and go to your “happy” place.  This is a place that is either real or imagined where you can refuel.  It is a place that only you know; it creates a sense of peace and relaxation.

3. They use their high-energy times like the Energizer Bunny.
Leaders can accomplish a lot when they use their high-energy times to tackle the difficult and important such as decisions and communications. They quickly prioritize and use their energy as effectively as possible by getting the most important things off your list.

4. They delegate effectively.
The leaders who feel drained, more often than not are just saying yes to too many people and projects. They are the ones who want to help solve all the problems because they have the correct solution.

Being able to let go of things that others around you can do, may even want to do, is a great energy management technique. Focus on those things that are providing the most value to the organization and those things that use your strengths not your challenges.

Don’t get trapped into the cycle of low energy.  Use these 4 techniques to manage your energy, decrease your stress, and become a much more effective leader. Not only will your employees thank you but your friends and family will as well.

Beth Armknecht Miller is CEO of Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. Beth is a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer. She is a graduate of Babson College and Harvard Business School’s OPM program. She is certified in Myers Briggs, Hogan, and Business DNA. And she is a Certified Managerial Coach. Beth’s insight and expertise has made her a sought-after speaker, and she has been featured in numerous industry blogs and publications. To learn more about Beth visit BethArmknechtMiller.comor


Rick Conlow said...

Hi Beth:
I like the thought of bringing energy to the forefront of leadership. It seems to me many managers are lethargic and complacent. This doesn't inspire employees. I use the word passion. I define this to mean energy, belief and commitment to what a leader does. Maybe with more energy our workplaces won't be so drab. Employee dissatisfaction is at all time highs. Energy is contagious; a fired up leader leads to fired up employees. Thanks for the reminder. Take care.
CEO/WCW Partners

Beth Armknecht Miller said...

Rick, I like the word passion as well. It is actually more powerful than energy as it incorporates the emotional and physical aspects of leadership.

The trick is how to keep your passion high enough that others don't notice that it is low!