Leading with Energy

Bob Schultek Author of
The Gauntlet

Each person in your business is a source of energy, with a unique set of gifts, experience, and insight.

And unlike other forms of energy, the energy your people invest in their work is infinitely renewable and expandable. Individuals have consistently demonstrated their capacity to contribute energy, and then quickly recharge. When properly nurtured, a person’s capacity to contribute energy can expand, drawing on a nearly inexhaustible reserve of potential energy and creativity.

Leaders can deliver improvement, and concurrently develop those reporting to them, by creating the conditions that enable their people to access this deep well of energy. By providing opportunities for your team to collaborate in generating improvements, you offer them the chance to make a difference, to contribute beyond their functional duties, and to learn new skills, which enables them to invest their energy in strengthening your business and themselves.

Fostering team collaboration typically follows this process:

• Articulate your intention by describing what needs to be done or improved, why it needs to be done, and your envisioned outcome;

• Focus on cross-functional initiatives that will accelerate productivity, strengthen competitive advantage, and boost value creation, while expanding knowledge about business operations;

• Facilitate healthy, productive dialogue among your team about how your outcome could be achieved, exploring alternative solutions to discover the best way forward; then, identify barriers or limitations to success, and metrics to monitor progress;

• Remain directly engaged with your team as your initiative proceeds, gathering feedback and adapting as necessary, ensuring alignment with your purpose and culture, and accelerating decision-making, while building team confidence, commitment, and shared accountability.

Your most sustainable competitive advantage is your people, and their energy. They want to make a difference – they just need you to point the way and to lead them.

How well are you leading with energy to strengthen your business?

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