5 Ways To Unblock Leadership Energy

I felt my energy drain as I drove toward the call center. The center’s results were stagnant– it was time to dig deeper. I was there to help, but also to deliver some tough messages. Necessary, not fun.

“Joe,” one of the managers, ran enthusiastically across the parking lot. Joe’s energy ignited mine. The day was looking up. As we walked toward the center together, Joe high-fived and encouraged each arriving rep. They responded in kind. More positive vibes.

We entered the building and the rest of the managers sat quietly at the conference room table nervously awaiting my (and now Joe’s) arrival. The difference in energy–palpable.

Joe’s results blew away the rest of the struggling center. While the other managers shared action plans, Joe excitedly articulated his leadership vision and robust examples of personal connection, challenges and growth.

When I met with the executive team offline I questioned, “How do we get more Joes?” They squirmed, “We can’t expect everyone to have that level of energy.”

Energetic Leaders are Born, Made, and Destroyed

Energy is union, with yourself, the vision, and the team. Energy isn’t extraversion. Don’t waste your time looking for “Joes.” Unblock the stuck energy on your team. It’s not that hard. Release their inner “Joe.”

Empowering low energy destroys potential.

5 Energy Pressure Points

Your leaders have innate energy yearning for release. Get them unstuck. Their energy will cascade, and pretty soon you’ll have an entire organization high on Qi (9 out of 10 studies show well running Qi beats energy drinks without that awful crash ;-).

  1. Missing Connection – Connection fuels fire. Teach the power of connecting, with you, peers, and their team. Model the way. 360 feedback and coaching helps. So can a good talk. Explore insecurities and fear preventing valuable connections.
  2. Faking it – Pretending exhausts. Leaders pretend to look the part, fit in, mask insecurities, hide secrets. Help your leaders uncover and use their mutant powers by using unique skills that stretch them beyond their current job.
  3. Blurry Vision – Fuzzy vision confuses. When leaders lack energy, it’s often that they don’t understand (or buy-into) the vision. It’s hard to act jazzed, when you don’t get it. Go slow. Help them understand the bigger picture. Encourage closed-door dissent and questions. “Ah ha” moments radiate energy. Then help craft and practice messages.
  4. No Options – Choices ignite. Challenge your team with exciting possibilities. Leaders lose energy when they’re stuck. Stuck in their career, in a role, in a project. Help them discover options and new challenges.
  5. Stress – Stress sabotages . When leaders are stressed from competing priorities or home concerns they lose the necessary energy to lead well. Help them balance their goals and energetic pursuits.
Share this on your favorite network!
Share on Facebook
Share on Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Email this to someone
Posted in Employee Engagement & Energy, Results & Execution and tagged , , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.


  1. Woah.

    2 and 4 just hit me in the head.

    Long story, but my business is at a crossroads. I have forgotten to study ALL options. I’m learning (slowly) that looking at 20 options doesn’t mean I have to spend 10 hours on each of them. But it never hurts to take a glance at options 4-20 to see if they might be good.

    I forgot about options…arggggh. You always have options.

    Seriously, I am energized now.

    #2 is a long-standing habit I’m trying to break. I grew up with an irrational fear of not being perfect. HA! See my blog post today (which you did Karin). That’s my mirror…says I must be perfect. It’s exhausting sometimes.

    Thanks Karin!

  2. I learned some breath work this morning which is one of the best way to get the energy going. The trick will be to figure out how to get the leaders I work with to buy into using such techniques. Any thoughts?

    • Jim, So glad to have you as part of the Let’s Grow Leaders community. Hmmmm.. I tough one. I can see that playing out well with some folks, and completely laughed at by those who need it most 😉 Start small with those you think will be most receptive.

  3. Remember to celebrate the win.

    Also, hate the myth…”If I do it for one person I have to do for everyone.” Instead, do for one what you wish you could for all. A great lesson I’ve learned from Andy Stanley.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *