The REAL model

How To Become A More Energetic Leader

Your team needs you to show up strong, energetic, and ready to go. It’s hard for your team to run out of steam, when the leader they admire keeps showing up strong. Energetic leadership is contagious and inspires results.

I’ve been observing the most energetic leaders I can find, and looking for themes. I’ve also been paying close attention to those who show signs of burn-out (the biggest sign is they tell me so).

4 Causes of Energy

  1. Calling
    Feeling deeply inspired to a passionate calling ignites fires even the worst days can’t extinguish. When you’re connected to a deeper calling, setbacks stoke the flame. Look for the deeper meaning in what you do. Almost all work has meaning when done well. Engage your team in that cause.
  2. Commitment
    Is it a job, or something more? Feeling a deep commitment to outcomes drives energy. Commit to personal goals you must achieve. Committed marathoners train in the rain. Discover what you’re willing to wake up early and slush through puddles to achieve.
  3. Connection
    Energy is contagious. When work sucks, deep relationships save the day. Invest deeply and build lasting relationships. Build professional intimacy. Invest in light connections with every person you encounter. Smile more, help strangers, the energy will multiply.
  4. Comeback
    The most exciting game to watch is the comeback. The underdog leaves it all on the field, and pulls it out. That can be you. Put your rally cap on, garner your resources, and give it another go. Celebrate the small wins, and go for another. Nothing is more energizing than turnaround success.
  5. What would you add as #5?

Real leadershipThis post is the 3rd of 4 on Energy, as part of the REAL Leadership Model. Stay tuned by entering your email address to subscribe. Already part of our community, invite 2 friends. Let’s grow the conversation and our leadership together. .

Posted in Authenticity & Transparency, Employee Engagement & Energy and tagged , , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, Founder of Let’s Grow Leaders, helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch. She’s the author of several books: Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates (Harper Collins Summer 2020), Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak.


  1. Getting enough Sleep
    Eating the right Foods
    Consistent Exercise Routine

    These are the biggest contributors to having the energy needed to lead and do a great job.

    The best leaders set an example, Model the Way, for their team by excelling in all three.

  2. Great list and points, Karin. I would add Compassion. Making the Connection with people creates Compassion, which in turn produces an energy to do more, listen more, help more, and lead more fully. Thanks! Jon

  3. Great list. This mirrors the advice my then-boss gave me when starting my first “proper job” – if you cant be enthusiastic about what you do how do you expect your clients, customers or team to be enthusiastic about it? This has always stayed with me. Enthusiasm is contagious.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with the comments above. Smart community!

    I would add being challenged. Not so much that it keeps you up at night but enough that there’s a little sweat in the palms of your hands and you’re pushing your edge and learning, learning, learning.

    • Jennifer, Ahh, yes… we do have a smart community, that’s the most fun part. TERRIFIC add. Yes, challenges are very energizing. I think it’s always best when you feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane.

  5. Great topic and list. I’m with Steve on eating, sleeping and exercising for wellness.

    My number 5 would be clarity. Knowing what you want, where you are going and why is like high octane fuel.

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