Leaders, are you energizing your teams?Mar 23, 2022
The excitement of emerging thought processes and ideas about doing better are on the high. It is clear, after the year we’ve experienced, a lot of people are looking for change. We need to understand that change will be beneficial if we decide to make it so. The choices we make, the things we accept, as well as the areas we focus our attention upon all create an energy that we give off organically, even subconsciously.
Being a leader is not easy. It requires more than knowing the work. It requires more than great communication skills and holding a healthy dose of influence. It requires more than emotional intelligence and resilience. A good and strong leader knows how to master their own energy. We can think of plenty of professionals, political figures, celebrities etc… with the leadership qualities we just mentioned. But one thing we must consider is the personal energy leaders bring to their teams and organizations.
What do we mean by energy?
In this context, we are referring to the level of interaction among team members and more specifically, what happens to one’s personal zeal after interacting with a colleague, or leader, here, especially after dealing with a major challenge. In some cases, the professional is left feeling excited, engaged, willing to improve, motivated, and open to tackling the things that are challenging them with more conviction. In other cases, they are left feeling vulnerable, exhausted, drained, unmotivated or worse, fearful.
On the positive they work hard to create the improvement, even if they make mistakes along the way and understand that the challenge they are facing is only temporary. On the negative they may still work hard to create the improvement, and will likely make mistakes along the way but fear has them operate in a less than desirable state of mind. Some may see this as a way to get team members to relent. However, operating from a place of fear, or resentment is not synonymous with the values of healthy corporate citizenship. A good and strong leader is a good energizer. They leverage relational energy (the kind that elevates and increases) on behalf of their team and organization. Maintaining alignment with mastering one’s energy on a continuum is helpful. Let us explain further with practicality:
Benefits a team experiences when the leader is able to energize his or her team:
A good and strong leader understands how to uplift others during the most difficult times but also at times when things are going well. Naturally, the energy levels a team undergoes fluctuates. The leader has a strong impact. We are not saying the entire team’s or organization’s energy level relies solely on its leader(s). We are, however, pointing out that the topics discussed, the approaches taken, the value of the team members’ approach to the work, their perspective on their leader’ state of mind, and that of the organization and its environment is impacted by the energy level of the leader in stronger ways than any other team member. That is one of the many reasons why leaders need to reclaim their positions this year by refocusing on the influence of their personal energy as a powerful resource. Think influence and charisma, on steroids! The good news is calm enthusiasm suffices.
Google defines charisma as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. The point we are making is - from which place of energy level is this devotion triggered? In order for a leader to create a good environment, leaving their team with positive or constructive energy is key. Keeping them engaged will prove to be much more manageable. According to Gallup, the manager alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement based on (1) the manager’s innate tendencies (2) the manager’s engagement, and (3) the employee’s perception of the manager’s behaviors.
Here’s the good news: When Leaders maintain their own positive energy, it yields a positive impact.
So, how does a leader create positive and constructive energy? Think of it as a basic formula: A set of behaviors that is consistently maintained over time. A leaders’ character comes to mind.
The Heliotropic Effect is the inclination of all human beings to flourish and to be attracted to positive energy while languishing or avoiding de-energizing (or negative) energy. Or the tendency to avoid or to languish in the presence of negative energy or negative emotions. A reminder from the Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education: Research suggests that if you are a Positive Energizer, the tendency of having richness and frequency of communication to you will go up. If you are a De-Energizer the probability of rich communication and frequent communication will go down. For the most part, those who positively energize others:
- Are high performers
- Tend to enhance the work of others
- Get their ideas acted upon more often
- Attract good people to work for them
- People who interact with or are connected to energizers also perform better
- High performing firms have 3 times more positive energizing network of positive energizing professionals than low-performing firms. This means that when organizations have a network of professionals who also happen to be positive energizers, they tend to recruit more of those professionals (professionals who are positive energizers), which in turn impacts their culture and their overall level of performance. High performing organizations have a larger number of professionals who are positive energizers, three times more than organizations that are low-performing.
Leaders can energize their teams effectively:
So, leaders, as healthy corporate citizens, can you think of ways to increase your positive energy skills? Clearly, this work is internal that only you can choose to master. Yet there are no guarantees, you must be a willing participant. If you already have those tendencies, it will be easy for you to enhance them. If not, think of things you do to leverage your personal growth so that you can better impact your organization’s culture and performance and have the type of influence that yields the most effective results. Challenge yourself and enjoy the behaviors and performance you will evoke from those you lead, as a result.
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