Measuring Leadership Capacity via Units of Energy

Measuring Leadership CapacityEvery morning when I wake up, I ask myself 3 simple questions. These questions help me to look after my energy management, so I have what it takes to get through a busy day.  The 3 questions that I ask myself are:

  1. Am I leaking energy?
  2. If so, what is this about?
  3. What can I do in this moment as I get ready for my day to stop this leakage of energy?.

Just maybe, these are not questions you are asking yourself every morning?…..yet!

These questions and being able to answer them daily are more valuable than you might think.

We can agree that it is important to have enough energy in your personal fuel tank to lead your life and your business well throughout the day. Each and every day.  Ano, I am not talking about getting that extra dose of caffeine in as you head into your day….although I do enjoy a couple cups of really good coffee and two squares of organic dark chocolate at the start of my day too. It helps, for the joy factor as well as the caffeine.

I am talking about having the emotional, mental and physical energy to lead life and work every day. The ability to devote focus and good energy to the task at hand.  Being able to stay calm in a challenge. Having the mental clarity to make good decisions. And not falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day, having nothing left over after having managed to do it all.

We all understand that some of this energy comes from having good food, adequate sleep, exercise and drinking enough water. Some of the energy that we do have at the start of our day by taking care of ourselves in this way leaks out of us unintentionally as we give it away to things that we are thinking about (or perhaps worrying or ruminating about) that are zapping that energy from us.  Asking myself these 3 questions each morning helps me to manage these energy leakages.

I imagine myself having 100 units of energy when I am at my full capacity. I use the number 100 only because it is easy for me to understand and do the math quickly. When I do a quick scan through my energy leakages, I give each leakage 5, 10 or even 20 points depending on my quick assessment of severity. I don’t use a scientific instrument or test. I rely on how I feel, on my perceptions, and what my gut is telling me. Although less scientific, this does just fine for me as I am sure it would do for you as you develop your awareness about energy and energy leakages.

Am I Leaking Energy?

This is the first question to ask yourself.  Am I leaking energy?

When I do a quick scan through my energy leakages, I give each leakage 5, 10 or even 20 points depending on my quick assessment of severity. I don’t use a scientific instrument or test. I rely on how I feel, on my perceptions, and what my gut is telling me. Although less scientific, this does just fine for me as I am sure it would do for you as you develop your awareness about energy and energy leakages.

Today, here is what my quick assessment looked like.

  • Worry about the days this week going by too quickly and not having gotten everything on my to-do list done. -5 units
  • Annoyance at some people for doing exactly the opposite of what we had agreed on. -5 units
  • Tension of being wrapped up in the last stages of large proposal possibly being accepted. -10 units
  • Getting distracted by social media, even though the distraction is far less than last week. -10 units

In that quick check in with myself this morning, I discovered that out of my total energy units, I had energy leakages that lost me 30 units. This leaves me with only 70 units of energy for the day, less than 3/4 of my full capacity. Grrrr. Now I have to be careful not to lose more energy units beating myself up about this.

What is this About?

Looking at each of the energy leakages I noticed, I spend a few moment reflecting on what is this about? In my experience, asking this question usually points me towards a solution so that I can slow or even stop those energy leakages.

In today’s example, the week is going by too quickly because I have allowed distractions. Those distractions are not a necessary or even useful part of my day and are in fact depleting me. I also noticed that as usual, a bad habit of mine has shown up again. I made my to-do list for the week too long, setting myself up for some failure.

Having noticed these things, I can then move on to the final question.

What can I do about my Energy Leakages?

And my final question to myself is what I am working on right now: in this moment, what can I do about my energy leakage?

As I’ve noticed what this is about, usually the answer to what I can do is in what I’ve noticed.  By being aware and being honest with myself, I know what needs to be done.

In today’s example, here is what I did to manage my energy leakages:

  1. I just shortened my to-do list, letting go of some things that are not important and parking them for sometime when I have time.
  2. I had a quick talk with myself about the value of staying annoyed. It was not serving any good purpose. I will regroup with those people today and have a conversation to figure out what we can do to salvage the situation.
  3. I had a quick talk with myself to stop worrying about the proposal as I had done my best with it and need to trust it will all work out. Okay…that didn’t work totally although I am feeling a little calmer about it.
  4. I quickly just did my social media for today, giving myself ten minutes, and will have it off until late this evening when I will do one more no more than a ten-minute check.

By my quick assessment, the only energy leakage I am feeling as I head into my day is the tension about the proposal.  I still feel I am leaking about 10 units of my energy. That’s a pretty good recovery, having about 90% of my energy available for my leadership of my private and professional life today! I might just have an extra piece of that chocolate to celebrate. And off I go into my day, knowing I will make proactive rather than reactive choices, that I will be my best in conversations, and in going through the work that is before me.

Individual Health and Balance:
Key to Developing Leadership Capacity

Join Rachel Bolton and me for this deep dive workshop exploring how you can develop greater capacity to lead your life and your work through a focus on individual health and balance.  We’ll be sharing plenty more tips like these as well as comprehensive frameworks for achieving and maintaining your personal health and balance regardless of what is happening in your life or your work.

This workshop takes place for four Fridays in a row, beginning February 17th from 9-4 EST (15:00-22:00 CET). If you cannot attend in real time, the recordings and workbook are invaluable as a self-study program…and to go back over time and time again as you develop your leadership capacity for thriving in a performance environment of constant change.

 

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Photo Credit: Klaus Post | FreeImages.com

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Birgitt Williams is an international management and organizational solutions consultant, author, meeting facilitator, teacher, keynote speaker and executive coach. Her business focus is to create inspiring work environments that are highly effective in achieving their purpose and fulfilling their vision.

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