Issue 03: leading with energy
Energy matters. But it’s a challenge for leaders to mobilise their people when the goalposts are constantly shifting and they operate in the crossfire of conflicting business and public pressures. Issue 03 includes private and public sector client stories, and chapters on input versus impact, the soft stuff is the hard stuff and taking the lead.
“I now talk about ‘quiet managers’,” says Henry Mintzberg, “people who are close to the ground and connected with what they do; they don’t see their role as heroic but rather to encourage the heroism of other people.”
Why energy matters for leaders
Energy matters. But it’s a challenge for leaders to mobilise their people when the goalposts are constantly shifting and they operate in the crossfire of conflicting business and public pressures. In a recent MORI poll of British Captains of Industry 75% of respondents named generating high level of profits for shareholders as one of their top three corporate objectives. Then came increasing customer satisfaction (69%), developing new products and services (40%) and maximising productivity (36%). These three profit-generating activities each depend on lifting and focusing the energy of their employees.
Yet leaders tell us that they struggle with this aspect of their role. Indeed, there are top teams that actively drain energy, with too much control, not enough headroom; too much head, not enough heart; too much frenetic activity, not enough calm and focused direction.
The pivotal role of leadership means that leaders, by their every word and action, can either boost and focus or dampen and distort the energy of those around them. Leading with energy means knowing how to inspire people to direct their energies towards organisational goals. This is something that leaders have to do themselves; it cannot be delegated.