Thursday, October 2, 2014

Leading with Energy and Focus for High Performance, Growth and Innovation

I am often asked what leadership model I support or promote.  There are many of them, and each has its own pros and cons.  Many are quite trendy, and most have ZERO data associated with them.

My answer to the 'what model' question always goes to two things:

* It's all about energy
* And practice data and dialogue driven leadership

Put the two together and you get energized leaders who know how to optimize and direct their own energy at work and the energy of the workforce.

Why should you become an energized leader who energizes others?

You should do it only if you want to outperform your competitors.  Energized workers who are focused get more of the right stuff done.  These employees may not always be happy and content, but they are successful.  Their energy is catchy; new employees start being productive faster because their peers are energy beacons.  Managers are working but not burned out. Leaders know how to redirect quickly, and they and their employees can adjust, respond and move after opportunities faster and better than their competitors.

Steps to take to become an energized and energizing leader:

1.  Energy Data - Get Some.  Find out what the energy level is of your workforce.  I recommend frequently assessing energy because it fluctuates.  Add data on energy to the list of metrics you track, and when you have management review meetings, go over sales, quality, productivity, profitability and energy.  Manage energy and drive your business forward.

2.  Track Key Human Capital Metrics - Add other metrics that are needed to drive your specific business goals.  Create a custom metrics strategy that not only measures what matters but that also influences the behaviors you need.  Data drives dialogue, and data and dialogue together affect action that leads to measurable business results.

3. Use Data Driven Storytelling - One of the most energizing exercises is to tell stories, but don't just make them up. Stories that are silly de-energize; stories based on reality, wishes, hopes and data make the workplace go faster and more efficiently.

4.  Find the Energy Hubs - We use a tool called organization network analysis (ONA) to find out who the energy chiefs are - these people know what to do, in your business, to increase energy and pass it on.  Once you find these individuals, learn what they know and teach.

5.  Optimize Energy and Measure Frequently - Energy is an optimization construct; everyone's ideal energy and zone is different.  Also, energy changes, and our research shows it's the variance in energy that's important.  Teach employees about energy and help them optimize their own energy at work.

Why is energy important?

The definition of energy is:  THE ABILITY TO DO WORK.

We're not talking about happy, lala land.  Energy is needed for a firm to have the momentum to go forward.

With over 1 million data points on energy, case studies from around the world on how energy improves performance and large-scale research on the role of energy in driving stock price and survival of firms, we know energy works.

It's the way to manage in today's fast, changing world.