As a leader you are expected to bring so many things to the table. Vision. Direction. Inspiration. Knowledge. Passion. Expertise. The list goes on and on. But what is the most important thing? If you could focus on one thing to acquire, maintain, and give to your team, what would it be?
Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Illinois has these thoughts,
"A leader's most valuable asset is not their time but their energy and ability to energize others."
In leadership circles, much is said about time management, but very rarely do we hear about the concept of energy management, and in my leadership experiences, I have learned that what Bill Hybels has to say is absolutely true.
You may be able to manage your time to a tee, but if you don't have any energy to bring to that time, what good are you in the meeting, conversation, planning session, etc?
But it's not only a physical energy that I think we need to bring to our teams. I'd encourage you to be aware of two types of energy. Physical and emotional. Though the physical energy you bring to your team is extremely important (physical strength, physical alertness, physical wherewithal), I would argue that your emotional energy is equally important.
To be an effective leader, emotional energy is a must. Are you bringing a healthy amount of emotional energy to the interactions you are having with your staff, volunteers, and customers? Is your mind present? Are you listening to understand, not to respond? Are you bringing a healthy amount of emotional energy to your public presentations? is your heart engaged with the content? Is your soul moved by what you are saying? Is what you are saying just as true for you as you want it to be for those listening? Are you bringing a healthy amount of emotional energy to the work you do in private? Do you invest your emotional energy in thinking about the future of your organization? Do you invest your emotional energy in planning next steps? The bottom line is this...
The times when my leadership is most ineffective is when I am physically present but emotionally absent.
In tomorrow post, I will share some ways that I acquire, maintain, and give emotional energy to the team I'm privileged to lead. But in the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...
Do you agree with the importance of brining emotional energy to your team? Why or why not? Please leave your comments below, I'd really like to know!