As a leader in any type of situation, you are the driving force behind each project and activity. Because you are the source of momentum, it’s important to use your energy wisely and consider where there might be “energy leaks.”
Think about the energy saving steps we take for our homes. We spend time and money:
Sealing duct work
Upgrading windows to double or triple pane with the addition of argon gas fills
Adding electric thermostats with programmed increases or decreases in temperature so that we are not cooling or heating an empty house
Replacing air conditioner and heating units with higher efficiency units
Upgrading the insulation factor in our attics.
Your home has not changed one bit to the outside eye. But to the trained eye, an inspector will see and appreciate the upgrades. Even more importantly, you will experience the benefits of those upgrades when you pay your utility bills and enjoy the increased comfort that comes from living in a more energy efficient environment.
Now, apply this concept to your area of leadership. To the outsider, your life will not seem to have changed much if you spend some time analyzing opportunities for energy efficiencies. But in the long run, everyone benefits. You show up to meetings and calls differently with greater enthusiasm and liveliness. You’ll have more room and time for not only your obligations, but also for the things that are important outside of your commitments. Perhaps most importantly, you will be able to focus on activities that bring you energy, which in turn will help fuel your ability to lead well.
What are some ways you can create energy efficiencies that will support you? For a short period of time, perhaps a week, write down every time you sense a possible energy leak in your duties.
Some ideas might be:
1. Spending more time than you wanted on the phone with a potential client or volunteer.
2. Spinning your wheels trying to come up with a way to respond to an email.
3. Troubleshooting a technical problem.
And one of my personal, most dreaded energy leaks:
4. Calendaring and setting appointment schedules.
This list will be different for every person. Get as specific as you can when writing down the activity or event that caused the energy leak. From there, you can put together a game plan for how to “seal” that area so that there is greater efficiency and less potential for an energy leak.
What would you do with all of that extra energy?