abstract hands giving energy to a silhouettel

4 Foundational Areas Effective Leaders Invest Their Energy

“To effectively re-energize the workforce, organizations need to shift their emphasis from getting more out of people to investing more in them so they are motivated -and able – to bring more of themselves to work everyday.” Tony Schwartz, Catherine McCarthy, Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

Twelve years into our values journey at Luck Companies, I still find us having our share of “values clean up on aisle 7” announcements. As Chief Leadership Officer, part of my responsibility is working closely with the company’s Sr. Leaders and every once in a while I find them spending too much time with a mop in their hands cleaning up their own messes.  When we sit down and talk things through we typically work back from the string of values clean up symptoms to the underlying problem. The majority of these conversations quickly reveal a very similar pattern of excessive work hours to a state of exhaustion with little to no time for investing in self. The end result is leaders who are not showing up well in work and life- thus the mop.

In [easyazon_link asin=”B000XPWRDA” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”achievstrate-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time[/easyazon_link], Shwartz and McCarthy write, “The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed,” we wholeheartedly agree.

The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed.

With this understanding of energy and our unwavering belief in the need to invest in self, as soon as we hear language from our leaders that sounds like excessive work hours, exhaustion, and “busy, busy, busy” we start to become a whole lot more interested in the person than the problem. We begin to probe into how much time they are spending attending to their body, emotions, mind, and spirit. Our philosophy on what’s needed to “expand and renew energy” in each of these areas is a simple one that follows Dr. Stephen Covey’s “Whole Person Paradigm” of “living, loving, learning, and leaving a legacy”.

BODY (living):

This is about healthy patterns in eating, moving, and sleeping and the extent to which we are staying committed and consistent to those patterns. At its basic level, these behaviors are essential to survival. With elevated commitment and consistency, we push the possibilities beyond surviving to thriving.

EMOTIONS (loving):

Human beings are innately social and our need to feel love and acceptance is essential for our sense of self. Human connection is our single greatest source of energy and when lacking, energy is depleted. The question then becomes how much time are we spending with family and friends, people we love and those who love us.

Human connection is our single greatest source of energy and when lacking, energy is depleted.

MIND (learning):

In Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi’s book [easyazon_link asin=”0307956830″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”achievstrate-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Super Brain[/easyazon_link] they talk about the brains capability of “evolving and improving throughout our lifetime” as opposed to the idea that aging in the brain is inevitable. Curiosity and learning thus becomes the mind-set and behavior that elicits creativity which Chopra and Tanzi describe as a “living, breathing, ever-new source of inspiration.” And inspiration, derived from the Latin word inspirare (to breath life into) becomes the source of energy.

The two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we find out why.

SPIRIT (legacy):

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “The two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we find out why.” The “why” is our reason for being, the difference we were put on this earth to make, our legacy. Ask anyone who has spent time giving back- being a part of something greater than themselves- how they feel after doing so and watch their reaction, they typically light up like a Christmas tree. The behavior is simply taking the time to do so.

In walking our leaders through a series of questions about attention to their own body, emotions, mind, and spirit the response is virtually 100% consistent- “I simply don’t have the time right now.” The next question to ask is an easy one, “And tell me how is that working out for you?”
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Having a passion for inspiring people to believe in themselves and become everything they are capable of becoming, Mark is charged with transforming Luck Companies into a global Values Based Leadership (VBL) organization. In his role as Chief Leadership Officer, he serves as a thought leader for the ongoing development of the VBL ideology and model, and is responsible for the integration of VBL within Luck Companies. Mark’s work also extends beyond Luck Companies’ doors and includes sharing the VBL model through mentoring, speaking, teaching, and coaching with organizations of all sizes, across all industries and all geographies. As a result of his work to take Luck Companies’ message global, Mark was recently selected by Inc. Magazine as one of the 100 Top Great Leadership Speakers. He is also a two-time recipient of Trust Across America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business for 2014 and 2015. Additional honors include being named as a Switch and Shift Top 75 Human Business Champion and member of their League of Extraordinary Thinkers. For Mark, his own leadership journey continues as he truly believes that long before he can activate the extraordinary potential in others, he must first work on himself and live his life in such a way that he is an example for others to follow.

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