August 3, 2022

Is Leadership Energy Always Electrifying?

Is “energizing” always a job requirement of a leader? Yes, since it greatly impacts on employee engagement and job performance. But the definition of energizing has changed, and leaders must now change with it. For a long time, people have looked to charismatic epic CEOs as examples of energizing leaders. They were the Steve Jobs style of a visionary who could command a stage with the strength of their personality alone. It didn’t hurt that they had great products to reveal or news to share, too! They were larger than life individuals and there are still a few of them around today.

Exposure to an energizing, charismatic leader can be compared to spending a few hours under a blazing summer sun. It’s a “radiated” form of energy that your body receives because you are standing in its light. The same energy finds you when you experience a great concert or a great movie: the energy cascades onto you externally from the stage or screen. It leaves you internally glowing for a while.

Let’s step back for a second and talk about being motivational compared to electrifying. For the people they are leading, motivation is an “inside job.” The motivation is internal, not external. It comes from within the heart and mind of each employee.   Great leaders should use their energy to connect with people’s sense of pride, purpose, and togetherness. This will inspire their people to motivate themselves for successful outcomes.

As impressive as some epic CEOs are, the downside of their captivating performance is that it sets an unrealistic precedent. Hopeful new leaders in any organization, leaders who feel less animated or outgoing, will naturally believe that they cannot deliver such energizing performances and may shrink away from opportunities to communicate. That becomes a problem for a company, given that there are always many new leaders and managers that the CEO relies on to help move forward. So, how do we resolve this dilemma?

Well, the good news is that dynamic leadership radiating from the stage is not the only way to energize.

We can energize our team members through actions that display emotional intelligence – leading to what many authors refer to as “relational energy.”  It’s emotional, intellectual, and cultural awareness that delivers energy, inspiration, and encouragement all in one.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do people feel energized after they meet with me?
  • Do I create energy in others by helping them to be successful?
  • Do I inspire people to perform at their best?
  • Do people feel invigorated after a conversation with me?
  • Do people seek me out because they feel safe to share their thoughts?

If you can answer the above questions with a resounding “yes”, you are a relational energy power source. Embrace and harness it!

Those you lead know they are heard, that they are supported and that they don’t have to be perfect all the time which allows them to freely share ideas with you.

And that’s the type of energy that will vibrate internally for a very long time compared to being present for a twenty-minute electrifying stage presentation.


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