One of the most important leadership capacities for us to master is managing our energy. It’s an essential daily practice that we must model if we are to be able to effectively perform our own best work as well as to inspire others around us to fulfill on their potential as well!
High performance leaders effectively care for all 4 aspects of the self. You can see a visual of all four in the right side of this mural section that I created at a recent leadership training workshop.
As leaders we must be able to:
1. nurture our physical selves,
2. connect with our emotional bodies,
3. feed our mental focus and
4. satisfy our spirit
It works from the ground up, as in first and foremost we must make sure our physical body is tended to with 7-8hrs of quality sleep each night, daily physical movement including weight-bearing activities, drinking plenty of water and consuming excellent nutrition.
Our emotional bodies work best when we receive and give optimism and hope (bringing an attitude of gratitude, writing thank you notes), awareness and encouragement (appreciating a job well done, saying thank you). Authentic connection is the greatest predictor of team success!
Mental focus can be achieved by bringing mindfulness practices to every activity we do. Quiet your mind with meditation, prayer or silence. Breathe deeply in and out of your lower abdomen. Conduct your work from a comfortable posture, with an open attitude. (Read more about mindfulness here and how to be free from the voice in your head here.)
And to satisfy our spirit, we must identify and live true to our purpose. It’s our compass, which guides us to take actions consistently aligned with our values in every circumstance. (Learn about purposeful intention-setting here and aligning your intentions with your values here.)
Living our own best lives and successfully leading teams or organizations requires that we approach each day full of focused energy for our work. We must choose to live in the growth zone (where there is little comfort) rather than the comfort zone (where there is little growth) by being resilient and fully engaged.
A regular habit of reviewing how we’re doing is a great way to keep on track with fulfilling all our aspects of self. (Read up on how to perform effective postmortems here and choosing whether to complete or re-commit here.)
Do you have any best practices for your own personal energy management? Share them with us in a blog comment below!