Photo by Author
Yelling! Screaming! Laughing! … MORE yelling and screaming! … Five teenage girls (OK, they were 12 BUT think they’re 13 and call themselves teenagers!) were on the front lawn, sitting on a blanket underneath a large hickory tree. They were screaming, laughing, running, and yelling because Mr. Spider spun a web and came down from the tree for a visit. It had scared the <blank> out of them.
Observing these girls, one thing was obvious, they were full of ENERGY! They were alive! They were full of life!
Rhododendron are one of my favorite flowering plants. Perhaps this is because I’ve spent so much time fly-fishing in the Appalachian Mountains during the late Spring when these shrubs burst forth in full glory producing an incredible display of color! Rainbow, brook, and brown trout – rhododendron, cascades, amazing beauty. Energy! … Perhaps it’s because it’s the state flower of West “by God” Virginia.
Rhododendron and the flowers they produce (like ALL living things) require energy. To Live. To Grow. … It’s energy or death (see article on Breaking the Chains of Chaos). The “teenage” girls on my front lawn. The blooming rhododendron, even Mr. Spider, were displaying energy.
You need energy to be a leader. … Jack Welch, GE’s legendary CEO, helped popularize what became known as the “4 E’s of Leadership” – 1) Energy, 2) Energize, 3) Edge, and 4) Execution. Leaders who would be – World-class. Difference-makers. Heroes. Follower-worthy. – these leaders demonstrate Energy.
You can sail a sailboat in any direction (even into the wind through tacking and beating maneuvers) but ONLY if there’s wind (see article on Wind, Leadership & Electricity). No wind, no energy, no movement, no progress. Your sailboat is stuck in the water, tossed about by the current and the waves.
You, as a leader, should exhibit Energy. Staying Power. Passion. A Spark. Drive. Pace.
Are you engaged? In the game? Are you getting up each morning ready to face the day? Ready to make a difference? Are you REALLY alive when you’re working? Are you passionate about what you do? Do you bring your “A” game every day?
While some people appear to be more high-energy by nature (or because of high-energy drinks, espresso, etc.), here are some simple, practical actions you can take to increase your level of energy:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Exercise (cardio & resistance) 3-4x per week.
- Eat a balanced/healthy diet.
- Don’t harbor negative feelings/emotions (such as envy & anger).
- Think about good things (Philippians 4:8).
- Help others.
- Be kind & considerate.
- Get a good night’s sleep (right amount & consistent schedule).
- Don’t worry about what you cannot control (and develop a plan for those things you want to accomplish & are within your control/influence).
- Set goals for yourself (spiritual, family, vocational, recreational, etc.). Have something “bigger” than yourself to “live for.”
- Don’t gorge yourself at lunch. There are too many people “sleeping” (with eyes open) in the afternoon because they’ve gorged themselves at lunch.
Leaders who demonstrate excellence, get things done, and make a difference have high energy. They work hard, eat right, sleep well, put things in perspective, and keep their emotions in-check. These leaders are excited, passionate, driven, AND balanced. They have sustainable energy, not a short-term burst.
Teenage girls laughing & screaming. Rhododendron blooms and world-class leaders all have – Energy!
What are some of your tips for developing and maintaining high energy? What would add to my list? How do you overcome energy “drainers?”
I’d love to hear your thoughts. The floor is ALWAYS open.