“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then to help orchestrate the energy of those around you” (Peter Drucker)
A participant taking part in one of our leadership development programmes end of 2013 declared that “Recently Harvard released a study about how meditation reduces cancer. If we don’t’ manage ourselves… we are going to burnout”.
While few executives publicly acknowledge burnout, the issue is more common than previously thought. A Harvard Medical School Study found that some 96% of senior leaders within US organisations feel somewhat burned out. In the UK, nearly a third of HR directors say employee burnout is common within their organisation (research from Robert Half)
Paradoxically, most large organizations continue to invest in developing employees’ skills, knowledge, and competence and very few help build and sustain their capacity – their energy -which is typically taken for granted (Tony Schwartz).
Our energy can be divided into four different elements: physical energy (e.g. how healthy are you?), emotional energy (e.g. how happy are you?), mental energy (e.g. how well can you focus on something?) and spiritual energy (e.g. why are you doing all of this?)
Tony Schwartz famously mentioned in his book, “manage your energy, not your time”, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy. However most often we don’t make a correlation between our behaviour (e.g. being direct or getting to the point, being stable and reliable, engaging people and being empathetic, seeing the big picture, etc.) and what that means in terms of type or quantity of energy being invested.
Personality instruments like MBTI or DISC will give you (the learner) an insight into your disposition and persona however few instruments sit at the intersection of psychology and physiology and match up the more tangible and physical behavior with how one thinks and behaves mentally.
One of the psychometric instruments that does exactly this is called FEBI (Focus Energy Balance Indicator) and measures the four essential energy patterns of personality. What we like about this simple (and cost effective!) tool is that it not only helps you know yourself and read the energy of others, it helps team members get to know one another and understand what energy the team needs to grow for greater effectiveness.
Through FEBI, a member of our team realised how much energy he was putting into being a “collaborator” – i.e. engaging people, working around obstacles, building teams and networks – and how little energy was being invested in achieving results and challenging barriers (one of the four patterns referred to as “driver”).
Today as a business leader you have to learn how to behave and operate in a fast changing, unpredictable and complex environment. This requires a diverse set of key capabilities: personal awareness, being focused with empathy, having the courage to try new ways of working and the ability to move in and out of different styles as the context suits, to name but a few. It also requires a lot of energy.
When you better understand your strengths and how you are naturally using your energy at present, you can effectively learn how to route that energy to a more focused use and desired outcome, hence shifting your behaviour to reach your goal.
For more information about FEBI click here: www.febiassessment.com