Energy Giver or Energy Vampire? Which leadership style do you have?
"The moment you became a leader you lost the right to make excuses. The moment you became a leader, it stopped being about you."
Science has proven that energy is exchanged between people every time we come into contact with one other. We literally give and receive energy. But that can happen in two ways. You can be an "Energy Giver," bringing positivity and leaving people feeling better for having interacted with you; or your negativity drains them, and you are known as an "Energy Vampire" or "Energy Sucker."
I love what Mark Moses, founding partner of CEO Coaching International, says: "The CEO is the Chief Energizing Officer." In fact, the greatest leaders are the best energy givers all of the time. Their presence can change a room. After conversations with these types of leaders, employees get excited about themselves and the critical part they play in the company's success. Leaders with energy make those around them better.
Ask yourself if you are an energy giver or an energy sucker. Just because you high-fived someone this week doesn't make you a full-time energy giver. You have to do it consistently. It must be a conscious decision, an intentional choice. Energy givers do the following:
- raise the confidence of everyone they come in contact with
- improve morale, chemistry, and performance
- constantly show gratitude and thanks
- give everyone else the credit
- believe in others
- are there for others when they struggle, fail, or are going through hard times
- are their employees' biggest cheerleaders
- constantly find out what their employees' goals are and help them achieve those goals
- are great listeners
- always build strong relationships and build emotional capital with those around them
- will walk through fire for those on their team give more
It is just as important to reflect on the type of people around you. Are you surrounding yourself with energy givers or energy vampires? How do the people in your life and at work compare with the list above? Are you hiring and promoting energy givers?
Caught you doing something right!
Do you have a system that reminds and inspires you to encourage others on a consistent basis? In my companies, one of the most effective tools in boosting morale is our "Caught You Doing Something Right" card, which acknowledges some specific positive action or behavior a team member has executed. We keep stacks of these cards in the employee break room, call center, and any other room a team member may enter.
We started using them as a management tool, and now everyone has access to them. An employee may open their drawer and find a "Caught You Doing Something Right" card thanking them for helping someone through a mini-crisis the day before. Most employees collect and save these cards.
Our management team is required to catch people doing something right on a regular basis. This is so embedded in our culture that we now have a spreadsheet with every employee's name down one side and each manager's name across the top. The manager fills in the date they last sent that employee a "Caught You Doing Something Right" card. This way we can spot when someone hasn't been recognized in a while and immediately "catch" them.
We have even held "Caught You Doing Something Right" contests, where the employee who gives the most cards wins a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. The entire team really gets into it. One shy employee went home one night and wrote out 111 personalized cards to everyone on our staff.
Go rank yourself!
Want to know how well a leader is creating high employee morale? Ask employees to rank their direct leader on the following three questions on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest):
- Does this leader care about the company?
- Does this leader care about my success?
- Does this leader care about me as a person?
Perception is reality. If the average score from your employees is less than a 4.5 for any of those three questions, you have work to do--and it is clear in which area.
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