Lessons in Leadership: Focusing Your Energy – Part 1 of 3

Lessons in Leadership: Focusing Your Energy – Part 1 of 3

In this three part series, we take a unique look at focusing your energy to accomplish your goals. As a sales manager, you may sometimes feel you have too many things to focus on. We have a helpful way to look at refocusing.

First, let’s look at ways our energy level can be affected.

On what do you spend your energy each day?

My ability to achieve is improved by the energy I’m willing to contribute to my objectives.

It’s been said many times, “We get out of a thing what we’re willing to put into it.” We believe this to be true. The important question to ask is, “Where am I spending my energy?” Each of us has an allotted amount of energy to be expended on any given day. We all work a certain number of hours. Plus, we have lives and responsibilities outside of work that require an investment of personal energy as well. Just like you, we managers sometimes go home at the end of the day feeling like one more responsibility or crisis would be more than we could stand.

Let’s suppose each person has a daily energy allotment of 100 energy units. If you spend 5 energy units getting ready for and going to work, and another 85 or 90 units at work, you’re going to have very little energy left over for the people you care about in your personal life or for your evening activities after work.

It takes more energy to be unhappy than happy.

Some people spend their energy wisely and others do not. If a person spends energy wisely he or she will most likely go home at the end of the day feeling satisfied and accomplished. If the energy is wasted in trivial pursuits then one’s workday may be lost to frustration, aggravation, and regret.

Have you ever noticed when you have your most successful days at work you seem to have plenty of energy left for the other people and things important to you after work? And when you’ve experienced a troubling and regretful day at work you sometimes go home physically and emotionally drained. There are reasons for these conditions.

Success creates energy while frustration depletes it.

Haven’t you ever noticed how good you feel and how full of energy you are after you’ve had a productive and successful day? On the opposite side of this equation, haven’t you also noticed how personally depleting it is and how much energy it takes to have a difficult and challenging day? We have. And, we have good news!

You are the master of your attitude and actions.

Every person controls his or her own attitude. A person’s attitude can be defined as the way one thinks, feels, and acts. The way each person thinks affects the way he or she feels. The way one feels affects the way one behaves. We are all in control of what we think about so we are the masters of our attitude.

The simple truth is, when any person chooses to maintain a positive and productive attitude, their energy levels rise and when a negative attitude is chosen their energy level is drained. The more good things you think and do the more good you “can” do and the more energy you have to do it. The challenge is that you don’t live or work in a vacuum. There are things happening around you all day long. Some of these events you may know are coming and some you may not. Some are positive and others are negative.

We are all human. Being human can sometimes make matters even more difficult. Humans are creatures capable of extraordinary empathy. We feel for others in pain or turmoil. We can relate to the misgivings or concerns of our peers. And, if we are not careful … we might not just feel for them … we might feel just like them!

Pain is an energy drain.

The more negative a person feels during his or her day, the more energy gets used and the more tired and frustrated that person becomes. In this condition, if you’re not careful, you can also become an energy drain for someone else. When that happens, everyone in your immediate circle of influence may become energy-depleted.

This is the way it works. It actually takes more energy to feel negatively than it does to feel positively. The more negatively a person feels the more energy-depleted the person can become. Sometimes these energy-depleted people go to others and share their frustration. Imagine that as a person’s energy drains because of a poor attitude, he or she may sometimes feel the need to draw on the energy of others in order to sustain these negative emotions. We don’t believe this energy drain is always intentional but we all know it happens, don’t we?

How do you feel when someone attempts to draw you into his or her bad attitude? Frustrated? What value does it serve? Often the outcome of this exchange can be he or she feels better for a short time but you feel worse. To us, your managers, this doesn’t appear to be a useful or fair exchange of time or energy. Has anyone ever done this to you? Worse yet … have you ever done this to someone else? We hope not.

No one has the right to rain on someone else’s parade.

We believe every manager, in fact, every employee, has the responsibility to be a positive and productive role model for others on the team and in the workplace. We all have the professional responsibility to lift each other up and influence our work environment for the better, not to make it worse. Doesn’t your day become more frustrating and difficult when one of your peers comes to work and gives you an emotional black eye?

No one really knows what you must go through each day in your own life or how much effort you have to exert to create your own positive appearance and maintain your own positive attitude. We don’t believe anyone has the right to come to work and rain on your parade endeavoring to make themselves feel better or draw off your energy in a vain attempt to replenish his or her own depleting energy resource. Do you? We didn’t think so.

The only true control is self-control.

You can’t really make anyone else do anything. As much as we might all sometimes like to control others, we can only truly control our selves.

In the next post of this series, we will discuss a very helpful tool in understanding what is within your control. This, in turn, will improve your ability to focus your energy.

Bookmark & Share

User Comments

Be the first to comment on this post below!