Disheartened and Dragging
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It seems like I can’t find the gas pedal in so many parts of my life. I can’t get my kids out of the house in the morning. I call my dogs and they barely pick their heads up. I get to work and the people I manage are operating at a snail’s pace. But I work in a highly competitive culture and I’m a part of a leadership team that’s all about getting it done. When I’m with my peers, I feel this constant hustle to keep up and it’s exciting. I like the pace and it inspires me. Yet, it seems I’ve lost my effectiveness to drive the things I’m trying to lead. Maybe I never had it in the first place. It’s disheartening! And it’s a drag on my energy. How do I push my people into some real action?
Sincerely, Disheartened & Dragging
Dear Disheartened and Dragging:
Have you thought about getting an electric cattle prod? Or perhaps you could start biting?
I joke. And, I’m sorry for that!
But sometimes it’s hard for me to understand these human dilemmas and the way you all get confused about power. Let’s unpack this a bit.
When your colleagues show up with high energy, it’s contagious. You can feel it coming from their bodies and it affects yours.
When you interact with your employees, it sounds like you are affected by their low energy and it drags you down. Once that happens a few times, humans have this pesky habit of writing stories about it. So you probably go into those interactions expecting it to be low energy, already feeling hopeless or helpless or both.
We get energy from each other. This is true for all mammals. It seems humans have forgotten (or never learned) about how to use energy to communicate.
It sounds to me like you are pivoting between a high energy herd and a low energy herd and it must feel like you are getting yanked around. That’s because you are. I hate getting yanked around.
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If you really want to lead, you have to do it with your whole self. You two-leggeds call it: Mind, Body, and Spirit Connection, I believe.
I’m going to give you some homework. Before you engage with your employees, I want you to find something to do that helps you get your energy up and positivity coursing through your body. Maybe it’s a song or a gallop around the parking lot. Maybe you can eat some second-cutting alfalfa or spray yourself with a cold hose. Seriously. Pick an activity that really gets you going. Take that energy to your group and give them a topic to talk about. Something creative or exciting. Engage them. Put them on the spot. Take your infectious energy and add a little pressure. Tell them they have 30 seconds to think of an answer and then ask them all to contribute. Watch YOUR energy affect them.
Authentic energy is hard to pass up. We are naturally drawn to it. If we want others to follow, to be with us, we have to show up and let them FEEL our leadership.
I bet you’re already feeling less drag. I have that effect on people….