An Organization’s Energy
According to Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Brett Steenbarger, an organization’s energy is a measure of that organization’s health and culture. It is very easy to spot healthy, high energy groups. They are innovative, positive, enthusiastic, and express optimism about their work. These are also the types of environments where team members work well together and trust each other. When the environment is low energy, the health and culture of that organization and its team members suffer. Whether your organization has a high or low energy level depends heavily on leadership.
Energy Needs Compelling Visions
Steenbarger mentions how a leader’s vision is the foundation of an organization’s energy, which is a reoccurring theme in leadership literature. Blanchard and Stoner, in their book Full Steam Ahead, state that leadership is most effective when it is grounded in an energized and compelling vision that is inspiring to everyone. Adding to this, Zenger and Folkman, in the Harvard Business Review, found that effective leaders communicate their visions vividly and inspire team members through optimism and positive energy.
The Role Leadership Has On Energy
After researching in leadership literature and talking with Jonathan Fussell, a retired US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander, Steenbarger has concluded that leadership plays an important role on a team’s energy in all environments, whether a business organization or in the military. He explains that leaders do not just motivate people, they provide energizing experiences that enable people to tap into their visionary capacities. This in turn, energizes people’s emotional functioning and improves their mood and creativity. Effective leadership also energizes cognitive functioning and allows people to tap into hidden strengths and become a better version of themselves.
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