On more than one occasion, I’ve heard Andy Stanley say, “The best thing a leader can bring to his team is his energy.” I agree. This has certainly been my experience.
As a leader, everything you do is contagious. If you are discouraged, pessimistic, or lacking in energy, people will feel it. The organization will reflect it. It will spread faster than an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Conversely, when you are upbeat, energetic, and optimistic, people also feel it. It will have a positive effect on your team and the outcomes you hope to create.
The best leaders don’t leave their energy level to chance. They are intentional about creating it. Here are some ways I have found to be a more energetic leader:
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
I have found that I need about seven hours of sleep to feel rested. Others may need more; some will need less. Determine what you need and make sure you get it. One of the best ways to do this is to get to bed on time. Avoid the temptation to stay up and squeeze in more work or play. You’re only cheating yourself. You will pay for it the next day.
Your diet affects your energy level more than you realize. Don’t just eat what you enjoy at the moment. Instead, eat for the effect it will have later. This is one reason why I generally avoid pasta for lunch. It makes me sleepy and lethargic in the afternoon. Before you consume something, ask yourself, “How will this make me feel later?”
If you are not already working out consistently, you might think that regular exercise will deplete your energy. Not so. It will actually give you more energy during the day. It doesn’t drain your energy, it replenishes it. And it will also make you sleep better at night.
Avoid Negative People
Those who are negative—or worse, cynical—will drag you down. I used to think I could bring them up. But I soon discovered that there are some people who just enjoy being miserable. They are energy vampires. They siphon the life out of you. The best antidote is to avoid them, and surround yourself with positive people.
Decide to Be Energetic
This is huge. Unless you are ill, you can be more energetic by simply acting more energetic. I am always surprised at how my emotions follow my body. If I walk faster, sit on the edge of my seat, and smile, I will eventually feel more energetic.
Your energy level has a bigger effect on your team than you may realize. The good news is that you can be a more energetic leader by becoming more aware and intentional about developing it.
If you want to go deeper, here are a few more ideas on How to Boost Your Energy Level.