Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

The Energy of a Leader

Bill Hybels said, A leaders greatest asset is their energy and their ability to energize others." I wrote that down while listening to Bill speak at Global Leadership Summit in 2012. It's a great thought - a true statement. I've always considered it from the perspective of, "how am I energizing others"? I've also considered how I'm using my energy or thought about what really needs my energy.

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A few months ago I welcomed my beautiful little girl into the world, Quinn. She is my second kiddo around the house. My wife and I also have an eighteen month old named Chandler. Bringing Quinn home has been a massive change. Two kids under two is tough work. It's rewarding, but difficult. Needless to say this stage of life can really wear a guy out. Late nights, early mornings, screaming kids, running after a little boy who seems to have an endless motor, it's quite the whirlwind sometimes. Tack on some insurance challenges, hospital bills, a flooded basement, other general "life stuff", and it all can get just a little exhausting. You know what else has been interesting about this time? I have really felt like an ineffective leader.

It may seem a bit obvious, right? You might be thinking, "well sure when you're busy it's hard to be effective". It just really clicked with me this week that there is another approach to Bills's statement about leadership energy. Maybe I should be asking, "how am I renewing or protecting my greatest asset (energy)"? Or possibly I could ask, "how am I investing in my greatest asset". It really changes my perspective. If you lack energy, you lack your greatest asset as a leader. It's difficult to energize others when you don't have any to give.

Life is full of seasons that come and go. Sometimes we'll simply be in a busy or challenging one and the best we can do is recognize it, adjust the best we can, and know that things will change in time. Despite this, I think leaders should spend more time investing, protecting, and developing their greatest leadership asset. Don't simply think about how you'll use your energy, think about how you'll get energy.


Some ideas:

1. Leaders should eat well. Choosing to eat well can help boost and sustain our energy. A good diet is a  leadership investment.

2. Leaders should exercise. Exercise raises our energy level and our endurance.

3. Leaders need to sleep. Without quality sleep we'll lack the energy to be effective.

4. Leaders should relax and recharge. When you're running on "empty" you won't be effective.

5. Leaders must know and practice activities that energize them. What are your hobbies?

6. Leaders should know and spend time with the people that energize them. Consider your relationships as part of your leadership ability. Who energizes you? Who drains you? Choose wisely.

Even in a season of challenge and busyness, I'm going to work more intentionally at investing in my energy resource. What are your thoughts? How do you view energy and it's relationship to leadership? What energizes you?

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