Executive Engagement: Managing Energy With Stories

“To be fully engaged in our lives, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.”
— Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement (2003)

Executives strive to sustain high performance in the face of ever-increasing pressure and rapid change, but they cannot make it happen without skillfully managing their energy.

In The Power of Full Engagement (2003), authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz assert we need to learn two new rules:

1. Energy is the fundamental currency of high performance.
2. Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.

And Loehr puts forth a third important rule:

3. The stories we tell ourselves and others drive the way we gather and spend energy.

Loehr’s new book, The Power of Story: Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life (2007), expands on creating more energy for high performance. Faulty storytelling, he argues, drives the way executives gather and spend their energy:

“I believe that stories — not the ones people tell us but the ones we tell ourselves — determine nothing less than our personal and professional destinies. And the most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself.”

Tell yourself the right story, and the dynamics of your energy will change. Stories you tell will either create or sap your energy.


This is a brief synopsis of a 2000 word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences.

There are two versions of this article: 2000 words and 1000 words (approximate word counts). The full article covers the following sub-topics:

Full Engagement Versus “Presenteeism”
Power Stress
4 Principles of Energy Management
Energy Flows from Stories
Turning Points
3 Ingredients of Good Stories
Purpose, Truth, Action
How Stories Help


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