Managing Energy is the Key to Sustaining High Performance

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.

Some executives thrive under pressure, others wilt. There is an epidemic of stress and burnout in our personal and work lives. While we pride ourselves on our ability to multi-task, the more efficient we become, the more responsibilities we take on, and with it more stress.

Even when we manage our time well we still end up exhausted, stressed, unable to concentrate, keep focus, and be productive. That’s because the problem isn’t time management, it’s energy. One major quality that executives seek for themselves and their employees it is sustained high performance in the face of ever-increasing pressure and rapid change, and that takes energy.

The tools for sustaining high performance are not taught in business schools or leadership development courses. Depleted energy may be one of the reasons more than 2/3 of employees feel less than fully engaged at work (Gallup Organization, 2004).

Some of the secrets of sustaining energy and high performance come from studying professional athletes. Professional athletes spend most of their time training and, at most, a few hours a week actually competing. Corporate executives, however, have almost no time for training and must perform at peak levels under intense scrutiny and competition for often 12 or 14 hours a day.

We need to rethink much of what we’ve believed about organizing our lives. 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.

Getting in shape to fully engage in life and work means deep involvement with purpose, values, self-examination and the establishment of effective energy replenishing habits. First, you must define your true values. Then you must be honest about where you are right now, and be willing to admit that your excuses are no longer good enough. Thirdly, plan to take action on three positive rituals that will make a difference in your energy levels.

Working with an executive coach is a good way to reevaluate your performance in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual domains. Get real, get honest, get positive—stretch your capacities, and then recuperate your energy. It is your most precious resource.

The complete 2,000 word article includes the following concepts:

Lack of Energy, Lack of Full Engagement
The 4 Principles of Energy Management
Creating More Physical Energy
Creating More Mental Energy
Creating More Emotional Energy
Creating More Spiritual Energy
The Power of Positive Rituals
Recommended Reading

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