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“This is an enjoyable read which will be helpful to leaders at every level.” Chartered Management Institute
LEADERSHIP IS THE ART OF MANAGING ENERGY
Why do some companies suffer from stagnation and complacency, while others seem to buzz with energy and life? Why do some organizations go through peaks of activity and then plunge into valleys of inertia? What can leaders do to prevent negative energy from building up, and how can they avoid organizational burnout?
Most leaders have experienced the rhythms and cycles of energy in large organizations. They are part of the intangible but very powerful so-called "soft" factors that lie at the core of companies. Leaders know that all organizations differ in the intensity, speed, and endurance with which they respond to threats, pursue new opportunities, and manage change. Many have seen and felt the symptoms of low energy in their own organizations:—apathy and inertia, tiredness, inflexibility, and cynicism —and they have seen how even high energy can be ineffective if that energy turns negative and corrosive, becoming invested in destructive actions and internal politics, for example, or locked into frenzied activity that adds no value.
But many leaders have also felt the exhilaration of leading a fully-charged organization that's positively energized around business goals vigorously pursued. These leaders and managers have seen first-hand that all employees have a reserve of discretionary energy that—when set free—can lead to enormous achievements.
This is a book about the phenomenon of organizational energy, which we define as the extent to which an organization (or team or division) has mobilized its emotional, mental, and behavioral potential to pursue its goals. Our extensive research has shown us that while leaders often intuitively feel the energy dynamic in their companies, they have only a limited understanding of its sources or the tools that they could use to manage it. Yet the strength and quality of a company’s energy is nothing less than critical. More than almost any other factor affecting a business, we have seen how organizational energy can lead to either a wellspring of corporate vitality—or the destruction of its very core.
Introduction: Leadership Is the Art of Orchestrating Energy 1
1 The Energy Matrix 21
2 Mobilizing Your Organization's Energy: Escaping the Complacency Trap 61
3 Rebuilding Positive Energy: Escaping the Corrosion Trap 105
4 Focusing Your Organization's Energy: Escaping the Acceleration Trap 139
5 Sustaining Energy to Rise Above Number One: Getting Beyond the Traps
6 Energizing Leaders: Personal Perspectives on Boosting Energy 225
Appendix: How to Assess Your Organization's Energy 239
About the Authors 271