The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

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Overview

We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We're wired up, but we're melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. As bestselling authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz demonstrate in this groundbreaking book, managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality ...
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The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

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Overview

We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We're wired up, but we're melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. As bestselling authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz demonstrate in this groundbreaking book, managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way you live your life. The Power of Full Engagement is a highly practical, scientifically based approach to managing your energy more skillfully both on and off the job.

At the heart of the program is the Corporate Athlete Training System. It is grounded in twenty-five years of work with some of the world's greatest athletes to help them perform more effectively under brutal competitive pressures. Clients have included Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in tennis; Mark O'Meara and Ernie Els in golf; Eric Lindros and Mike Richter in hockey; Nick Anderson and Grant Hill in basketball; and gold medalist Dan Jansen in speed skating. During the past decade, dozens of Fortune 500 companies have paid thousands of dollars to learn the Corporate Athlete training system. So have FBI swat teams, critical care physicians and nurses salesmen, and stay-at-home moms. The Power of Ful Engagement lays out the key training principle and provides a powerful, step-by-step program. Above all, this book provides a life-changing road map to becoming more fully engaged on and off the job, meaning physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned.

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Editorial Reviews

Stephen R. Covey Author
"Tremendous! The Power of Full Engagement is a remarkable application of the athletic metaphor to high-performing people and organizations. This reader-friendly book is filled with compelling insight, real-life illustrations, and practical to-dos. Loehr and Schwartz will inspire you to increase your energy capacity in all dimensions: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual."
Barry Diller Chairman and CEO
"Now, and I'm sure for the future, anything that can lead to healthier minds and bodies of executives — and therefore to more responsible leadership — is almost a national imperative. To that end, this book is a real contribution."
Dan Brestle President
"A true wake-up call. At a time when the media is filled with stories of executives with warped values, this book will give you the confidence and a clear road map to tackle your problems with positive energy and moral strength.
Scott Miller President and CEO
"The principles articulated in The Power of Full Engagement have been important to me personally and as the leader of a large company. We really do have to train in business in the same way that great athletes do, learning how to peak at critical moments, but also to rest and regroup in order to build back capacity."
Marcus Buckingham Coauthor
"Fantastic! At the heart of this book is a simple truth: the secret to lasting success — individually and organizationally — lies in how we manage our energy. This is a phenomenal insight that most of us ignore. Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr provide a very practical map for marshaling our energy — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — to live much more productive and fulfilling lives."
Betty Edwards Author
"At last here's a book that takes on an endemic problem in American life: why do we never have enough time and energy for the things that matter most? In lucid, transparent, and elegant prose, the authors lay out a coherent solution with unassailable logic. I can't imagine any person who won't find a mirror image in every section of this book."
Publishers Weekly
The authors, founders of and executives at LGE Performance Systems, an executive training program based on athletic coaching programs, offer a program aimed at stressed individuals who want to find more purpose in their work and ways to better handle their overburdened relationships. Just as athletes train, play and then recover, people need to recognize their own energy levels. "Balancing stress and recovery is critical not just in competitive sports, but also in managing energy in all facets of our lives. Emotional depth and resilience depend on active engagement with others and with our own feelings." Case studies demonstrate how some modest changes can have an immediate impact. Loehr (Mental Toughness Training for Sports) and Schwartz (Art of the Deal, writing with Donald Trump) also include a chart highlighting Action Steps, Targeted Muscle, Desired Outcome and Performance Barrier and apply these tenets to individual cases. A chart analyzing the benefits and costs to taking certain action shows the impact negative behavior can have on both physical and mental well-being. However, the actual "training program" whereby readers can learn how to institute certain rituals to change their behavior is less well-defined. Managers and other employees who have attended HR seminars may find this plan easy to use, but self-employed people and others less familiar with "training" may be unable to recognize their behavior patterns and change them. (Feb.) Forecasts: With dozens of endorsements from Dean Ornish, Barry Diller, athletes and CEOs, the buzz on this title is likely to be loud. Ongoing publicity should lead to strong initial sales but whether this book will replace Covey's The 7 Habits is debatable. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Personal Renewal And High Performance
Loehr and Schwartz, two senior partners at LGE Performance Systems, have developed a program that aims to help readers revolutionize the way they live their lives. By helping them focus on managing their energy, rather than their time, the authors offer strategies that can improve performance, health, happiness and life balance.

They start their book with the idea that the "number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not." Using this as their ideological base, the authors present a practical, scientific approach to managing energy more skillfully both on and off the job. This approach culminates in the Corporate Athlete(r) training system that has helped some of the world's greatest athletes perform more effectively under stiff competition, including Monica Seles, Eric Lindros and Grant Hill.

The Corporate Athlete training system aims to help those involved "perform in the storm" by building the capacity that is necessary to sustain high performance in the face of increasing demand. To provide readers with the key training principles of this system, the authors present a road map that can help them become more fully engaged, physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned.

Fundamentals of Full Engagement
Fundamentals contained in The Power of Full Engagement include:

  • Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. Without the right quantity, quality, focus and force of energy, we are compromised in any activity we undertake.
  • Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.
  • We build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way that we build physical capacity. We grow at all levels by expending energy beyond our ordinary limits and then recovering.
  • A positive ritual is a behavior that becomes automatic over time - fueled by some deeply held value.


The authors present numerous examples of engaged and unengaged individuals who reveal crucial aspects of their improvement system. By discussing the balance of stress and recovery, the body's need for oscillation, eating better, getting sufficient sleep, exercising properly, and maintaining physical energy, the authors present a game plan that reveals the optimum level of each while providing strategies for getting there. The authors also explain the importance of recovery breaks, interval training, and eating, breathing and drinking right.

The authors also show readers how they can attain better emotional balance. Their tips include ways to access positive emotions; build self-control, self-confidence, interpersonal effectiveness and empathy; minimize negative emotions; and find emotional renewal and recovery.

Realistic Optimism
The Power of Full Engagement also helps readers develop the mental capacity to organize their lives and focus their attention. The authors write that the "mental energy that best serves full engagement is realistic optimism - seeing the world as it is, but always working positively toward a desired outcome or solution." Their tips for exercising mental muscles include mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management and creativity.

The last element in the author's system of becoming fully engaged is spiritual energy. They write that spiritual energy provides the force for action in all dimensions of our lives, and fuels passion, perseverance and commitment. Spiritual energy, they point out, is derived from a connection to deeply held values and a purpose beyond our self-interest, and is served by character - the courage and conviction to live by our deepest values.

The Power of Full Engagement also discusses the search for meaning and purpose in one's life, and provides many examples of ways people can measure the power of purpose and find purpose through values, virtues and creating a vision statement that creates a blueprint for investing energy. From this foundation, the authors show readers how they can use rituals to effectively manage their energy and regulate their behavior.

Why Soundview Likes This Book
Loehr and Schwartz have created an inspirational guidebook that can help anyone get more from his or her life. The Power of Full Engagement shows readers how they can take a positive approach to growth and improvement by presenting dozens of solid examples of people who have benefitted from change, and provides numerous ways readers can focus and align their lives mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. By presenting performance psychology in basic terms, the authors offer accessible ways people can improve their performance at all levels of life. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

From the Publisher
Fast Company Combines the gritty tough-mindedness of the best coaches with the gentle but insistent inspiration of the most effective spiritual advisers.

Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People A remarkable application of the athletic metaphor to high-performing people and organizations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743226745
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 321,609
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 0.90 (h) x 9.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Jim Loehr is Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, a training company that has successfully utilized energy management technology to improve the productivity and engagement levels of elite performers from the world of business, sport, medicine, and law enforcement for over 30 years. A world-renowned performance psychologist, Dr. Loehr is the author of thirteen books including the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement.

Dr. Loehr appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where an entire program was devoted to his ground-breaking Energy Management training system and concepts. He has also appeared on NBC's Today Show, ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS Morning News. Dr. Loehr's work has been chronicled in leading national publications including the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, Success, Fast Company and Omni.

Dr. Loehr has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine and law enforcement including Fortune 100 executives, FBI, Hostage Rescue Teams and Army Special Forces. His elite clients from the world of sport include: golfer Mark O'Meara; tennis players, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario; boxer Ray Mancini; hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter; and Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen.

Dr. Loehr possesses a masters and doctorate in psychology, serves on several prestigious scientific boards and is a full member of the American Psychological Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.

Tony Schwartz is the founder and president of The Energy Project, a consulting group that works with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Credit Suisse, Ford, General Motors, Gillette, Master Card, and Sony. He was a reporter for the New York Times, an associate editor at Newsweek, and a staff writer for New York Magazine and Esquire and a columnist for Fast Company. He co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump, and after that wrote What Really Matters. He co-authored the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Full Engagement with Jim Loehr.

Jean Gomes is Managing Director of DPA, a London-based management consultancy specializing in leadership and culture change. For the past 20 years, he has been advising companies like Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Cable & Wireless, Sun Microsystems, Sony, ICL, The Home Office, Nokia and Intel in the US, Japan and Europe. He is also Chairman of The Energy Project Europe.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Fully Engaged:

Energy, Not Time,

Is Our Most Precious Resource

We live in digital time. Our rhythms are rushed, rapid fire and relentless, our days carved up into bits and bytes. We celebrate breadth rather than depth, quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining for long at any one. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go. We're wired up but we're melting down.

Most of us are just trying to do the best that we can. When demand exceeds our capacity, we begin to make expedient choices that get us through our days and nights, but take a toll over time. We survive on too little sleep, wolf down fast foods on the run, fuel up with coffee and cool down with alcohol and sleeping pills. Faced with relentless demands at work, we become short-tempered and easily distracted. We return home from long days at work feeling exhausted and often experience our families not as a source of joy and renewal, but as one more demand in an already overburdened life.

We walk around with day planners and to-do lists, Palm Pilots and BlackBerries, instant pagers and pop-up reminders on our computers — all designed to help us manage our time better. We take pride in our ability to multitask, and we wear our willingness to put in long hours as a badge of honor. The term 24/7 describes a world in which work never ends. We use words like obsessed, crazed and overwhelmed not to describe insanity, but instead to characterize our everyday lives. Feeling forever starved for time, we assume that we have no choice but to cram as much as possible into every day. But managing time efficiently is no guarantee that we will bring sufficient energy to whatever it is we are doing.

Consider these scenarios:

• You attend a four-hour meeting in which not a single second is wasted — but during the final two hours your energy level drops off precipitously and you struggle to stay focused.

• You race through a meticulously scheduled twelve-hour day but by midday your energy has turned negative — impatient, edgy and irritable.

• You set aside time to be with your children when you get home at the end of the day, but you are so distracted by thoughts about work that you never really give them your full attention.

• You remember your spouse's birthday — your computer alerts you and so does your Palm Pilot — but by the evening, you are too tired to go out and celebrate.

Energy, not time,

is the fundamental currency

of high performance.

This insight has revolutionized our thinking about what drives enduring high performance. It has also prompted dramatic transformations in the way our clients manage their lives, personally and professionally. Everything they do — from interacting with colleagues and making important decisions to spending time with their families — requires energy. Obvious as this seems, we often fail to take into account the importance of energy at work and in our personal lives. Without the right quantity, quality, focus and force of energy, we are compromised in any activity we undertake.

Every one of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors has an energy consequence, for better or for worse. The ultimate measure of our lives is not how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have. The premise of this book — and of the training we do each year with thousands of clients — is simple enough:

Performance, health and happiness

are grounded in the

skillful management of energy.

There are undeniably bad bosses, toxic work environments, difficult relationships and real life crises. Nonetheless, we have far more control over our energy than we ordinarily realize. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become. The more we blame others or external circumstances, the more negative and compromised our energy is likely to be.

If you could wake up tomorrow with significantly more positive, focused energy to invest at work and with your family, how significantly would that change your life for the better? As a leader and a manager, how valuable would it be to bring more positive energy and passion to the workplace? If those you lead could call on more positive energy, how would it affect their relationships with one another, and the quality of service that they deliver to customers and clients?

Leaders are the stewards of organizational energy — in companies, organizations and even in families. They inspire or demoralize others first by how effectively they manage their own energy and next by how well they mobilize, focus, invest and renew the collective energy of those they lead. The skillful management of energy, individually and organizationally, makes possible something that we call full engagement.

To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest. Full engagement begins with feeling eager to get to work in the morning, equally happy to return home in the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two. It means being able to immerse yourself in the mission you are on, whether that is grappling with a creative challenge at work, managing a group of people on a project, spending time with loved ones or simply having fun. Full engagement implies a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.

Less than 30 percent of American workers are fully engaged at work, according to data collected by the Gallup Organization in early 2001. Some 55 percent are "not engaged." Another 19 percent are "actively disengaged," meaning not just that they are unhappy at work, but that they regularly share those feelings with colleagues. The costs of a disengaged workforce run into the trillions of dollars. Worse yet, the longer employees stay with organizations, the less engaged they become. Gallup found that after six months on the job, only 38 percent of employees remain engaged. After three years, the figure drops to 22 percent. Think about your own life. How fully engaged are you at work? What about your colleagues or the people who work for you?

During the past decade, we have grown increasingly disturbed by the myriad ways in which our clients squander and misuse their energy. These include everything from poor eating habits and failure to seek regular recovery and renewal to negativity and poor focus. The lessons we seek to impart in this book have proved to be profoundly useful in managing our own lives and in leading our own organization. When we follow the energy management principles and the change process that we share on these pages, we find that we are far more effective, both personally and professionally, in our own actions and in our relationships. When we fall short, we see the costs immediately, in our performance and in our impact on others. The same is true of tens of thousands of clients with whom we have worked. Learning to manage energy more efficiently and intelligently has a unique transformative power, both individually and organizationally.

A Living Laboratory

We first learned about the importance of energy in the living laboratory of professional sports. For thirty years, our organization has worked with world-class athletes, defining precisely what it takes to perform consistently at the highest levels under intense competitive pressures. Our initial clients were tennis players. Over eighty of the world's best players have been through our laboratory, among them Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Tom and Tim Gullikson, Sergi Bruguera, Gabriela Sabatini and Monica Seles.

These players typically came to us when they were struggling, and our interventions have often produced dramatic turnarounds. After we worked with them, Sanchez-Vicario won the U.S. Open for the first time and became the top-ranked player in the world in both singles and doubles, and Sabatini won her first and only U.S. Open title. Bruguera went from number 79 in the world to the top ten and won two French Open titles. We went on to train a broad range of professional athletes, among them golfers Mark O'Meara and Ernie Els; hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter; boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini; basketball players Nick Anderson and Grant Hill; and speed skater Dan Jansen, who won his only Olympic gold medal following two intensive years of training with us.

What makes our intervention with athletes unique is that we spend no time focusing on their technical or tactical skills. Conventional wisdom holds that if you find talented people and equip them with the right skills for the challenge at hand, they will perform at their best. In our experience that often isn't so. Energy is the X factor that makes it possible to fully ignite talent and skill. We never addressed how Monica Seles hit her serves, or how Mark O'Meara drove the ball, or how Grant Hill shot his free throws. All of these athletes were extraordinarily gifted and accomplished when they came to us. We focused instead on helping them to manage their energy more effectively in the service of whatever mission they were on.

Athletes turned out to be a demanding experimental group. They aren't satisfied with inspirational messages or clever theories about performance. They seek measurable, enduring results. They care about batting averages, free-throw percentages, tournament victories and year-end rankings. They want to be able to sink the putt on the eighteenth hole in the final round, hit the free throw when the game is on the line, catch the pass in a crowd with a minute to go on the clock. Anything else is just talk. If we couldn't deliver results for athletes, we didn't last very long in their lives. We learned to be accountable to the numbers.

As word spread about our success in sports, we received numerous requests to export our model into other high-performance venues.

We began working with FBI hostage rescue teams, U.S. marshals, and critical-care workers in hospitals. Today, the bulk of our work is in business — with executives and entrepreneurs, managers and sales people, and more recently with teachers and clergy, lawyers and medical students. Our corporate clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Estée Lauder, Salomon Smith Barney, Pfizer, Merrill Lynch, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Hyatt Corporation.

Along the way, we discovered something completely unexpected: The performance demands that most people face in their everyday work environments dwarf those of any professional athletes we have ever trained.

How is that possible?

It's not as anomalous as it seems. Professional athletes typically spend about 90 percent of their time training, in order to be able to perform 10 percent of the time. Their entire lives are designed around expanding, sustaining and renewing the energy they need to compete for short, focused periods of time. At a practical level, they build very precise routines for managing energy in all spheres of their lives — eating and sleeping; working out and resting; summoning the appropriate emotions; mentally preparing and staying focused; and connecting regularly to the mission they have set for themselves. Although most of us spend little or no time systematically training in any of these dimensions, we are expected to perform at our best for eight, ten and even twelve hours a day.

Most professional athletes also enjoy an off-season of four to five months a year. After competing under extraordinary pressure for several months, a long off-season gives athletes the critical time that they need for rest and healing, renewal and growth. By contrast, your "off season" likely amounts to a few weeks of vacation a year. Even then, you probably aren't solely resting and recovering. More likely, you are spending at least some of your vacation time answering email, checking your voice mail and ruminating about your work.

Finally, professional athletes have an average career span of five to seven years. If they have handled their finances reasonably well, they are often set for life. Few of them are under pressure to run out and get another job. By contrast, you can probably expect to work for forty to fifty years without any significant breaks.

Given these stark facts, what makes it possible to keep performing at your best without sacrificing your health, your happiness and your passion for life?

You must become

a Corporate Athlete.®

The challenge of great performance is to manage your energy more effectively in all dimensions to achieve your goals. Four key energy management principles drive this process. They lie at the heart of the change process that we will describe in the pages ahead, and they are critical for building the capacity to live a productive, fully engaged life.

PRINCIPLE 1:

Full engagement requires drawing on four

separate but related sources of energy:

physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Human beings are complex energy systems, and full engagement is not simply one-dimensional. The energy that pulses through us is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. All four dynamics are critical, none is sufficient by itself and each profoundly influences the others. To perform at our best, we must skillfully manage each of these interconnected dimensions of energy. Subtract any one from the equation and our capacity to fully ignite our talent and skill is diminished, much the way an engine sputters when one of its cylinders misfires.

Energy is the common denominator in all dimensions of our lives. Physical energy capacity is measured in terms of quantity (low to high) and emotional capacity in quality (negative to positive). These are our most fundamental sources of energy because without sufficient high-octane fuel no mission can be accomplished. The accompanying chart depicts the dynamics of energy from low to high and from negative to positive. The more toxic and unpleasant the energy, the less effectively it serves performance; the more positive and pleasant the energy, the more efficient it is. Full engagement and maximum performance are possible only in the high positive quadrant.

The importance of full engagement is most vivid in situations where the consequences of disengagement are profound. Imagine for a moment that you are facing open-heart surgery. Which energy quadrant do you want your surgeon to be in? How would you feel if he entered the operating room feeling angry, frustrated and anxious (high negative)? How about overworked, exhausted and depressed (low negative)? What if he was disengaged, laid back and slightly spacey (low positive)? Obviously, you want your surgeon energized, confident and upbeat (high positive).

Imagine that every time you yelled at someone in frustration or did sloppy work on a project or failed to focus your attention fully on the task at hand, you put someone's life at risk. Very quickly, you would become less negative, reckless and sloppy in the way you manage your energy. We hold ourselves accountable for the ways that we manage our time, and for that matter our money. We must learn to hold ourselves at least equally accountable for how we manage our energy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

PRINCIPLE 2:

Because energy capacity diminishes both with

overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy

expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.

We rarely consider how much energy we are spending because we take it for granted that the energy available to us is limitless. In fact, increased demand progressively depletes our energy reserves — especially in the absence of any effort to reverse the progressive loss of capacity that occurs with age. By training in all dimensions we can dramatically slow our decline physically and mentally, and we can actually deepen our emotional and spiritual capacity until the very end of our lives.

By contrast, when we live highly linear lives — spending far more energy than we recover or recovering more than we spend — the eventual consequence is that we break down, burn out, atrophy, lose our passion, get sick and even die prematurely. Sadly, the need for recovery is often viewed as evidence of weakness rather than as an integral aspect of sustained performance. The result is that we give almost no attention to renewing and expanding our energy reserves, individually or organizationally.

To maintain a powerful pulse

in our lives, we must learn

how to rhythmically spend

and renew energy.

The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal. Instead, many of us live our lives as if we are running in an endless marathon, pushing ourselves far beyond healthy levels of exertion. We become flat liners mentally and emotionally by relentlessly spending energy without sufficient recovery. We become flat liners physically and spiritually by not expending enough energy. Either way, we slowly but inexorably wear down.

Think for a moment about the look of many long-distance runners: gaunt, sallow, slightly sunken and emotionally flat. Now visualize a sprinter such as Marion Jones or Michael Johnson. Sprinters typically look powerful, bursting with energy and eager to push themselves to their limits. The explanation is simple. No matter how intense the demand they face, the finish line is clearly visible 100 or 200 meters down the track. We, too, must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints — fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront us.

PRINCIPLE 3:

To build capacity, we must push beyond

our normal limits, training in the same

systematic way that elite athletes do.

Stress is not the enemy in our lives. Paradoxically, it is the key to growth. In order to build strength in a muscle we must systematically stress it, expending energy beyond normal levels. Doing so literally causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. At the end of a training session, functional capacity is diminished. But give the muscle twenty-four to forty-eight hours to recover and it grows stronger and better able to handle the next stimulus. While this training phenomenon has been applied largely to building physical strength, it is just as relevant to building "muscles" in every dimension of our lives — from empathy and patience to focus and creativity to integrity and commitment. What applies to the body applies equally to the other dimensions of our lives. This insight both simplifies and revolutionizes the way we approach the barriers that stand in our way.

We build emotional,

mental and spiritual capacity

in precisely the same way

that we build physical capacity.

We grow at all levels by expending energy beyond our ordinary limits and then recovering. Expose a muscle to ordinary demand and it won't grow. With age it will actually lose strength. The limiting factor in building any "muscle" is that many of us back off at the slightest hint of discomfort. To meet increased demand in our lives, we must learn to systematically build and strengthen muscles wherever our capacity is insufficient. Any form of stress that prompts discomfort has the potential to expand our capacity — physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually — so long as it is followed by adequate recovery. As Nietzsche put it, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Because the demands on Corporate Athletes are greater and more enduring than those on professional athletes, it is even more critical that they learn to train systematically.

PRINCIPLE 4:

Positive energy rituals — highly specific routines for

managing energy — are the key to full engagement and

sustained high performance.

Change is difficult. We are creatures of habit. Most of what we do is automatic and nonconscious. What we did yesterday is what we are likely to do today. The problem with most efforts at change is that conscious effort can't be sustained over the long haul. Will and discipline are far more limited resources than most of us realize. If you have to think about something each time you do it, the likelihood is that you won't keep doing it for very long. The status quo has a magnetic pull on us.

A positive ritual is a behavior

that becomes automatic

over time — fueled by some

deeply held value.

We use the word "ritual" purposefully to emphasize the notion of a carefully defined, highly structured behavior. In contrast to will and discipline, which require pushing yourself to a particular behavior, a ritual pulls at you. Think of something as simple as brushing your teeth. It is not something that you ordinarily have to remind yourself to do. Brushing your teeth is something to which you feel consistently drawn, compelled by its clear health value. You do it largely on automatic pilot, without much conscious effort or intention. The power of rituals is that they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative, enriching ways.

Look at any part of your life in which you are consistently effective and you will find that certain habits help make that possible. If you eat in a healthy way, it is probably because you have built routines around the food you buy and what you are willing to order at restaurants. If you are fit, it is probably because you have regular days and times for working out. If you are successful in a sales job, you probably have a ritual of mental preparation for calls and ways that you talk to yourself to stay positive in the face of rejection. If you manage others effectively, you likely have a style of giving feedback that leaves people feeling challenged rather than threatened. If you are closely connected to your spouse and your children, you probably have rituals around spending time with them. If you sustain high positive energy despite an extremely demanding job, you almost certainly have predictable ways of insuring that you get intermittent recovery. Creating positive rituals is the most powerful means we have found to effectively manage energy in the service of full engagement.

THE CHANGE PROCESS

Making all of this happen is another story. How can we build and sustain the multidimensional energy that we need — particularly as the demands in our lives intensify and our capacity diminishes inexorably with age?

Making changes that endure, we have found, is a three-step process that we call Purpose-Truth-Action. All three are necessary and none is sufficient by itself.

The first step in our change process is to Define Purpose. In the face of our habitual behaviors and our instinct to preserve the status quo, we need inspiration to make changes in our lives. Our first challenge is to answer the question "How should I spend my energy in a way that is consistent with my deepest values?" The consequence of living our lives at warp speed is that we rarely take the time to reflect on what we value most deeply or to keep these priorities front and center. Most of us spend more time reacting to immediate crises and responding to the expectations of others than we do making considered choices guided by a clear sense of what matters most.

In the purpose stage, our goal is to help clients to surface and articulate the most important values in their lives and to define a vision for themselves, both personally and professionally. Connecting to a deep set of values and creating a compelling vision fuels a uniquely high-octane source of energy for change. It also serves as a compass for navigating the storms that inevitably arise in our lives.

It is impossible to chart a course of change until you are able to look honestly at who you are today. In the next stage of our process, Face the Truth, the first question we ask clients is "How are you spending your energy now?" Each of us finds ways to avoid the most unpleasant and discomfiting truths in our lives. We regularly underestimate the consequences of our energy management choices, failing to honestly acknowledge the foods we are eating; how much alcohol we are consuming; what quality of energy we are investing in our relationships with our bosses, colleagues, spouses and children; and how focused and passionate we really are at work. Too often, we view our lives through rose-colored glasses, painting ourselves as victims, or simply denying to ourselves that the choices we are making are having a consequential impact on the quantity, quality, force and focus of our energy.

Facing the truth begins with gathering credible data. When clients come to us, we take them through a variety of physical tests, carefully assess their diets, and give them a detailed questionnaire designed to measure precisely how they are managing their energy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We also have five of their closest colleagues fill out a similar questionnaire. All of this data give us a clear picture of their current energy capacity and the obstacles that stand in the way of full engagement.

To launch this process for yourself, we encourage you to take a first step. Log on to our PowerofFullEngagement.com website and take a brief version of our Full Engagement Inventory. The scores that you receive will provide baseline data about your primary performance barriers. For a more detailed analysis of how you are managing your energy emotionally, physically and spiritually, you can arrange to take our complete Full Engagement Inventory online. For either test, you will be asked to have five other people in your life — or as close to five as you can get — anonymously fill out a similar set of questions about you. Facing the truth requires gathering as much comprehensive and objective data as is possible.

The third step in your change process is to Take Action to close the gap between who you are and who you want to be — between how you manage your energy now and how you want to manage your energy to achieve whatever mission you are on. This step involves building a personal-development plan grounded in positive energy rituals. Some of our existing habits serve us well, but others are more expedient. They help us get through the day, but take a long-term toll on our performance, health and happiness. Examples include relying on junk food for bursts of energy; smoking or drinking to manage anxiety; furiously multitasking to meet demands; setting aside more challenging, long-term projects in favor of what feels immediately pressing and easier to accomplish, and devoting little energy to personal relationships. The costs of these choices and many others only show up over time.

But just as negative habits and routines in our lives can be undermining and destructive, so positive ones can be uplifting and revitalizing. It is possible to build and sustain energy in all dimensions of our lives rather than watching passively as our capacities slowly diminish with age. Building rituals requires defining very precise behaviors and performing them at very specific times — motivated by deeply held values. As Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do." Or as the Dalai Lama put it more recently: "There isn't anything that isn't made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training we can change; we can transform ourselves."

The story of Roger B., one of our clients, vividly demonstrates how the casual choices that we make each day, often without thinking much about them, can slowly lead to compromised energy, diminished performance and a progressively disengaged life. In the chapters that follow, we lay out both a model and a systematic program by which to better mobilize, manage, focus and regularly renew your energy — and the energy of others. This training process ultimately proved to be transformative for Roger B. It has been highly effective for thousands of others and we hope it will be just as life changing for you.

BEAR IN MIND

• Managing energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. Performance is grounded in the skillful management of energy.

• Great leaders are stewards of organizational energy. They begin by effectively managing their own energy. As leaders, they must mobilize, focus, invest, channel, renew and expand the energy of others.

• Full engagement is the energy state that best serves performance.

• Principle 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

• Principle 2: Because energy diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.

• Principle 3: To build capacity we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.

• Principle 4: Positive energy rituals — highly specific routines for managing energy — are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance.

• Making change that lasts requires a three-step process: Define Purpose, Face the Truth and Take Action.

Copyright © 2003 by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Dynamics of Full Engagement 1
Chapter 1 Fully Engaged: Energy, Not Time, Is Our Most Precious Resource 3
Chapter 2 The Disengaged Life of Roger B 19
Chapter 3 The Pulse of High Performance: Balancing Stress and Recovery 28
Chapter 4 Physical Energy: Fueling the Fire 48
Chapter 5 Emotional Energy: Transforming Threat into Challenge 72
Chapter 6 Mental Energy: Appropriate Focus and Realistic Optimism 94
Chapter 7 Spiritual Energy: He Who Has a Why to Live 110
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2004

    A Must Read!

    Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz offer a lot of solid, common sense advice. The authors recommend going to bed and getting up at a consistent time ¿ not exactly Ben Franklin¿s ¿early to bed, early to rise,¿ but close. They recommend regular exercise. They say it¿s good to work and to rest, and each has its place. They say to examine yourself and try to see yourself as others see you. In other words, they recommend many time-honored techniques of physical, mental and spiritual growth,combined with prioritizing how you use your energy and how you recharge your batteries. This attitude makes the book unique. The principles may be ancient, but we find the vehicle distinctly contemporary, a combo of New Age jargon and workout-style performance charting, with (at last) a key to time management that makes sense and captures all areas of one¿s life. Some readers will find that thrilling, others will groan.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    Wake up and Listen to the Simplicity

    Managing energy and not time is one of the most understated keys to moving to new levels in work and leisure. A quality book representing the stark reality of where we really are in modern times . A must read for all people who are searching for answers to their own lack of vitality and leading a truly worthwhile life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2003

    ... and the rest of us?

    I have worked inside large companies and small ones with extensive sales training. I see this as a book for people who can pick up company training programs, grasp opportunities and run with them...and what about the rest of us? I am now a mom who stays at home with my children by choice and would love to have nonprofessional mumbo jumbo for energy applications. Out of the work force for several years and a different path chosen makes this book not such a good read for moms and families. It leaves out anyone who has not been chosen as one of the worthy people to embrace 'company political training.' The authors and the publisher has left millions out - so don't say it's for everyone. It's not. For moms and anyone in the family/kid role who desperately needs lots of 'energy' to prevent Mommy Melt Down or even Life Melt Down, my first love is still Stephen Covey, 7 Habits, and Jodie Lynn's, Mommy-CEO (Constantly Evaluating Others) 5 Golden Rules. Here are two books almost everyone can understand and get on with positive energy and organization.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Worth Reading

    This is truly a great book - well written and well constructed. So often self-help books are written in a 'language' that is similar to something you might find penned inside a Hallmark card. But, not this one. This book has several examples that well illustrate the author's discussion. In addition, because of the example selection it would be surprising not to fine one's self somewhere on the pages. Take the time and read this book. It will be worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    One of the best books on personal effectiveness ever.

    What happens when you unite the authors of two powerful bestselling books: one on applying the secrets of peak athletic performance to the demanding challenges faced by business executives (STRESS FOR SUCCESS), and the other on achieving spiritual growth and fulfillment? Naturally, THE POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT -- which shows the reader how to tap new physical, emotional, mental AND spiritual sources of energy to fuel one's success in any endeavors. This has been said to be the most important book on personal effectiveness since THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, which is a bold claim indeed. But it's the truth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    Great Read: Incredibly Compelling Principles and Practices

    The impact of this book, recommended by a colleague I respect, took me by surprise. I have been an executive in a large consumer products company for many years and I have never been a big fan of books about performance or leadership, nor have I found most training methods valuable. Nonetheless, the logic, practicality, simplicity and focus on solutions in The Power of Full Engagement bowled me over. The principles and practices described in this book have already proved immensely useful in my own life, at work and at home. I am convinced that they have equal organizational application. I can't recommend this book enthusiastically enough, for yourself or for your company.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2003

    It's very applicable to daily life

    It's always good to read a book that you can turn around and use the information in daily life. This book does just that. Also keeps the reader interested.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    it was okay

    i listened to a couple cd's from this audio book and they are taking too long to get to the point so i have yet to finish the CD's to hear what these guys have to say. So far it's interesting but its too drawn out.

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