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  • Writer's pictureStephen

My Energy Bucket

I was recently working on a seminar related to tools and strategies for helping lead and manage yourself, and was reminded of this saying on the topic of self-leadership:

Leadership is about managing your energy first, and then helping others manage their energy.

Most of the time in leadership our focus is almost entirely on others - How can we have the greatest impact on the people around us we are leading? (By the way, I believe one of the purest forms of leadership is simply influence, and we all have places where we do that, which makes all of us leaders!) While focusing on others is a critical component of leadership, we can't forget that unless we are paying attention to ourselves and helping to make sure we are functioning from a place of balance and stability within ourselves first, we can't ever hope to influence and help others.

That's part of the reason why I like this saying - it focuses on the idea of managing energy. In particular, it acknowledges that my energy is the only energy I can really directly manage and control, so if I start there and make sure I am managing my own energy well, then, and only then, can I turn my attention to helping support others as they work to manage their energy. It's kind of like the safety briefing on an airplane when they tell you that if the oxygen masks come down you should put yours on first, and then help others around you.

Another way I illustrate this is by using the metaphor of an internal bucket. Each of us has an internal bucket of energy and there are all kinds of things that are either filling or draining that bucket (and sometimes, something or someone can be both filling and draining!). But if we are only ever focused on the people and circumstances around us (the pouring-out or draining process), and we ignore the filling process, it won't be long and we will be running on fumes and approaching the possibility of burnout. This is why we need to monitor and spend time focused on managing our own energy, and in particular the things that fill us up, if we are ever going to function in a sustainable way as leaders.

So, how are the levels in your energy bucket? When was the last time you took an inventory of that energy? What are the things that fill you up? What could you do this week to engage in one of those practices, and what kind of an impact could that make on your ability to support others in the management of their own energy?

Here's to managing our energy and filling our buckets this week! Be Well, Stephen Center was created to support individuals and teams so they can live from their Purposeful Center. We specialize in executive and personal coaching, as well as leadership development resources and consulting. We’d love to support you, so click on our Services page to book a free consultation.

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