Energy Leadership™ is a discipline and process that helps professionals develop an effective leadership style. Here's how to use it for positive workplace change.
- Energy Leadership is a type of assessment tool designed to help people tap into positive energy stores and become better leaders in all areas of their lives.
- The Energy Leadership Index collects attitude responses to different situations as a way to assign metrics to the type of energy harnessed by the person.
- Seven energy levels are defined by the Energy Leadership discipline. Positive leadership styles are assigned the highest numerical values.
Leaders come in different forms, from parents and mentors to sports coaches and authors. Everyone is a leader in their own way, even though for some, it's not always a conscious choice.
In a 2017 presentation at Berkeley College, Jodi Grinwald, a certified professional coach and certified master practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index, defined a leader as anyone who interacts with others.
Energy Leadership is a discipline that develops your personal influence style so that it positively impacts the manager and, in turn, those around you. When practiced with intention, this process can drastically improve your personal and professional relationships, which, in turn, can transform your business.
The first step in becoming an effective leader involves familiarizing yourself with the principles of Energy Leadership and its seven levels of leadership, Grinwald said.
"Determine which … level is yours, and [whether] it's a negative one," she said. "Having that sense of understanding is the first step toward making a positive change."
What is the Energy Leadership Index?
The Energy Leadership Index is an assessment tool designed to measure your potential. The assessment uses metrics to determine how a person approaches different scenarios. A numerical value is assigned based on what type of energy you bring to each situation.
Energy can be mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. The goal is to find out how the person harnesses energy and determine how to promote positive energy in the workplace. Although working relationships are measured as part of the Energy Leadership Index, it is also known for recognizing leadership in other areas of life, including work-life balance, family relationships, spiritual connections and health. Coaches provide the Energy Leadership Index at team events focused on personal growth. At the conclusion of the assessment, team members have a better idea of the definition of a strong leader.
What are the seven energy levels?
Energy levels within the Energy Leadership Index range from 1 to 7. The levels are intended to measure attitude and are not personality quizzes. At the lower end of the range are those with negative thought patterns, and at the higher end of the range are those who bring positive energy. Energy Leadership involves recognizing that there isn't a bad or good level; everyone is expected to cycle through different levels.
These leaders are critically self-aware but fail to take action. Level 1 leaders typically have low self-esteem, work in crisis mode and lack productivity.
"Some leaders have little to no passion or commitment to their company's mission," Grinwald said. "They may not remember it because they are (usually) reacting to crises, and they don't have a real plan for where they are going. Their communication skills are poor to nonexistent, as is their ability to truly inspire and motivate others."
Core emotions: guilt, self-doubt, hopelessness, fear, worry, depression
For these leaders, actions and results come from a place of anger and defiance. The focus is on others, stress, disappointment, resistance, struggle, control and entitlement.
Oftentimes, interactions with these types of leaders feel like a zero-sum game, in which their world is made up of winners (them) and losers (everyone else). It's not uncommon for Level 2 leaders to be micromanagers.
Core emotions: anger, resentment, hatred, blame, greed, discord, pride
It is at this level that there is a distinctive shift between fear (Level 1) and negative energy (Level 2) to positive energy and a willingness to accept responsibility for one's actions.
Level 3 leaders' thoughts are positive, and their emotions come from a place of forgiveness. Actions and results may include rationalization, justification, tolerance and coping.
Core emotions: relief, peace of mind
Level 4 leaders' focus is on their team. They genuinely care about others, and they don't take anything personally. Instead, they view circumstances and people objectively. They are playful, generous, supporting, helpful and self-caring.
Grinwald noted that this kind of leader performs best in human resources, customer service and sales because of their exceptional people skills.
Core emotions: compassion, love, gratitude
Leaders who operate at Level 5 live to the fullest and don't let the past get in the way. They are open-minded and focus on the organization as a whole rather than just themselves.
Often, these leaders view challenges or threats as opportunities for growth and development. These individuals don't try to change differences in others; instead, they focus on accepting and reconciling differences.
Core emotions: peace
These leaders are driven by their intuition, and they are often creative geniuses and visionaries. Individuals at this level of leadership see others around them as an extension of themselves, which fosters an attitude of empowerment and achievement among team members.
"With Level 6 leaders, everyone always wins," Grinwald said. "These leaders are brilliant and conscious leaders."
Core emotions: joy
The seventh and highest level is often the hardest to achieve, and few people have ever experienced it. It's characterized by a complete lack of blame, shaming and fear of failure.
Level 7 leaders don't make judgments and, unlike Level 2 leaders, feel that winning and losing are illusions. They're fearless, and they create and observe at the same time.
Core emotions: passion
Ultimately, Grinwald said, when you are more aware of your leadership style and the impact it has on your employees and co-workers, you can study the other leadership styles and work toward being the type of leader you want to be.
How can I improve my Energy Leadership?
The first step in improving your Energy Leadership is to recognize your current energy level. The Energy Leadership Index provides an initial assessment of your leadership qualities. The assessment is meant to be taken repeatedly to determine if levels improved through personal reflection and life coaching. As you look at the qualities of leaders at different levels, you can emulate their leadership styles.
For more information on Energy Leadership, check out Bruce Schneider's book, which introduces and explains the concept.