Leaders come in different forms, from parents and mentors to sports coaches and authors. Everyone is a leader in their own way, despite the fact that, for some, it's not always a conscious choice.
In a 2017 presentation at Berkeley College, Jodi Grinwald, a CPC 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 one's personal influence style so that it positively impacts the manager and, in turn, those around him or her. When practiced with intention, this process can drastically improve your personal and professional relationships, which, in turn, can transform your business.
To be an effective leader, the first step involves familiarizing yourself with the principles of Energy Leadership™ and its seven levels of leadership, said Grinwald
"Determine which … level is yours, and [whether] it's a negative one. Having that sense of understanding is the first step toward making a positive change," she said.
These leaders are critically self-aware but fail to take action. Level one 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," said Grinwald. "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.
Often 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's 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
This leader's focus is on their team. They genuinely care about others, and they don't take anything personally. Instead, they are able to 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 a 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, when faced with a challenge or threat, these leaders view them as an opportunity for growth and development. Further, these individuals don't try to change differences in others, but instead 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," said Grinwald. "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's feel don't make any 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, said Grinwald, 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.
For more information on Energy Leadership™, check out Bruce Schneider's book, which introduces and explains the concept.