Believe it or not your favourite soda pop tastes different depending where you are in the world.
Taste buds differ. Some people like it sweeter, other less and some just in the middle.
Known as the “sugar point”, beverage makers will often add another spoon of sweetness to make sure it remains your honey.
Leaders can learn from this too. Finding the right “sugar point” or energy for your leadership right now. As a leader you control the energy of the team. You can decide to dial it up or tone it down.
The key is recognize that the same energy (like the sugar points) does not hit everyone’s sweet spot. But adding more energy will create untold positive effects. Adding five percent more energy to a meeting, brain storming session or client encounter can and will transform the outcome. After all, the elusive quality of leadership is charisma. What is charisma? It is simply having more energy over and above your peer’s average.
Let’s imagine the typical brainstorming session. It’s Monday morning. The team has gathered to generate some fresh ideas and solve a business problem.
“Gathering” might be too strong a word. Maybe it is more like people “drag” themselves into the room. Everyone sits. Sinking into their chairs. Someone thought to bring coffee and donuts. But it does not help.
The session begins. Ideas come but they are stilted. Slow and forced. Ideas based on what we are doing today, plus a little extra.
Now comes the role of the leader. Not as authority but a source of energy. But be careful. Too much energy straight of the gate, leaves everyone behind. Like the speeding car on the highway while your lane isn’t moving. No one likes a show off.
So you start adding five percent more energy than everyone else: more enthusiasm, more engagement, and more passion. How do others respond? Some will always hold back. But others will being to change: transform. They begin slowly to mirror and mimic the energy you bring the conversation. As they change, the majority takes note and begins the process of engaging. They emerge. They sit straight, then begin to lean into the discussion. They start to contribute. The ground is shifting. The bar is raised.
Much like a library where people are speaking in hushed tones or empty dance floor at a wedding. The leader’s role is to step it up first. Raising their voice or dancing (with every eye fixed on you) gives permission for others to follow. The energy starts with a trickle and ends in a torrent. Before you know it the library is full vibrant dialogue and dancefloor packed.
Back at the company brain storming meeting. The ideas and suggestions have accelerated. Energy sparks creativity. Great ideas feed off the enthusiasm of group. Excitement provokes us to see limitations not as barriers but starting point for something greater.
What should the leader do in this situation, take another sip of fizzy soda and lift the sugar point of energy again. You never know where it will take you.
About the Author
Simon Trevarthen is Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Elevate Your Greatness (EYG). EYG helps individuals, teams and organizations unpack the secrets of success by becoming even better versions of themselves through dynamic keynotes, seminars and workshops on innovation, inspiration and presentation excellence.
To learn more about Elevate Your Greatness see www.elevateyourgreatness.com