Become a Chief Energy Officer and Motivate Your Staff

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is a chief energy officer? How can becoming one improve your leadership skills?

A chief energy officer is someone who shares positive energy with those around them. Anyone can be a chief energy officer, but leaders, in particular, can benefit. Being a chief energy officer makes you instantly more likable, inspirational, and persuasive—making you a better leader.

Find out more about being a chief energy officer below.

What Is a Chief Energy Officer?

In order to boost your team’s energy, you need to broadcast your positive energy by tapping into the power of your heart. You lead from the heart by becoming the CEO, or chief energy officer of your workplace. Anyone in a business can be a chief energy officer by sharing positive energy with coworkers, employees, and customers.

Remember that negative people create negative corporate cultures, while positive people do the opposite.

Energy is an essential ingredient of personal and professional success. Without it, you can’t inspire or lead others. Emotional intelligence, which is a business buzzword popularized by a book with that title by Daniel Goleman, is another way of referring to energy from the heart. 

Several studies have found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, accounting for up to 80% of success in all types of jobs. When you act as a leader with emotional intelligence—communicating and sharing your energy with others—people like you and want to follow you. 

The Importance of Enthusiasm

Chief energy officers tap the power of their hearts by cultivating positive energy and being optimistic and excited about their lives and work. They aren’t discouraged by challenges, but instead they welcome them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word entheos, which means inspired or filled with the divine. When you bring this level of inspired energy to everything you do, others feel it and want to be on your team. People are drawn to you: You develop a reputation among coworkers and customers as someone others like working and interacting with. 

The poet Walt Whitman described this power in “The Song of the Open Road”: “I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes. We convince by our presence.”

In Emotional Intelligence, Goleman wrote that companies with positive cultures outperform those with negative cultures. Joy suggested that if you invested in the companies voted Best Places to Work, your returns would probably beat the market. A positive culture is good for a company’s bottom line. (Shortform note: Some studies have shown there is some truth to this—a portfolio of companies voted Best Places to Work outperformed the broader market. Some analysts note this may be more correlation than causation—the companies in a stronger financial position may also be able to afford the benefits that make them “Best Places to Work.”)

Besides practicing positivity and enthusiasm yourself, one way to spread it in your workplace is to let your team know that anyone can be a chief energy officer and inspire others.

Note, however, that enthusiasm doesn’t mean acting manic or pretending to be excited. You can’t force it. You let your presence convince people to emulate you. Focus today on radiating energy and enthusiasm from the heart and trust that others will pick up on it.

Show You Care

To become a chief energy officer, you also need to become a “love magnet” by demonstrating caring and commitment to your employees. While it sounds trite, the truth is that what everyone wants most is to be loved. Your employees want your love too. You can give them awards, gifts, and raises, but these are soon forgotten. What sticks with them is a sense of whether you really care about them and are committed to their future. When they know you care about them, they respond in kind by being loyal and doing great work. In contrast, if you treat them as just a means to your next promotion, you’ll get cynicism in return.

Become a Chief Energy Officer and Motivate Your Staff

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  • How to turn things around when you feel unmotivated and discouraged
  • The 10 rules for reenergizing your life through positive thinking
  • How to build successful teams at work and improve your relationships

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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