Sunday, December 8, 2013

Positive Energy & Full Engagement

In the last byte, we looked at eustress and understood the role it played in ensuring performance. In today's byte, we look at positive energy and full engagement as drivers to performance.

Research on companies has found that unengaged people who are just showing up for work are the source of companies incurring unnecessary costs in the billions. It has been found that even when managing one's time well, one still ends up exhausted and stressed, unable to concentrate, stay focused, and be productive. That’s because the problem isn’t time management, its energy. One major quality that executives seek for themselves and their employees is sustained high performance in the face of ever-increasing pressure and rapid change, and that takes energy.

The principles of Full Engagement and Energy management were derived by the study of highly successful professional athletes and other runners. At top levels, most sports stars are highly talented. The difference between the consistent winners and the others is in their ability to manage and conserve their energy.

The same principles can be applied to corporate executives. Here are the basic concepts, from Loehr and Schwartz (authors of The Power of Full Engagement (2003)):
  1. Energy has four dimensions: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is necessary to draw energy from each domain and to manage it in all four.
  2. Energy is best managed when there is oscillation between stress and recovery. Stress in this case is meant in a positive sense. Stress is what makes us stretch ourselves and use our talents and skills; however, it must be balanced with recovery and rest, and most of us don’t know how to do this.
  3. Pushing beyond our usual limits builds our strengths. Building mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities is similar to physical training to improve our strength or cardiovascular abilities. We must push in order to grow.
  4. Creating specific positive energy replenishing rituals sustains and expands our energy. This is the key to recuperating and making our energy reserves fully available to us.

The understanding that underlies this theory is that - Life is not a marathon, but rather a series of sprints. All of life and nature is built upon rhythms and oscillations, including the tides, the sun, the moon, and our physiological functions.

(Read more from the reference at:

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