You know the Energizer Bunny, right? “He keeps going, and going…”
If you are a manager, assume the role of Energy Bunny in your workplace.
Change the title on your business card to Energy Channeler; come on, I dare you. Whatever you have there now is probably more normal, and normal is boring. (Did you know that there was a Duracell Bunny before the Energizer Bunny became its parody?)
Your greatest RESOURCE in any workplace is NOT time (and NOT financing), it IS the ENERGY required to make the time and other resources you have available count for something worthwhile and meaningful.
Your greatest ASSET in the workplace is NOT your people per se, it IS those people with the most consistent energy levels; energy to dream, create, evangelize, and perform magnificently.
So how are those conversations going?
Getting the Old to Become New Again
Human Energy as Your Resource
Energy powers your production capacity.
Energy powers your service delivery.
Energy will excite and embolden you, your co-workers, your peers, and your partnerships.
Energy will dazzle and delight your customer.
Energy is what sustains a vital business, and a lack of energy is what will kill it.
Mediocrity and complacency are your red flags that energy is missing, and let’s be honest: You see these culprits by seeing listless or boring people. However that’s never a situation that a great manager can’t fix, and fix pretty quickly.
To Start, Be Kūlia i ka nu‘u Contagious
Great management takes great work and there are no magic pills: You aren’t going to get a complete how-to in this one blog post. The over-arching goal of what I write for you is to trigger possibility, help you reach higher, and break things down into week-to-week actions you can work on, continuously recharging your own battery cells of self-motivation.
What we can do today, is remind ourselves of the big picture view, while making that big picture embraceable and achievable: We can set the stage for positive energies to grow and flourish more than they presently are.
Here are three ways you can begin to be the Workplace Energy Bunny you need to be, starting TODAY, and using two of our Managing with Aloha value champions to support you. HO‘OHANA and KŪLIA I KA NU‘U are heavy hitters.
1. Be Contagious, for Energy begets more Energy
HO‘OHANA: Work on you first, and produce the best work you possibly can on a daily basis.
As far as your staff and partnerships will be concerned, self-management must be in residence within the person in charge before they’ll allow any management or leadership direction to step foot in their door (hey, you have the same attitude about your boss!). Your reputation for being a self-managed individual will be key to the privilege you earn in your calling for managing and leading others.
Then, get excited again: Tap into company vision by remembering why you are in your particular business in the first place, and set your sights on making magic happen. Yep, magic. When you really think about it, the HO‘OKIPA we crave as result will be great, but you want more than deliriously happy employees and customers, don’t you. Of course you do! You want magic in your own life, so go for it. Magic for you doesn’t happen in boring work. Amp it up, take some risks and have some fun while you work, and set the best possible example for others to follow. Make room for them so they can join you, and co-lead with you (everyone can be an energy creator). There will always be enough followers, but there are never enough leaders.
2. Avoid the Middle and Work on the Edges
Commit to the value of KŪLIA I KA NU‘U: Excellence generates enthusiasm and is contagious; everyone loves excellence and everyone wants it.
However excellence isn’t ordinary or normal. When something enters the realm of the normal it’s no longer viewed as excellent, but as commonplace. Commonality gets us to conform in a comfort-zone kind of way, and commonplace is not conducive to looking for breakout and breakthrough moments. The more something is thought of as normal, the more ho-hum boring, complacent and mediocre it eventually becomes.
Even if you copy the best practice of something, it’s still a copy and is no longer as compelling, exclusive, cool or sexy. That transition from Duracell mascot to Energizer parody is a great example. Both were pink bunnies… do a Google image search; one went for cute, one went for cool.
Therefore, if you want excellence (and really, why bother with anything else), you’ve got to be willing to push at the edges of virtually everything, and nothing can be sacred — absolutely nothing. In fact, the more unexpected your targets and projects the better. Constantly ask your team “Why not?” about every wild idea which comes up, and be enthusiastic in recognizing and rewarding their creativity. You have to pursue what others think of as impossible, and you must repeatedly insist: Everything we know of was impossible until the first person did it. Let’s be daring. Let’s be first.
“First” is found on the fringes and way up in front. “First” leads and never follows.
3. There can be no Basic Standards, only Excellent Initiatives
At this point I can guarantee some of you are getting an attack of the “yeah, but”s and are thinking, “Well Rosa, reality bites. I can’t work on cool, sexy and edgy until I can clear my decks of all the existing normal stuff.”
You know what? You’re right.
However it’s also true that the minute you “clear your decks” something else lands on it — something which is also in that category of the ‘normal day-to-day stuff’ and did not arise from your own initiative to seek progress. You feel like you’re caught in a vortex or vicious circle, yet you let it happen! While there is a good case for the importance of ritual, disciplined habit and standards, they really can hold you back and weigh you down unless you are more intentional and deliberate about choosing them in a self-discerning way.
Dave Navarro wrote a good essay about this: Why You Do What You Do (And Why It Should Scare You). I highly recommend you give it a read.
There is really only one answer: Kill two birds with one stone. As you “clear your decks” you need to tackle them with the first two approaches we’ve spoken of:
“Go to work” each and every day with the attitude that you are arriving at that work for the first time. Fresh eyes = Fresh sights. Newly evaluate every system and process in your workplace as you use it — even, and especially those day-to-day ones. Question the normal, and replace it with a more excellent gradient: Grow it, and graduate it.
As you do this, eliminate or reinvent any system or process which drains energy instead of generating it. If it doesn’t excite you or anyone else, it’s a drain. Energy drainers do not deserve any of your attention, other than your efforts to banish them from your workplace once and for all.
We used to call it “Continuous Improvement.” Today we’ll call it ALOHA ENERGY.
And don’t you dare wimp out and stop at systems and processes! Be the Best Boss with the highest value standards and develop your people: Not only do people love and want excellence for themselves, they want to be surrounded by it, finding it in their peers. No one wants to be associated with a mediocre workplace which is populated by mediocre people.
Ready to Roll?
If I am missing anything here I would love to hear from you: Let’s make our Aloha Energy happen as the healthy human energy it truly is.
Is there anything else you feel is critically important in the big picture view of creating and channeling energy in your workplace?
If you don’t want to publicly comment here for me, that’s okay — IF you talk about this with your own workplace team. Keep yourself in business by harnessing those energies.
Archive Aloha with related reading:
- Getting the Old to Become New Again
- They seem happy enough. — Goal!
- What can you Stop, and, what Must you Continue?
- The ‘But’s Which Work to Favor
- People Who Do Good Work
For more reading paths, go to New Here? or click on the tags found in the footer.