Witnessing a super-charged person infuse an entire organization with enthusiasm is exciting. I have seen those with a lot of energy expand the number of customers in previously stagnating environments, envision and execute initiatives in workplaces with limited innovation, re-start projects and teams once considered defunct and disbanded, and motivate high-performing groups to achieve even greater results than before.
As an entrepreneur and business leader, you want high-energy people on your team and may need help in recognizing who can energize the workplace. Note that not all energizing folks look and act the same. Many have a commanding physical presence and exude fitness while others simply have strong, forceful minds with endurance to match.
When I consider the high-energy people who bring out the best in others, these characteristics stand out:
- Intense, eager and appreciative.
- Highly communicative.
- Focused on team results, yet attentive to the needs of individual contributors.
- Firm in convictions with vision on how to lead people to excellence.
- Good judgment of people and situations but not judgmental.
What marks the truly effective are those with domain knowledge in a chosen field, directly applicable to assignments. High energy can help transform people, teams and entire organizations in specific ways.
1. Entertain, engage and educate
A high-energy person has a way of getting people’s attention, often in entertaining ways. He tells stories, shares jokes, and uses dramatic or humorous illustrations to spark interest and make a point. Because people are listening intently, ideas shared and concepts conveyed are memorable to customers, colleagues, and employees. As a result, these folks are particularly well suited for training new hires, educating employees on handling tough situations and winning support for new initiatives.
Results are similar but approaches to communication tend to vary:
- Make everything exciting.
- Capture attention before moving to mundane but necessary topics.
- Lighten the collective mood and then focus on serious issues.
If no one is paying attention, then it doesn’t matter what happens next. So, the energetic person devotes much of his energy to entertainment as a means to engagement and education, not just for training purposes but also for transformation.
2. Increase innovation
The energetic person is eager, willing, and able to innovate. She and her teams realize success frequently, providing a foundation for more and more innovation. The reasons for her effectiveness include:
- Time to investigate new ideas (because she is efficient in completing day-to-day assignments).
- Energy to evaluate projects in progress, and make adjustments based on changes in newly discovered insights.
- Sense of what will be successful based on experience and domain knowledge.
And, though she does not seek or embrace failure, this prospect is not paralyzing. All of her intellectual, emotional and physical efforts are not tied to the success of a solitary initiative. Reserves of energy are always available to tackle more projects.
Modeling innovation both incites and inspires colleagues of the energetic person. They also gain practical knowledge of how new ideas are envisioned, communicated, developed, introduced, refined, launched, implemented, and celebrated.
3. Build teamwork
The energetic person has deep personal stores of energy, independent of the outside world. But he draws strength and endurance from interaction with colleagues, subordinate employees, and executive leaders. He is tireless in bringing others onto the team and into the loop. People are attracted to those who value them and their presence, and can help them achieve excellent levels of performance.
The team, the organization, and the community provide a productive outlet for the high-energy person. Effort is channeled toward his vision of teamwork and ambitious goals for team success.
4. Instill confidence
The high-energy person brims with confidence and easily transfers this buoyancy to other people, not just at the launch of a new initiative but also for the long haul.
When everyone else is tired and just going through the motions, the person with the high energy remains focused and doing her best work. She is confident that the project will be completed according to requirements and the program will be developed within specifications. This certainty can instill confidence in fellow employees.
The presence of someone with boundless energy gives people the assurance that they will always have the support needed to ship on time.
How to spot high-energy professionals
If you are interested in getting highly capable, energetic people on your team, consider these professional characteristics:
- Focused on well-defined scope of expertise as indicated by undergraduate and graduate studies, professional training, and work experiences.
- Thorough, rarely missing a pertinent detail.
- Background in leadership (though willing to take on supporting roles).
- Adept at learning new things.
- Competitive drive.
The high-energy professional can raise the bar of performance, elevate results, and make hard work fun.