It was nearly 4:00 am. I was being totally irresponsible. The other men around me were cheering making it worse and cheering me on. My hand felt numb from the powerful and all too frequent high fives I didn’t even realize I was witnessing one of the most powerful leadership skills in the world.
This was the scene one night in Las Vegas. Five men huddled around a craps table on the casino floor of the Bellagio. One a heart surgeon, one a semi-pro football player, two others were in their residency working under the heart surgeon. Then there was me, the executive asking questions about leadership and the leadership skills a heart surgeon must have in the O.R.
I was in Las Vegas for my brother’s bachelor party. I was up at 4:00am because I’m cheap and I was on a hot streak. I figured since I was winning, why not stay up as late as possible racking up comps from the hotel. Thanks to the 4 men I met that night I now receive free stays, have a fun memory, and was able to buy my wife a cool gift with my winnings. But what a really took away from that night was a new found respect for the power of energy as one of many important leadership skills.
There is something funny about energy. Why is it that with two minutes left in the 4th quarter, a football team who has only scored a handful of points all night can drive 80 yards down the field and tie the game? The answer is energy. It is one of the most useful leadership skills a leader can poses Using energy as one of your main leadership skills is often the difference between a flunky and a change agent CEO. Come to find out, it is also often the difference between life and death.
As the dice rolled around the table and the energy level flew through the roof I quizzed the heart surgeon. Always a notice and always looking to learn, I began to pry. He and his two residents were celebrating. They had just worked on a case that quickly took a turn for the worse. Then, a miracle, they saved the guys life.
When I asked how they were able to bring the man on the table back to life, the heart surgeon answered me with one word, “energy.” He explained it as being similar to the energy that rises from a hot craps table. Once you get the momentum moving in the right direction it begins to gain momentum. Over the next few hours, and a painful stint of powerful high fives, we discussed ways to create energy and add it to your set of leadership skills.
Positive Feedback – Letting someone know they are doing a fantastic job almost always creates a spike in energy. Their enthusiasm goes up and it becomes contagious.
Rhythm – Similar to running with music, getting your team into a rhythm creates an energy and momentum quickly builds.
Success – Finding and focusing on one success after another creates energy. This is why a 1st down with two minutes left in the game can eventually lead to a game tying touchdown. One success leads to another, then another. It is the Law of Victory.
Challenge – The harder the task, the more you work for something, the sweeter it is when you achieve your end goal. We all realize this going in. When we accept the challenge, our energy levels rise to the occasion.
Developing energy as one of your main leadership skills can lead you to the top. Leaders who are aware of the energy within their organization, and use it to their advantage, can quickly build a momentum that takes them straight to the top. On the flip side, knowing how to create energy can stop the bleeding of a failing company and begin moving the bottom line in the right direction. Be aware of the energy within your organization and use your leadership skills to build it into success.
Have you noticed the power of positive energy anywhere else? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.