Leaders bridge the gaps and change the energy


As leaders, it’s important for us to know what natural energy we bring to a team or relationship and to be able to expand into whatever is needed in the moment.

This requires us to be conscious about how we show up, to be aware of the impact we create on a team or environment and to be able to stretch into something else when required. To expand our range.

What’s the natural energy that you bring to a team?

My natural energy is one of playfulness but when our new dog Pepsi arrived in our household 18 months ago, she brought with her her naughty mischievous ways, her sense of fun, chaos, laughter and lots of playful energy. So much so that I leaned into being more laid back to counteract her hyperactivity. It was about providing a balance of energy.

For the last 3 weeks, Pepsi has been in the Guide Dogs for the Blind kennels where she is being mated as part of the Guide Dogs breeding program. Without her, the house is quiet, the energy is lower than usual. I’ve continued to be calm and laid back as a matter of habit. As a result, there has been less chaos and mischief in the house and I miss the playfulness. I miss Pepsi’s vibrancy and enthusiasm for life and in her absence, someone else needs to step in and create it. (Rubs hands in delight!)

The energy or stance we come from is called a Metaskill. It’s an abstract skill that can be learned, just like any other skill. We can learn to be playful, collaborative, respectful, curious… or whatever else is needed for a team or relationship to function at its optimum performance.

A team works well when there is a full range of skills and energies that provide a rounded balanced approach. It’s obvious when something is missing. The energy of the team feels low, or uncomfortable in some way.

As leaders, an essential skill is to be conscious of the energy of the team, to decide what is needed and then to try and create it. And to keep on trying until we get the energy we want and the team starts performing at its optimum. That requires us to expand our range so we can bring whatever is needed, when it is needed.

What is needed in the team you work in right now?
What is the gap that you want to bridge as a leader?

Putting it into practice

  1. Notice what the energy is of the team you work in, or the relationship with your client, partner, peers, etc.
  2. What metaskill is needed to create the success you want together?
  3. Try changing the energy by leaning into other metaskills and share you comments below.

So for now, until Pepsi returns, I’m bringing the playfulness and mayhem into the household again. Ooh, now this is going to be fun….

With love,
Jude. x

About the Author

Jude JennisonJude Jennison is an international speaker, leadership coach and Horse Assisted Educator with a 16 year senior leadership career in IBM, where she led UK, European and global teams. She combines bold, visionary thinking with transparency, vulnerability and humility to create profound learning experiences that lead to sustainable behavioural change. Jude helps senior leaders and executive teams develop the leadership skills that you can’t learn in Business School, such as trust, mutual respect, courage and compassion.View all posts by Jude Jennison

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