The Energy Management Model emerged from a question which arose in our thinking about leading non-anxiously in toxic and anxiety filled environments. (Just about everywhere.) The question was; “What if leading with emotional maturity is more about energy than anything else?” This question fit with our growing conclusion that contemporary management “training” focuses mostly on technique, which asserts that tweaking the way managers behave will substantively change how followers respond. We reject this concept, often found in the latest “Top 10 Ways to Be a Better Leader!” books. Technique tweaking training results in little change of no lasting value. One’s bookshelf may have a binder or two representing attendance at a management or leadership program. In all likelihood, some piece of the learning from a given workshop was applied for a while, then quietly forgotten. (We call this “The Dusty Binder Syndrome”)
We believe that effective leadership is largely the result of how a leader is present in whatever system he or she occupies. When a leader is calm, non-anxious, self defines and practices emotional maturity – employing rational processes – mature followers are likely to perform at high levels. “Present” in this context describes what levels of maturity in leaders are perceived by others.
The EMM might be called a “mental model”. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline wrote, …”Our mental models determine not only how we make sense of the world, but how we take action”. They are powerful in “affecting what we do…In part, because they affect what we see.”
The EMM encourages its practitioner – the emotionally maturing leader – to simultaneously connect awareness, courage and personal care; and exercise spiritual and/or soul health in pursuit of living a calm presence even and especially when chaos prevails. Three questions thread their way through this process. “Who am I?’ “Where am I going?” “Who is going with me?”
We developed the model hoping that more enlightened leaders use it for organizing, thinking and interacting with followers (and non-followers!). We commend it to those who are authentically interested in becoming more intentional about gathering, storing, circulating and investing their life-force energy as leaders.
As Steve Gekse would say, “This is not so much taught as caught”.
Peace and Courage,