Key Concepts: The Power of Full Engagement

By: Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

  1. Energy, not time, is our most precious resource.
  2. Energy is the fundamental currency of high performance.
  3. Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.
  4. Leaders are the stewards of organizational energy—in companies, organizations, and even in families. They inspire or demoralize others first by how effectively they manage their own energy and next by how well they mobilize, focus, invest and renew the collective energy of those they lead.
  5. The skillful management of energy, individually and organizationally, makes possible something that we call full engagement.
  6. Full engagement is the energy state that best serves performance.
  7. Principle 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
  8. Principle 2: Because energy diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.
  9. Principle 3: To build capacity we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.
  10. Principle 4: Positive energy rituals—highly specific routines for managing energy—are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance.
  11. Energy is simply the capacity to do work. Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and recover energy.
  12. Increase the intensity of the training or the performance demand, and it is necessary to commensurately increase the amount of energy renewal. Fail to do so and the athlete will experience a measurable deterioration in performance.
  13. Too much energy expenditure without sufficient recovery eventually leads to burnout and breakdown. (Overuse it and lose it.)
  14. Too much recovery without sufficient stress leads to atrophy and weakness. (Use it or lose it.)
  15. It is in the spaces between work that love, friendship, depth and dimension are nurtured. Without time for recovery, our lives become a blur of doing unbalanced by much opportunity for being.
  16. We live in a world that celebrates work and activity, ignores renewal and recovery, and fails to recognize that both are necessary for sustained high performance.
  17. Intermittently disengaging is what allows us to passionately re-engage.
  18. It is not the intensity of energy expenditure that produces burnout, impaired performance and physical breakdown, but rather the duration of expenditure without recovery.
  19. Expanding capacity requires a willingness to endure short-term discomfort in the service of long-term reward.
  20. Cultures that encourage people to seek intermittent renewal not only inspire greater commitment, but also more productivity.

Dynamics of Energy.