The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

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9780743226745: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We're wired up, but we're melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. As bestselling authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz demonstrate in this groundbreaking book, managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.
The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way you live your life. The Power of Full Engagement is a highly practical, scientifically based approach to managing your energy more skillfully both on and off the job.
At the heart of the program is the Corporate Athlete® Training System. It is grounded in twenty-five years of work with some of the world's greatest athletes to help them perform more effectively under brutal competitive pressures. Clients have included Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in tennis; Mark O'Meara and Ernie Els in golf; Eric Lindros and Mike Richter in hockey; Nick Anderson and Grant Hill in basketball; and gold medalist Dan Jansen in speed skating.
During the past decade, dozens of Fortune 500 companies have paid thousands of dollars to learn the Corporate Athlete training system. So have FBI swat teams, critical care physicians and nurses, salesmen, and stay-at-home moms. The Power of Full Engagement lays out the key training principles and provides a powerful, step-by-step program that will help you to:
· Mobilize four key sources of energy
· Balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal
· Expand capacity in the same systematic way that elite athletes do
· Create highly specific, positive energy management rituals
Above all, this book provides a life-changing road map to becoming more fully engaged on and off the job, meaning physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned.

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About the Author:

Dr. Jim Loehr is Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, a training company that has successfully utilized energy management technology to improve the productivity and engagement levels of elite performers from the world of business, sport, medicine, and law enforcement for over 30 years. A world-renowned performance psychologist, Dr. Loehr is the author of thirteen books including the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement.

Dr. Loehr appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where an entire program was devoted to his ground-breaking Energy Management training system and concepts. He has also appeared on NBC's Today Show, ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS Morning News. Dr. Loehr's work has been chronicled in leading national publications including the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, Success, Fast Company and Omni.

Dr. Loehr has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine and law enforcement including Fortune 100 executives, FBI, Hostage Rescue Teams and Army Special Forces. His elite clients from the world of sport include: golfer Mark O'Meara; tennis players, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario; boxer Ray Mancini; hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter; and Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen.

Dr. Loehr possesses a masters and doctorate in psychology, serves on several prestigious scientific boards and is a full member of the American Psychological Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.

Tony Schwartz is the founder and president of The Energy Project, a consulting group that works with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Credit Suisse, Ford, General Motors, Gillette, Master Card, and Sony.  He was a reporter for the New York Times, an associate editor at Newsweek, and a staff writer for New York Magazine and Esquire and a columnist for Fast Company.  He co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump, and after that wrote What Really Matters.  He co-authored the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Full Engagement with Jim Loehr.
 

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Fully Engaged:

Energy, Not Time,

Is Our Most Precious Resource


We live in digital time. Our rhythms are rushed, rapid fire and relentless, our days carved up into bits and bytes. We celebrate breadth rather than depth, quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining for long at any one. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go. We're wired up but we're melting down.

Most of us are just trying to do the best that we can. When demand exceeds our capacity, we begin to make expedient choices that get us through our days and nights, but take a toll over time. We survive on too little sleep, wolf down fast foods on the run, fuel up with coffee and cool down with alcohol and sleeping pills. Faced with relentless demands at work, we become short-tempered and easily distracted. We return home from long days at work feeling exhausted and often experience our families not as a source of joy and renewal, but as one more demand in an already overburdened life.

We walk around with day planners and to-do lists, Palm Pilots and BlackBerries, instant pagers and pop-up reminders on our computers -- all designed to help us manage our time better. We take pride in our ability to multitask, and we wear our willingness to put in long hours as a badge of honor. The term 24/7 describes a world in which work never ends. We use words like obsessed, crazed and overwhelmed not to describe insanity, but instead to characterize our everyday lives. Feeling forever starved for time, we assume that we have no choice but to cram as much as possible into every day. But managing time efficiently is no guarantee that we will bring sufficient energy to whatever it is we are doing.

Consider these scenarios:

· You attend a four-hour meeting in which not a single second is wasted -- but during the final two hours your energy level drops off precipitously and you struggle to stay focused.

· You race through a meticulously scheduled twelve-hour day but by midday your energy has turned negative -- impatient, edgy and irritable.

· You set aside time to be with your children when you get home at the end of the day, but you are so distracted by thoughts about work that you never really give them your full attention.

· You remember your spouse's birthday -- your computer alerts you and so does your Palm Pilot -- but by the evening, you are too tired to go out and celebrate.

Energy, not time,

is the fundamental currency

of high performance.


This insight has revolutionized our thinking about what drives enduring high performance. It has also prompted dramatic transformations in the way our clients manage their lives, personally and professionally. Everything they do -- from interacting with colleagues and making important decisions to spending time with their families -- requires energy. Obvious as this seems, we often fail to take into account the importance of energy at work and in our personal lives. Without the right quantity, quality, focus and force of energy, we are compromised in any activity we undertake.

Every one of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors has an energy consequence, for better or for worse. The ultimate measure of our lives is not how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have. The premise of this book -- and of the training we do each year with thousands of clients -- is simple enough:

Performance, health and happiness

are grounded in the

skillful management of energy.


There are undeniably bad bosses, toxic work environments, difficult relationships and real life crises. Nonetheless, we have far more control over our energy than we ordinarily realize. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become. The more we blame others or external circumstances, the more negative and compromised our energy is likely to be.

If you could wake up tomorrow with significantly more positive, focused energy to invest at work and with your family, how significantly would that change your life for the better? As a leader and a manager, how valuable would it be to bring more positive energy and passion to the workplace? If those you lead could call on more positive energy, how would it affect their relationships with one another, and the quality of service that they deliver to customers and clients?

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. The skillful management of energy, individually and organizationally, makes possible something that we call full engagement.

To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest. Full engagement begins with feeling eager to get to work in the morning, equally happy to return home in the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two. It means being able to immerse yourself in the mission you are on, whether that is grappling with a creative challenge at work, managing a group of people on a project, spending time with loved ones or simply having fun. Full engagement implies a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.

Less than 30 percent of American workers are fully engaged at work, according to data collected by the Gallup Organization in early 2001. Some 55 percent are "not engaged." Another 19 percent are "actively disengaged," meaning not just that they are unhappy at work, but that they regularly share those feelings with colleagues. The costs of a disengaged workforce run into the trillions of dollars. Worse yet, the longer employees stay with organizations, the less engaged they become. Gallup found that after six months on the job, only 38 percent of employees remain engaged. After three years, the figure drops to 22 percent. Think about your own life. How fully engaged are you at work? What about your colleagues or the people who work for you?

During the past decade, we have grown increasingly disturbed by the myriad ways in which our clients squander and misuse their energy. These include everything from poor eating habits and failure to seek regular recovery and renewal to negativity and poor focus. The lessons we seek to impart in this book have proved to be profoundly useful in managing our own lives and in leading our own organization. When we follow the energy management principles and the change process that we share on these pages, we find that we are far more effective, both personally and professionally, in our own actions and in our relationships. When we fall short, we see the costs immediately, in our performance and in our impact on others. The same is true of tens of thousands of clients with whom we have worked. Learning to manage energy more efficiently and intelligently has a unique transformative power, both individually and organizationally.

A Living Laboratory

We first learned about the importance of energy in the living laboratory of professional sports. For thirty years, our organization has worked with world-class athletes, defining precisely what it takes to perform consistently at the highest levels under intense competitive pressures. Our initial clients were tennis players. Over eighty of the world's best players have been through our laboratory, among them Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Tom and Tim Gullikson, Sergi Bruguera, Gabriela Sabatini and Monica Seles.

These players typically came to us when they were struggling, and our interventions have often produced dramatic turnarounds. After we worked with them, Sanchez-Vicario won the U.S. Open for the first time and became the top-ranked player in the world in both singles and doubles, and Sabatini won her first and only U.S. Open title. Bruguera went from number 79 in the world to the top ten and won two French Open titles. We went on to train a broad range of professional athletes, among them golfers Mark O'Meara and Ernie Els; hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter; boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini; basketball players Nick Anderson and Grant Hill; and speed skater Dan Jansen, who won his only Olympic gold medal following two intensive years of training with us.

What makes our intervention with athletes unique is that we spend no time focusing on their technical or tactical skills. Conventional wisdom holds that if you find talented people and equip them with the right skills for the challenge at hand, they will perform at their best. In our experience that often isn't so. Energy is the X factor that makes it possible to fully ignite talent and skill. We never addressed how Monica Seles hit her serves, or how Mark O'Meara drove the ball, or how Grant Hill shot his free throws. All of these athletes were extraordinarily gifted and accomplished when they came to us. We focused instead on helping them to manage their energy more effectively in the service of whatever mission they were on.

Athletes turned out to be a demanding experimental group. They aren't satisfied with inspirational messages or clever theories about performance. They seek measurable, enduring results. They care about batting averages, free-throw percentages, tournament victories and year-end rankings. They want to be able to sink the putt on the eighteenth hole in the final round, hit the free throw when the game is on the line, catch the pass in a crowd with a minute to go on the clock. Anything else is just talk. If we couldn't deliver results for athletes, we didn't last very long in their lives. We learned to be accountable to the numbers.

As word spread about our success in sports, we received numerous requests to export our model into other high-performance venues.

We began working with FBI hostage rescue teams, U.S. marshals, and critical-care workers in hospitals. Today, the bulk of our work is in business -- with executives and entrepreneurs, managers and sales people, and more recently with teachers and clergy, lawyers and medical students. Our corporate clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Estée Lauder, Salomon Smith Barney, Pfizer, Merrill Lynch, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Hyatt Corporation.

Along the way, we discovered something completely unexpected: The performance demands that most people face in their everyday work environments dwarf those of any professional athletes we have ever trained.

How is that possible?

It's not as anomalous as it seems. Professional athletes typically spend about 90 percent of their time training, in order to be able to perform 10 percent of the time. Their entire lives are designed around expanding, sustaining and renewing the energy they need to compete for short, focused periods of time. At a practical level, they build very precise routines for managing energy in all spheres of their lives -- eating and sleeping; working out and resting; summoning the appropriate emotions; mentally preparing and staying focused; and connecting regularly to the mission they have set for themselves. Although most of us spend little or no time systematically training in any of these dimensions, we are expected to perform at our best for eight, ten and even twelve hours a day.

Most professional athletes also enjoy an off-season of four to five months a year. After competing under extraordinary pressure for several months, a long off-season gives athletes the critical time that they need for rest and healing, renewal and growth. By contrast, your "off season" likely amounts to a few weeks of vacation a year. Even then, you probably aren't solely resting and recovering. More likely, you are spending at least some of your vacation time answering email, checking your voice mail and ruminating about your work.

Finally, professional athletes have an average career span of five to seven years. If they have handled their finances reasonably well, they are often set for life. Few of them are under pressure to run out and get another job. By contrast, you can probably expect to work for forty to fifty years without any significant breaks.

Given these stark facts, what makes it possible to keep performing at your best without sacrificing your health, your happiness and your passion for life?

You must become

a Corporate Athlete.®


The challenge of great performance is to manage your energy more effectively in all dimensions to achieve your goals. Four key energy management principles drive this process. They lie at the heart of the change process that we will describe in the pages ahead, and they are critical for building the capacity to live a productive, fully engaged life.

PRINCIPLE 1:

Full engagement requires drawing on four

separate but related sources of energy:

physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Human beings are complex energy systems, and full engagement is not simply one-dimensional. The energy that pulses through us is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. All four dynamics are critical, none is sufficient by itself and each profoundly influences the others. To perform at our best, we must skillfully manage each of these interconnected dimensions of energy. Subtract any one from the equation and our capacity to fully ignite our talent and skill is diminished, much the way an engine sputters when one of its cylinders misfires.

Energy is the common denominator in all dimensions of our lives. Physical energy capacity is measured in terms of quantity (low to high) and emotional capacity in quality (negative to positive). These are our most fundamental sources of energy because without sufficient high-octane fuel no mission can be accomplished. The accompanying chart depicts the dynamics of energy from low to high and from negative to positive. The more toxic and unpleasant the energy, the less effectively it serves performance; the more positive and pleasant the energy, the more efficient it is. Full engagement and maximum performance are possible only in the high positive quadrant.

The importance of full engagement is most vivid in situations where the consequences of disengagement are profound. Imagine for a moment that you are facing open-heart surgery. Which energy quadrant do you want your surgeon to be in? How would you feel if he entered the operating room feeling angry, frustrated and anxious (high negative)? How about overworked, exhausted and depressed (low negative)? What if he was disengaged, laid back and slightly spacey (low positive)? Obviously, you want your surgeon energized, confident and upbeat (high positive).

Imagine that every time you yelled at someone in frustration or did sloppy work on a project or failed to focus your attention fully on the task at hand, you put someone's life at risk. Very quickly, you would become less negative, reckless and sloppy in the way you manage your energy. We hold ourselves accountable for the ways that we manage our time, and for that matter our money. We must learn to hold ourselves at least equally accountable for how we manage our energy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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