How To Be A Chief Energy Officer

Aetna has a Chief Mindfulness Officer. Corporate Consultants are rebranding themselves as Chief Inspiration Officers. Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance, champions the notion of a Chief Energy Officer.

Cool. Creative job titles that speak to what, deep down, we all long for. Less drudgery at work. More inspiration. An energized and energizing ride.

If you’re fortunate, you work in a culture like Zappos where every aspect of the organizational design is intended to motivate and energize you. Free lunches. Freedom to decorate your meeting spaces. Free life-coaching. An explicit work culture that does much of the energizing for you.

Chances are, you’re not employed at Zappos, and you will not suddenly be anointed Chief Energy Officer where you currently work. Don’t let that hold you back. Here are 4 habits that will help you to immediately become the inspirational Chief Energy Officer you long to be – and the one your colleagues love to engage with:

1. Notes of Appreciation: Show that you noticed. Saying it, especially when the saying reveals the specifics you observed, is terrific. But when you write it down, not in an email, no, in an old-school note-appreciation-card – wow, then it carries the weight and impact of a well-considered gesture.

Write 1 note of appreciation a week. It takes less than 5 minutes to do so. It will be an exhilarating energy catalyst.

2. Happy Endings: Have great meetings. Disagree vigorously. Challenge each other. And at the end, affirm the fire and spirit of the discourse that occurred. The Happy-Ending-Affirmation may come from you. Or invite all meeting participants to affirm each other.

No meeting ends without a vigorous affirmation of the positive that occurred.

3. Passionate Curiosity: Even when you’re sure of a course of action, even when you feel like you do not wish to be derailed by a tangential comment, stay curious. Yes. DON’T BE RIGHT, BE CURIOUS. Your curiosity will energize everyone around you.

Talk less, ask more. In every situation. Even when you think you have all the answers.

4. Conscious Optimism: While you’re caught in a crappy day, as you have grave doubts about a course of action, face your reality, in that moment. Face it – but refrain from unloading every detail of your anxiety on those around you. Speak your truth, but infuse it with optimism.

Consciously stated faith and optimism will energize those around you. It will energize you. Constant worrying will not. 

The beauty of these 4 simple habits: While you energize others with these behaviors, you also energize yourself. You become, in fact, your very own Chief Energy Officer.  How very cool is that!

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Achim Nowak is an author, speaker, C-Suite coach, international authority on personal presence. His book "The Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World" (New Page Books) has just been published. His previous books have become prized resources for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the globe. Achim and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, Fox News, NPR, in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.