Updated: Jan 2
The people in your company really ARE the most valuable resource. Unfortunately, business owners unintentionally create low energy work environments that create unnecessary strife. Today, I’ll show you how you can intentionally create a high-energy work environment that’s needed to grow your business.
There are eight critical mechanical components of business. There are seven levels of core energy. I’m creating a series of posts called Business Mechanics & Mindset. You can read about these topics in more detail in my book entitled, “Business Mechanics & Mindset: How Your Thoughts Create or Sabotage Your Business Success”. Today’s post is the fourth of this series entitled Core Energy™ People.
Before I go too far, I’ve created another post that you may want to read before you read this one. It is entitled “What is Core Energy?”. It explains the seven levels of Core Energy™ in detail that will be mentioned in this entire series.
If you want to watch a video of this exact same topic, go here: https://youtu.be/bi-n9gY46PY
(Core Energy™ is a registered trademark of iPEC and all Core Energy™ concepts described in this blog post are derived from iPEC’s Core Energy Coaching™ program.)
I left a management position in a Fortune 100 company, to start my own business. I had a two prior management positions: 1) leading technicians; and 2) leading salespeople. I decided that leading people was not for me, so my business was as a lone wolf consultant. I did partner with several others, but always as a 1099 contractor. In year three of my business, I realized that I couldn’t do it alone, so I hired my first employee. To make a long story short, I ended up hiring several more employees after that to grow a 30-employee engineering and construction firm. The punchline is that people are not the problem, but rather the solution. After I sold my firm and now coach several small business owners, most of the coaching topics revolve around people-issues.
In my business coaching practice, I’ve discovered that there are four critical areas in leading people in any small business that you must get right:
Organization Structure: What official leadership structure will work most efficiently at accomplishing company goals.
Hiring: How to add the best employees and have them producing as quickly as possible.
Workplace Energy: The culture that you foster as the company leader.
Leadership: How you delegate and train culture affirming leaders.
In previous posts in this series, I’ve tried to illustrate how Core Energy™ interacts with each of these areas. The topic of PEOPLE is too deep to do that in this short blog post. Instead, I want to talk about how you improve your people regardless of which level they may be at in your organization.
The Victim – Level 1 – I Lose
A victim is an individual who constantly looks outside of themselves for the cause of the problems they face. Outsiders often see these folks as negative, doom, and gloom people.
The Fighter – Level 2 – I Win, You Lose
The fighter finds fault with anything you say. They come off as defensive instead of collaborative. This can be helpful when you need to challenge the status quo but annoying any other time.
The Survivor – Level 3 – I Win
The survivor will be one of the most affable people in your company. They will do what you tell them to do. They get along with people, avoid conflict, and are relatively successful. They shy away from leadership roles and will struggle when forced to change because things are fine the way they are.
The Lover – Level 4 – You Win
The lover is a people-person who puts other before themselves. They enjoy serving others. While their focus on building others up is certainly helpful, they may also take many emotional detours that can be destructive.
The Opportunist – Level 5 – Win/Win
The opportunist is rare and highly valuable to any entrepreneur. The opportunist is constantly looking for ways to improve processes, products, services, and anything associated with their job. If you want a self-starter who is self-motivated, an opportunist is the way to go. In most companies, opportunists are known as rainmakers. They create much more value than they cost. Their primary challenge is that they can struggle to focus on any one task because their mind is thinking about so many different alternatives.
How do you shift Core Energy Levels of Your Employees?
I’ve just described five Core Energy™ levels. In these descriptions, I labeled each individual as a certain type of person. That’s not quite accurate. The truth is that we all show up at various energy levels depending on the situation, our personality, and our reactions. The key to effectively leading your people is to shift as many as you can to as high of an energy level as possible.
Here's how you do it…
Level 1: If your employee is experiencing a “victim” mindset, it’s helpful to acknowledge the legitimacy of the cause of their victim thinking. This is NOT an endorsement of an untruth. It is finding the legitimate cause of their victimhood and confirming it. Then you ask your employee to paint a picture of a more positive outcome. Then define a path to achieve that outcome.
Example: Vicky is a server at a small restaurant. She’s convinced that she’s getting the customers who tip the least. The hostess, Sara, must not like her.
Vicky comes to the restaurant manager, Stan and complains, “I never get high-tipping customers like the rest of the servers. I’m tired of the way Sara is always giving me low-tipping customers and others are making more money.”
Stan responds, “Vicki, it’s important that you have the opportunity to make as much as other servers. The fact that your tips are less than the others is disappointing. Your disappointment is perfectly understandable. What can be done to ensure you have the same opportunity as other servers to earn tips?”