June 18, 2018
According to Bruce D. Schneider, founder of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), a person’s self-perception is influenced by his or her thoughts and energy. Leaders functioning at a high level of energy have better outcomes than those that do not. At any given point in the day, leaders function at one or more of the following seven levels of conscious energy:
Level One: Victim.
Leaders in Level One work in crisis mode. They are always dealing with
problems instead of solutions. Level One leaders are poor communicators and do not have
the ability to inspire and motivate their team. At Level One, leaders are not genuinely passionate or committed to the company’s mission.
Level Two: Fighter.
Leaders who resonate at Level Two are micromanagers who lead employees to dissatisfaction. They are authoritarians with a superiority complex. These leaders believe that they can do everything better than everyone else. Level Two leaders are judgmental, bossy, and condescending. They put their needs above the needs of their employees and do not give credit to the contributions of their team. Level Two leaders believe that they own the employees who work for them and all their work.
Level Three: Rationalizer.
Leaders at Level Three resonate with anabolic energy (constructive, rejuvenating, and sustainable). They are positive and productive—living in the world of solutions instead of problems. When a challenge arises, they will move to resolve it confidently and tactfully by responding with logic, instead of reacting with emotion.
Level Four: Caregiver.
Leaders with Level Four energy form a deep connection with their team. They are nurturing, respectful, and have a high level of integrity. Level Four leaders are concerned about how decisions will affect your company and employees. Staff members respect them and see Level Four leaders as trustworthy and loyal.
Level Five: Opportunist.
Level Five leaders are powerful, inspiring, and skilled at capitalizing on whatever opportunities present themselves. They tell staff members exactly what is expected from them and, because of this, employees deliver the desired results. Level Five leaders expect employees to have a positive attitude, be a team player, and be a high-level performer.
Level Six: Visionary.
Leaders in Level Six are role models that others look up to as wise, kind, and fair. They seem to know everything that is going on at your company without asking. Level Six leaders can access their intuition to make decisions and generate ideas. They are powerful yet humble and are always looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Level Six leaders tend to share in projects instead of fully delegating them, which connects these leaders to your company and team. They welcome feed- back from team members and are willing to do anything that they would request from someone else.
Level Seven: Creator.
There are no examples of leaders or companies that resonate at Level Seven because they do not exist. Leaders that learn to tap into Level Seven, even for a few minutes, can engage their natural genius ability to consciously create the world they envision.
At Level Five, people try to find opportunities from challenging experiences. At Level Six, they see opportunities in all experiences. At Level Seven, people’s creative ability is constant and any of the other levels can be used to create anything desired.
Everyone shifts through the energy levels at any given point in reaction to situations, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, values, and stress. Team members need to be aware of how they respond to circumstances to learn how to control their triggers. Awareness makes you conscious of why you think,
feel, and act a certain way, while recognizing how situations affect your thoughts, emotions, and actions, and knowing how they relate to your previous experiences, values, and beliefs.
The culture of your company or its spoken and unspoken policies and motivations are behind what leaders and employees believe, think, and feel. Your company’s culture can be observed in interactions and meetings—are people interested or bored, active participants or not, welcome to challenge ideas or accepting of what they are told? Anabolic cultures use conversations to drive awareness, engagement, and opportunity; while catabolic (destructive and draining) conversations involve blame, focus on what is going wrong and why, and will rarely end in a solution.