I was talking to a communications and publicity expert yesterday and found myself using the phrase, "go where the energy is," a few times. He noticed it too, and was struck by it. He suggested it might make for a nice story or book idea. We talked briefly about what going with the energy means and looks like and how I have applied this in my writing and business life. Here is a brief post that captures the gist of the concept.
Part of being an optimistic, glass is half-full, kind of person is disappointment. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it is true. When we are optimistic, we believe that great things can and should happen. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. Optimists feel disappointment more than do pessimists.
Even so, I think that seeing the glass as half-full is an advantage because it allows us to be ready and open for more possibilities. And it is more pleasant - for us and for those with whom we interact.
We can blindly move through the world hoping for the best or we can be more targeted and improve our odds of being delighted. This is where going with the energy comes in.
Going with the energy means noticing and approaching situations or people that are drawn to us or the situation. For example, when I did my motorcycle book tour around the country a few years ago, I went to the towns where my blog readers had volunteered to help get the word out about my book reading events. As a result I did not go to LA, San Francisco or New York, the top three places most authors go on their book tour. I went where the energy was, not where it was not.
This also applies to my work as a consultant. I talk to a lot of people and it is my job to offer and sell consulting services. If I treated every lead and every prospect the same, I would be chasing a lot of cold avenues and suffering from more disappoinment and less success. When I go where the energy is, I can create a strong partnership with clients and deliver the services they seek. It is a win-win.
And this applies to managers at work, too. How often do we ram through projects or decisions or feel like we have to bribe people to attend meetings or training sessions? Go where the energy is, not where it is not. I was a director of OD many years back and I remember offering a set of services to my fellow department leaders. A few came to me immediately and asked for help and support and we did great work together. I did not waste my energy on the departments that would only engage in these services if they were forced or told it was mandatory.
Ditto with my coaching services. Like Marshall Goldsmith, I do not waste my time coaching the uncoachable - those people who do not really want to be coached and who are not open to making changes in how they lead.
How does GO WHERE THE ENERGY IS apply to your work and life? Don't waste time, energy, and positivity by chasing after people or projects that are running in the opposite direction. Take note of the people who are drawn to your work or messages - see and respond to those who are enrolled in your projects or passions. Be grateful for the energy that people share in your direction and on your behalf.