Energy might not be a tangible thing, but it can be felt throughout a person’s life. It certainly can be felt in a business, and sometimes it needs to be turned around.
Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core by Bruce D. Schneider, a life coach, tells the story of when he is brought in to help a failing company turn around. Bruce quickly notices that Richard, the company’s owner, is setting a downcast and negative tone for his employees.
The company, once thriving, is beset by office politics, a losing trajectory and looks headed for the end unless drastic action is taken.
Schneider writes about recognizing seven different energy levels and how some leaders create positive energy and how some create negative energy. Both permeate through a business and can have major impacts.
I won’t spoil what those seven different energy levels are or how they can be improved or changed, but this is a story that should resonate for anybody who’s worked in an office. The characters are well-sketched and each one presents different challenges for Richard as he tries, with Bruce’s prodding, to get them in line and save the business.
The story itself is well-written. Though the ending is telegraphed early in the book, it’s an enjoyable journey to see how the company reached its destination. Not to sound cliche but there are twists and turns and the characters get more and more interesting as the story unfolds. You begin to understand how the characters became what they are and, even though they exhibit some onerous behavior, you begin to cheer for them as they move back into being team players and productive parts of a cohesive unit.
As you might have guessed by now, this book is not about a metalcasting facility and does not have many obvious ties to the industry.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant to metalcasting.
The principles of a healthy business and healthy energy are universal. It’s hard to be successful and profitable if nobody’s working together, and if they have to try it becomes a challenge. Leaders, whether in the boardroom, the office or on the floor set the tone for their employees. That’s true in any industry.
Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core is not a necessary read, but if you feel like something’s off with your corporate culture, it will help you find solutions and keep you entertained.