Ever feel energized by coming up with a cool new idea?
Or do you feel energized by completing a project?
For fans of Myers-Briggs, the introspective self-report questionnaire for sorting out differing psychological preferences, the most quantifiable of its characteristics is extroversion versus introversion — or “where you get your energy from.” Though I must say I was a bit shocked when I did research on the research behind Myers-Briggs; I learned that the data was not terribly credible.
The Gallup Strengths Finder assessment ranks you on 34 “strengths”. The theory being if you play to your strengths you will move forward faster and be more personally successful. As with Myers-Briggs, the data can be sketchy. However, it is fascinating to contemplate the top 5 strengths the survey will reveal to you and how you can focus on them to achieve greatness or at least (your) world domination.
According to the MBTI-school, extroverts get their energy from being with people; introverts get energized by being alone. Some of us can be energized by being in a group of people coming up with cool ideas. Others find energy reading a book or analyzing data.
Regardless of what MBTI tells you, you probably have a sense that you fall into one of those buckets more often than the other. Make note of it as that is your energy source.
If you work with a team, think about your team mates. Have you noticed where and when each member of the team “finds” his or her energy? Have you asked?
Gallup’s Strengths Finder
Based on a book written by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, StrengthsFinder is the theory that there are a certain number of “fixed universal personal-character attributes” sometimes called ‘talent themes’. By focusing on your strengths, you move forward faster.
For $10 you can take the quiz online and your top 5 strengths will “pop out”. Spend a bit more and you can get all 34 ranked. Every strength has a dark side. Activators get stuff done; however, they rankle people who do not have highly ranked activator attributes as “rushing”.
Spooky? Horoscope like? Maybe. The placebo effect is real. Use what you can, right?
Strategies to Harness Your Energy
Now that you have figured out what you think your strengths are (ha-ha or ask a trusted friend to tell you the truth!) — how do you use that to further your efforts?
Strategy is the overall campaign plan; tactics are the means to achieve the plan.
- Develop a plan to use your creativity at your highest energy point
- Plan your teams’ efforts to use their highest energy points
- Balance your team (if you can between introverts and extroverts) to make best use of each skill set/personality trait.
- Plan to use a large event like a trade show to get the team’s energy behind a new initiative, like creating a catalog of products, new literature pieces, or new displays and videos.
- Use an organizational change to re-vamp the website, launching the new website with the roll-out of the change (if possible).
- Plan your content marketing in trade journals for the whole year
- Work out a schedule with the journals & product managers
- Schedule around key events (trade shows or new product launches)
- Commit to the plan
Tactics to Find Your Energy (when slightly lost!)
Tactics are the day to day things you do to keep going, keep innovating, keeping to that schedule & strategy you worked so hard to develop at the beginning of the year.
- Use a strength from strengths finder. For example, I get completely energized when I analyze data. In that 3 o’clock slump, if I can find some data to review, slice, and dice, before I know it I’m re-energized. Weird but true.
- Start a 30 minute task. If you get energy from starting projects, pull out your planning tools and start planning. Pretty soon you’ll go from planning to executing (or getting the team to execute.
- Learn something new. Learners can “find” energy by learning something new. Now is the time to try that new program, app, or to find the new program or app that will make this year easier & better.
- Do a no-brainer. Expense reports? Cleaning off your desk? Filing your paperwork? When your mojo has left the building, sometimes doing mindless tasks will open up the creative flood gates. This is why Einstein worked in a patent office.