Sustainable Leadership – ‘The Energy Channel’

I got to see the evergreen Bruce Springsteen (now 73) play in Dublin this weekend and even got into the pit to be upfront and soak up the atmosphere. I was in there among lifelong fans who sang every word of every song in unison with someone they have grown up with.

I read on one article at the weekend that many people learned more about life from some of Bruce’s songs than they had retained from 5 years in second level education!

The whole experience got me thinking about the transmission of energy in leadership. As humans we communicate and absorb information across two main channels, the ‘data channel’ and the ‘energy channel’.

Many leaders only communicate with their teams across the ‘data channel’. They stick to safety and speak from PowerPoint slides and scripts which fail to engage. Anyone can learn to sing a song and play music, it’s another thing in how Bruce and his band connect with their audience across the ‘energy channel’.

This created this emotional energetic connection with the audience as the energy radiated from him. The inspirational leaders are rare, they speak from the heart and connect. This is what people want today more than anything today in their work environment.

Leaders need to be clear on what they stand for, their beliefs and values and transparent in their messaging. Great communications requires great practice. Everything in Bruce’s show was a well-rehearsed routine yet came across with authenticity and vulnerability.

The workforce of today want to be energized and feel connected. They want to feel listened, empowered, inspired and have a sense of belonging with their leaders.

Watching the Bruce show, I sensed people are desperately seeking a spiritual connection they are not finding in their work, their religion and their personal lives.

This void of Leadership creates huge opportunity for those brave enough to embrace the challenge and face their vulnerability. Bruce had to test out routines, drop the one’s that flopped and experiment until he found out what worked.

Bruce has also sustained his appeal over 6 decades – Sustainable Leadership is tougher but better than the rest!

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