Every leader desires an energized team.  They want a group of individuals truly excited to come to work each day to passionately accomplish their goals.  After all, a leader can’t achieve the Purpose and Vision of an organization on their own.  

The big question is… what drives energy within a team?  First and foremost I believe it comes down to a Compelling Purpose. Southwest Airlines’ purpose of “Open the skies to everyone, not just the wealthy”, is far more compelling than just “Moving people from point A to point B via the air”. Their employees can’t wait to get after their purpose every day. They are energized by it.

This is a top foundational priority of every leader, whether articulating the purpose of the entire organization or a newly created team for a specific project.  Build your model on the foundation of a great purpose and everything else will follow! 

Once that foundation is set, Servant Leaders constantly remind people why their work is critical and that without them achievement of the purpose is not possible.  For example, a person sweeping the floor at NASA is enabling discovery of new frontier in outer space. If the leader has not connected the dots for this janitor, he/she might just feel they are removing dirt day after day, and not be energized by their work. Enabling discovery is much more compelling than sweeping up dirt!

Additionally, other Servant Leader practices that I have found effective and important in energizing a team include:

  • Be present with your team! Listen intently and ask thoughtful questions.
  • Provide the necessary coaching and guidance when needed. Leave them motivated by what is possible.
  • As competency increases give more responsibility and latitude to make decisions. This builds trust which drives energy.
  • Reward innovation. 
  • Recognize failures as learning opportunities.
  • Provide encouragement, recognition, and gratitude for effort and results at every opportunity!

Servant leaders understand that things don’t revolve around them, rather it is all about the team! The leader’s role is to nurture an environment that builds enthusiasm and energy around the work being done. The level of energy within the team rests squarely on the leader’s shoulders.

Bonus: All these principles apply to your family as well. Children want to know how they add value to the family, they want to be allowed to bring their own personality and creativity to the tasks, and they want to be fully recognized and appreciated for their role! 

What are some unique ways that you energize your team?


So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. 

Ecclesiastes 3:22