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Energy Leadership ™

Mastering your ability to understand and shift your own energy


Developed by Bruce D. Schneider, founder of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), energy leadership refers to your ability to understand and shift your own energy, hence affecting both how you show up in a given situation and how you are perceived by others.  Your energy leadership correlates directly to your capacity to inspire and motivate yourself and others to take action.

Energy Leadership is based on two very different types of energy — anabolic and catabolic. Anabolic processes are ones in which our body builds and repairs tissues. Catabolic processes involve breaking down tissue to replenish depleted energy levels in the body.  Both types of energy are a fundamental part of human life. 

This framework uses the term anabolic energy to refer to energy that is nurturing, expanding, healing and growth-oriented, and catabolic energy to refer to energy that is draining, resisting and contracting.

When you function using anabolic energy, you function with more awareness and are better able to move forward in a constructive manner. While catabolic energy can sometimes give a surge of energy to deal with a stressful situation, it also limits your vision of the situation in which you find yourself, and hence the options you are able to see. Operating from catabolic energy can have short-term benefits, but long-term reliance on catabolic energy wears us down emotionally, mentally and physically. It can also be particularly challenging for those around us. Increasing your levels of anabolic energy will change how you experience life and how others experience you.

This framework is based on seven levels of energy – seven different lenses or filters through which you can experience the world. We can access all seven levels, and in fact, we move up and down the levels multiple times a day. Each level is associated with a core thought, emotion and action. Developing awareness of the level from which you are operating in any given moment, allows you to make a conscious choice about how you would like to respond.

An Example to Illustrate the Seven Levels of Energy

Last week you and your teammate Anne agreed on a division of labour regarding the drafting of an important report.  The report is due in two days. When you called Anne this morning to check in on progress before meeting with the entire team this afternoon, she told you that her son Bobby had been sick all week. She went on to say that she had been meaning to call you to tell you that she would not be able to write her sections of the report. 

Level 1: Why is this always happening to you? There is no way you can get the report done on time. You feel completely overwhelmed. You feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over your head.


Level 2: You are furious with Anne for not getting in touch with you sooner. She does this all the time. You also feel angry and frustrated with yourself for not checking in with her sooner.


Level 3: You feel disappointed that, once again, Anne has left you holding the bag. Then you remind yourself that her son has some serious health challenges. You think about how important it is for your organization to get the report out by the deadline. If you cancel everything else that you have to do tomorrow, you believe that you can get it done on time. You buckle down and get the report done. It is not the best report you have ever written, but you made the deadline and the report is good enough.


Level 4: Although you are concerned with getting the report done, your priority is to make sure that Anne feels okay.  You take the time to find out how Bobby is today, and how she is feeling. You ask what you can do to help. You reassure her that you will find a way to get the report done, and by doing so, let her know that she can forget about the report and focus on doing whatever she needs to do to take care of Bobby. 


Level 5: At the team meeting you explain the situation. You help the team understand why this report is critical and ask for ideas about how to get the best report possible done in the time available. Together you come up with a great plan that draws on the expertise and ability of everyone on the team.  Because of everyone’s individual contributions, you pull the report together into a coherent whole. The final product is a good one and the whole team feels great about both the result, and how they all pulled together to get it done.


Level 6: Everything is unfolding as it needs to. It will all come together in the end. You sit back for a moment and allow yourself to appreciate Anne and all the other members of the team for who they are and what they bring. It is good to remember that we are all connected, and how good it will be when Bobby is better and Anne is able to fully participate again.


Level 7: You experience a moment of oneness with the members of your team.



* An interpretation of the copyrighted work of Bruce D. Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

There is no "good" or "bad" energy per se.  The energy found in each level has different inherent advantages and disadvantages.  Human beings have access to all seven levels and move up and down the levels as we encounter different experiences during the day.

Your leadership capacity can be strengthened with raised awareness and knowledge about how to work with the various levels of energy available to you. This understanding allows you to make a conscious choice about how to respond to a given situation rather than to react automatically. By shifting your perceptions of yourself, your work and the people around you, it is possible to create a more rewarding and fulfilling life.


Through the coaching process, I support each client to develop a personally effective style of leadership – one that creates the type of changes that lead to a more fulfilling and productive life. 

Energy Leadership Index Assessment


I work with a diagnostic tool called the Energy Leadership Index Assessment™ (ELI) developed by iPEC. Based on an 84-item questionnaire done online, this attitudinal assessment provides insight into perceptions, behaviours and overall leadership abilities. The ELI measures your current ability to motivate yourself and those around you to take constructive and sustainable action (energetic profile), as well as how you currently react to stressful situations (energetic stress reaction).

Although a tool of this type is by no means a crystal ball, it has proven to be amazingly effective at providing insights into an individual’s inherent potential, as well as the obstacles that they are currently experiencing. The ELI is a snapshot in time that provides clients with a baseline of their current performance, it is not a predictor of the future.  During the two-hour debrief session, I analyse the results with the client and together we develop a common understanding of their energetic profile and energetic stress reaction.  Based on this understanding, we define the goals for the coaching process. 

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