Energy Leeches and how to stop them.
Over the holidays I was talking with my 87-year-old aunt about a childhood business she had collecting and distributing leeches to people in her small town in Sweden.
As I understand it she did pretty good at it and even hired an employee (my mom) to expand her market and increase profit.
The logic back then was that a good leech would get rid of a lot of bad blood and if you drained enough bad blood you would eventually get better.
But, the problem with too many leeches is that a person can lose so much blood that they become weak, faint or even die.
How does this relate to your organization?
It’s easy to get consumed with too many things that we think are important but completely drain our energy reserves. Let me ask a few questions.
If you answered yes to any of these then you may have some Energy Leeches causing you trouble.
How can you get rid of Energy Leeches and still run an effective organization?
Here are 7 steps you can take to get rid of leeches and restore your energy levels.
#1. List the items/activities that consume your time that you do not enjoy.
#2. Rank them in order from the worst to least.
#3. Indicate whether the item/activity is something that is really important.
#4. If the item is not important, extract it and immediately place it in the kill jar.
#5 If the item is important then find 1-2 staff members who could do a great job and would enjoy doing it.
#6 If you can’t find a staff member who could do it then find a consultant or contractor to help you manage that component of the business.
#7 Begin to offload each energy leech one by one until you notice a change.
Try this exercise once a year and see what happens to both your personal productivity and the effectiveness of your organization.
P.S. I've been told there is still a market for leeches as pets and for certain medical procedures. I wonder if my Aunt wants back into the business? :)
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Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.