Energy Coaching. Releasing the Genius in Leaders and Teams

"Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way."

William James, The Writings of William James: A Comprehensive Edition

Energy - the 'fuel' that drives life, the universe and everything.  Including organisations 

Nearly three decades ago we introduced a brand new concept on how to increase energy and performance to a room of three hundred senior bankers.

Of course we were nervous.  This was an experiment.  Fortunately it worked out well.  The bank soon became the best company to work for in South Africa.

Since then we have shared our revolutionary approach to coaching thousands of leaders and teams around the world. 

But don't take my word for it!

I will share our key method so that you may conduct your own coaching experiment and decide for yourself whether there is a novel case for repeatability and overall validity.

The Energy Hypothesis 

Our energy coaching hypothesis is based on the following systemic assumptions.

Every organisation is a complex and dynamic system that can gain or lose energy over time.

We define system energy as the capacity to think and act intelligently in real time.  This energy is fluid.  It can be both measured and generated.

The primary source of system energy is leadership. To increase energy you have two choices.  Change leadership behaviour or change your leaders.  Period.

High energy organisations are more agile, innovative and successful than low energy organisations.

Energy Coaching is the method to show leaders and teams how to change their behaviour and increase their energy and performance.

The Energy Science.  The 3 E's 

An individual, a team or even an organisation are all mini universes in their own right.  And as such they are all governed by the laws of physics and the 3 E's.

These are:


The universe is comprised of energy which manifests in many ways.  With people it manifests in feelings, thoughts, words and deeds.


Entropy is the natural loss of energy that affects every system from atoms and stars to leaders and their teams.


The evolutionary algorithm is the real genius behind the continuous evolution in our universe.  It is the 'brain of the firm'.  It allows planets and life to emerge.  As well as intelligence and consciousness.  It is the antidote to entropy.

It is the 'software' that uses energy to miraculously allow complexity to emerge from simplicity.  (It allows you to read and interpret this sentence for example.)

Our energy coaching methodology is based firmly on these three E's.  Coaches ignore them at their peril.

Measure and generate energy - the role of the Energy Coach 

Measuring Energy - Potential and Kinetic

It is a common axiom in the organisational world that 'you get what you measure.'

Thus if you want energy to drive performance you need to measure energy.

It is important to remember as a coach that there are two types of energy in people.  Potential energy and kinetic energy.

Potential energy is a measure of your skill, experience and character that you bring to the job.  We use the GCIndex for both individuals and teams.  It is a practical tool that measures five key proclivities or behavioural preferences linked to thinking and action.  (The key components of energy defined above.) 

Unlike all other instruments we have used, it provides a measure of available energy in each proclivity - an essential dimension for the energy coach.

Kinetic energy is a measure of energy in action, or the conversion of potential energy into action in the real world.

We use our own two measures here.  The first is Organisational Energy which measures the available energy in the system, division or team.

The second is our Kinetic 360 which we have customised to link to both the GCIndex and the Organisational Energy. This measures how the individual is seen to perform on the job.

The Energy Coach now has three essential data sets.  Potential energy.  Organisational energy.  And individual kinetic energy.  Our view is straightforward.  These datasets make the invisible, visible.  Coaching without these is tantamount to groping in the dark!

An example is shown below.

Generating Energy.  Role of the Energy Coach 

Introducing the Energy Fractal.  The Primary Tool of the Energy Coach

William James, the father of American Psychology, declared that 99.99% of our lives are governed by habitual actions.  In effect we become imprisoned, hoist by our own petard.  We designed the energy fractal as a key to release us from our self induced incarceration.

The energy fractal incorporates the three E's.  Energy. Entropy. Evolution.

The energy fractal is a customised new simple habitual action, that with disciplined repetition has the in-built and natural capacity to generate new levels of emergent energy and complexity.

The energy fractal is a type of hologram of the future, built into the present.

An effective energy fractal has the power, as William James predicted, to change neural networks, to generate new levels of energy, and to reverse entropy or loss of energy.

The energy fractal takes full advantage of the evolutionary algorithm, which guarantees evolution wherever there is repetition, variation and selection.

No more theory!  Your invitation to use the Energy Fractal in your own world 

A major problem in the world of psychology and behavioural science is repeatability and validity.

Because this matters I would like to invite you to test the power of the energy fractal for yourself in your own coaching world.

Here is one of the favourite energy fractals we have used successfully with many, many people.

Listening skills are an essential step on the road to personal wisdom and effectiveness.  Many leaders however have a pattern of behaviour where they tend to be impatient and interrupt.  Here is the energy fractal we recommend.

"When you have a conversation with someone, relax, listen and do not interrupt.  Wait until the person has finished speaking - however long it takes - then count to three and ask a question."  (This shows you have been listening.)

This powerful but simple energy fractal has both a first order and second order impact.

At a first order level the leader improves observable listening skills.

At a second order level:

  • The leader becomes more composed and less agitated to interrupt and prove themselves smarter than the other person
  • The leader gains access to new knowledge and information
  • The leader learns more about the other person
  • Others see the leader as more patient and wise and a good listener
  • Others become less stressed, more coherent, more intelligent
  • Overall the interaction is wiser, smarter, more innovative and more useful.

And all this from just one energy fractal!

A final note 

Remember that the true power of the energy fractal is in the fact that it taps into the power of the universal algorithm.  As long as you repeat the new energy fractal  with disciplined regularity, the evolutionary impact is fully guaranteed.  

The world is too complex to manage at the level of observed and experienced complexity.  The energy fractal is the simple action that gives you the power and access to influence and generate new levels of complexity.

Should you decide to try the listening energy fractal just 'do it', have fun and nature will add its own magic.

Madmen or Economists? Our Existential Problem wit...
The Magic and Power of Being a Great Listener


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Sunday, 03 July 2022
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

360 Degree Assessment Instructions