The Energy Map

Directing Your Focus To Move Forward

By Craig W. Ross

As we navigate events in our personal and professional lives, we are always expending energy. We also have a finite amount of energy and, depending how we channel our energy, we either use our time (and energy) wisely or waste it. In order to explain how this occurs, we rely on the following 3 Mind Factors:

  1. We can only focus on one thing at a time
  2. The mind cannot avoid a “don’t”
  3. We go toward our focus

Because we go toward our focus, and our energy follows our focus, we are always headed in one direction on the Energy Map.

What is the Energy Map?

The Energy Map represents 100 percent of our energy, time and potential. It has a front side and a back side. We are always on one side or the other, moving forward or backward. This operating system determines every result we generate. While on the front side of the Energy Map, your focus is on what is working, as well as what can be learned from mistakes that were made, and solutions to existing problems.

Conversely, when you’re on the back side of the Energy Map, your focus is on what isn’t working. When your team gets stuck on the back side of an issue, it can lead to individuals placing blame on others and dwelling on the team’s weaknesses.

This does not mean that you are never allowed to be on the back side of an issue. In fact, it’s necessary to identify problems so you can figure out how to solve them as a team. The Energy Map is an authentic approach to address all issues openly and honestly and where all information is accessed and used in such a way that decisions can be made to move things forward productively.

Assessing and Aligning Your Focus

As a leader, it’s important to assess and align your focus to direct energy more effectively. Charting your direction with the Energy Map allows you to see clearly whether you are using your focus and energy to solve problems. As you think about the Energy Map, ask yourself these questions to help build your awareness:

  • What personal and cultural operating system is being used in my organization?
  • Does this operating system help people maintain a strong focus on the company’s mission and values?
  • Is my company’s operating system aligned with its business model?
  • Does my organization’s operating system enhance or diminish the ability to get things done?

Getting to the Front Side

In order to direct your team’s energy toward the front side of the energy map, it’s important to look at the identified issues and how they can be solved and what can be learned from those events. To transform mistakes into resources, ask the following questions:

  • What could we have done differently that we will want to use as a lesson in the future?
  • What have we discovered about the team and ourselves that makes us stronger?
  • What approaches have worked well for us in the past?
  • As we move forward, how will we know we are on track?
  • How will we measure our progress in this area?

When you learn to track your focus using the Energy Map, you’ll find it’s easier to successfully direct yourself and others to find solutions for what isn’t working, and leverage strategies that are working. By doing this, you create a more productive—and healthier—work environment.

First published in The CEO Magazine (Jan 2016)

For more on the Energy Map, watch these videos:

Energize your team to deliver a better result by leveraging the Energy Map.


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