The Job Of A Leader
The primary purpose of every leader is to recharge the workforce each day. It may sound cheerleader-ish, but when you think about the amount of energy required to do a job, it makes sense for leaders to make sure that their employees have the energy or fuel necessary to perform. If you're just looking for an average performance, this may not apply. But if you want your employees to provide discretionary effort—if you want them to actually care about their work, they need to have the energy to do that. If you want them to perform at a high level, which includes working with others, being innovative, and creating options with fewer resources, having enough energy is essential.
This drain of energy is really mental fatigue, brought about by what I call vampires of the workplace. Encounters with difficult customers or difficult co-workers, a mismatch between the needs of the job and the skills of the employee, a lack of recognition in the workplace—these all add up to a feeling of chronic fatigue that can waylay even your best employees.
As a leader, you can, and should, take on situations like these with the express intent of re-fueling your employees.
The first step in recharging the workforce is to be observant. I always say that good leaders are always looking for trouble, meaning that they are out of their office, talking with employees, uncovering small problems before they become big ones.