A few days ago I enjoyed the opportunity to have breakfast with Tom Farrell, the President and CEO of Dominion Power, and introduced him as the keynote speaker at a Northern Virginia Technology Council Titans event.
Farrell’s world is fascinating – he manages a complex business with many moving parts where the stakes of performance are high. While the daily challenges Farrell and I face are different, the more I know about him the more I realize he and I both want the same thing- energy for all. Farrell measures energy in megawatts (a portfolio of 24,600 megawatts of generation to be exact!) while I measure energy in employee morale and company performance.
Farrell says, “The planning part is critically important. We not only build big things, but we also have to build the right big things. And when we build them, we spend billions and billions of dollars and expect the facilities to operate for at least 60 years.” He went on to say, “Forecasting the future – no matter how smart you are – nearly guarantees an encounter with error. But you have to do the best you can, with the best information available, and run the data through every imaginable scenario. So, we have to look ahead all the time and posit the possibilities. And we have to be disciplined, but also open-minded and nimble.”
Planning for energy that powers the device you’re reading this on, and planning for energy that lifts your workplace and everyone around you to new heights, are very different processes. However, both require a plan. When leaders consciously attend to every individual’s needs for development and communicate a compelling plan of action, their people will step forward with clarity, commitment, and energy to make it happen. Experience and research show that great solutions to organizational problems start with leaders who inspire trust and communicate effectively. The more fully employees are aware of an organization’s direction, the more they will align their own choices in that direction. In the end, leaders at every level can choose to adjust their mental stances, calibrate their hearts, and tap into their full leadership potential to ENERGIZE their enterprise.