How to Create Dissatisfaction that Energizes

This is a great post from LEADERSHIP FREAK

Most leaders are too quick to rush to solutions.

Begin with the nightmare, not the dream. Dissatisfaction that energizes begins with an unacceptable present.

The place beyond the hill isn’t worth the climb when the valley feels fine.

one way to fix a problem is seize an opportunity.png

Dissatisfaction, not dreams, is the first step toward change. But, don’t beat people with dissatisfaction.

Insults don’t motivate:

Don’t insult the people you expect to build the future.

Leaders who blame their team for an unacceptable present are insulting the people they led to build it. Insults may energize people with big egos for the short-term, but insults over the long-term drain and demoralize.

If you must point fingers, point them at yourself. You led the team into the present situation. Own it.

Missed opportunity:

Missed opportunity is the dissatisfaction that energizes.

It’s true, you must solve problems. But, a constant diet of problems makes people sick. Successful leaders use the problem of missed opportunity to energize and guide change.

Dissatisfaction that energizes – over the long-term – is about missed opportunity, not failure. The issue is, you could be more, not you suck.

Opportunity energizes.


Define opportunity. Definition determines outcome.

Assemble the team and create a compelling opportunity statement that addresses the problem you want to solve. Opportunity statements must:

  1. Go beyond problem-solving.
  2. Express values and touch hearts.
  3. Fulfill meaningful purpose and fuel energy.
  4. Provide compelling goals.
  5. Build on strengths.
  6. Galvanize teams.
  7. Explain short-term wins and include rewards.

Focus on opportunity more than fixing.

One way to fix a problem is seize an opportunity.

Read John Kotter’s book, “Leading Change,” if you want to go deeper.

What’s important about creating successful change within organizations?




You’re a black hole, if all you think about is what you need from others.

Great leaders give more than they take.

great leaders give more than they take

4 things that drain people:

  1. Expectation without appreciation. You aren’t thankful for behaviors you expect. “We don’t thank people for doing their job.”
  2. Direction without respect. “I don’t care what you have to do, just get it done.”
  3. Nit-picking without honoring hard work.
  4. Showing up when there are problems but not celebrating successes. “Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out.” Ken Blanchard.

Energizing goes beyond paychecks and plaques.

7 ways to put in more than you take out:

  1. Make a list of ways you can pour into your teammates. Engage in at least one act of free generosity every day.
  2. Agree on what matters today, tomorrow, and next week. People want to do what matters. In order to succeed at what matters, you must first know what matters.
  3. Learn from others. “What do you think?”
  4. Hold yourself and others to high standards with tenacity and kindness. Define and reach for high standards together.
  5. Lead with heart. Connect results to purpose. Explain how they’re making things better in view of organizational purpose. “When you open a door for a customer, you take us where we want to go,” for example.
  6. Focus on solutions more than problems. Examine problems long enough to understand them, but focus on making things better. When things go wrong, ask:
    • What are we learning?
    • What do we need to stop doing?
    • What will you do differently next time?
  7. Make people feel important. If you don’t know what makes people feel important, ask, “What makes you feel important?”

Bonus: Forgive sincere failure. Confront negligence. Give second chances.


From one of my favorite bloggers LEADERSHIP FREAK comes these great insights-STEVE.

BY LEADERSHIP FREAK (a.k.a. Dan Rockwell)

Foolish leaders believe they can take more out of life than they put in. Well, maybe it isn’t foolishness. Maybe it’s arrogance. Only God never runs dry.

Normal people know that everyone who pours out more than they pour in goes dry.

 everyone who pours out more than they pour in


Your energy-tank is your responsibility. Don’t expect teammates to fill it.

12 refueling strategies:

Do you enjoy hanging around someone whose energy-tank is almost empty or almost full?

  1. Schedule two or three refueling times into your day, every day, even if you aren’t exhausted. Keep your energy-tank closer to full than empty.
    • Call someone to say thanks.
    • Make a list of things you enjoy about work.
    • Step outside for a short stroll.
    • Turn the lights off and close your eyes until your heart rate and breathing slows. Sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
  2. Become a sprinter. Push yourself in short bursts, then refuel. Refueling is replacing energy, not just doing nothing.
  3. Serve because you want to, not because someone else wants you to.
  4. Stop taking responsibility for other people’s problems. Be available and helpful. Listen without solving. Chronic fixers are frustrated and exhausted.
  5. Evaluate yourself by how well you energize others.
  6. Commit to use only positive language for an hour, a morning, or even a whole day.
  7.  Say, “I’m glad I ______, even if it was difficult.” Give yourself a pat on the back.
  8. Avoid energy vampires as much as you can. Hang with people who fuel your energy-tank. Emulate their behaviors.
  9. Pretend less. Doesn’t it feel energizing to go home and stop pretending?
  10. Serve those who enjoy being served.
  11. Enjoy returns. It feels great to serve in ways that fulfill your purpose.
  12. Start that project that’s hanging over your head.

How do you refuel your energy-tank?

How might leaders energize others?


A superb blog for transformational leaders is LEADERSHIP FREAK. Here is a sample. – STEVE



Ask people to talk about what they’re good at and their eyes light up. For some, the topic of their strength is so awkward that it takes them time to get their bearings. Eventually, everyone smiles.

People light up when they talk about their power.

Words transform us.

I often ask audiences to gather in the aisles and talk to each other about what they’re good at. It begins quietly and becomes boisterous. Smiles flash. When I ask them to return to their seats – so I can talk – they just keep talking.

4 powers of words:

Words establish focus. Your mind thinks about what you talk about. Whoever controls the topic of conversation controls the mind. Exceptions include those who are disinterested and those who have personal agendas.
Words are magnets. You go where you talk both in attitude and behavior. Negative environments result from constantly talking about problems.
Words are destinations. What you talked about yesterday, in large part, is where you are today.
Words create us. Everything you talk about is part of who you become. At least three religious traditions celebrate the power of words to create, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

10 invitations to transformation:

If you want to change people, change what they talk about.

What are you good at?
How did you get so good at…?
How could I get good at…?
How are we winning?
What’s working?
What do you love about working here?
Tell me a story about someone who made a difference in your life.
Remind me of a time when you went beyond the call of duty to get something done.
What are you doing when you feel most successful?
How can we get you doing more of what you love?

Successful leaders influence what others talk about.

How might leaders use the power of words to transform themselves, others, and their organizations?