From our desks to yours

How to Use Energy Leadership to Turn the Big Quit into the Great Restart

Nov 8, 2021 | HR Services

Jeni Rulon Turning the Corner

Jeni Rulon, Program Manager of Leadership Development

As decision-makers, leaders, and business owners, we’re often overwhelmed.

We feel overwhelmed by responsibilities, by constantly fighting fires, or by focusing on problems. We feel frustrated that we don’t have the right team around us. And in today’s job market, nicknamed “the Big Quit,” we’re frustrated that we can’t retain the team members we have.

When we first start a business, a new role, or step into a leadership position, we have an expectation—an ideal image of the job. As time goes on, we attempt to make our reality match that expectation—which can be frustrating. But these overwhelming feelings don’t have to be the status quo. That’s where Energy Leadership™ comes into the picture.

Read on to discover how to improve your level of energy and transform your work experience—for yourself, and everyone on your team!

Be sure to sign up for our upcoming free webinar on the topic.

Energy Leadership: Turn the Big Quit into the Great Restart
November 16, 11 am (MST) | Register


What is Energy Leadership?

Bruce Schneider developed this approach to leadership to help people discover their default tendencies, beliefs, and perceptions. These are adopted over time, and ultimately shape people’s—and their businesses— success (or lack thereof).

Through energy leadership, we can actually re-create the ideal image of our business, role, and team. And we can see it reemerge as an energetic, successful, and engaging workplace for all—leaving those frustrations and overwhelming feelings behind.

There could not be a better time for a cultural shift in the workplace. For our team at Turning the Corner, it makes perfect sense to us that people are fleeing their jobs to seek out companies and leaders who will take better care of them. We’re seeing millions of people quitting their jobs and seeking companies that are supportive, trusting, and flexible—ultimately, work environments that would lead them to feel more deeply connected.

While many HR professionals are feeling the pressure of the Big Quit, our team sees a silver lining. We think this moment is a great opportunity for business owners to really evaluate how they are leading, and then make those necessary changes so their teams can thrive. So, forget the Great Resignation… bring on the Great Restart!


The difference between anabolic & catabolic energy

Like Einstein and many scientists have told us, everything in this universe— including us—is energy. We are energetic beings, and based on how we think, feel, and act, we are constantly experiencing and sharing either anabolic or catabolic energy throughout the day.

What’s the difference? Anabolic energy is rejuvenating, while catabolic energy is depleting.

Our bodies use catabolic energy to counteract stress. It brings out responses such as fight or flight, anger, frustration, and avoidance. It is draining, contracting, and resisting energy.

On the other hand, anabolic energy is the opposite. It is defined as the process by which the body regenerates and grows. Anabolic energy is expanding and re-fueling.


Connecting energy & leadership

So, what does this all have to do with leadership? Leaders who utilize a lot of catabolic energy control others. They tell others what to do—and how to do it. They don’t look at how their decisions impact the team. A catabolic leader keeps other people in  non-powerful positions, and then most likely complains to everyone around that “I can’t seem to find or retain good help,” and “no one does things as well as I do.”

On the other hand, an anabolic leader leads in a more powerful and supportive way. They don’t control and push people, rather, they inspire others with words, actions, and personal examples.

The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching broke down the different ways leaders use catabolic and anabolic energy:

Catabolic leadership

  • Manages by control
  • Delegates fully
  • Gives information
  • Self-assesses
  • Works in crisis mode
  • Disconnects emotionally
  • Uses left-brain analysis
  • Deals with problems
  • Utilizes personnel

Anabolic leadership

  • Manages tasks and coaches/leads people
  • Project shares
  • Shares (detailed) information
  • Utilizes 360 and individual feedback
  • Plans and develops accountability systems
  • Utilizes emotional awareness
  • Uses whole-brain thinking
  • Sees only opportunities
  • Sees the true human resource

Below are examples of the differences between catabolic and anabolic thoughts.


Catabolic thoughts

  •   “I have no control over my team. It is the era of the great resignation after all.”
  •   “I’m not going to allow my team to work from home because I don’t trust them. I’ll lose control.”
  •   “No one meets my expectations.”
  •   “I’m the only one that does this right.”
  •   “Time is continually working against me. I never have enough.”

Anabolic thoughts

  •   “Life offers opportunity after opportunity.”
  •   “I only win if you win.”
  •   “I’m curious what would allow my team to really be connected and engaged at work.”
  •   “Things happen for me vs. to me.”

How to improve your level of energy

Your energy level varies based on the various aspects of your life, including your job, or even just a part of your job. Your energy level will go up and down, depending upon how you perceive and respond to what’s happening in your life.

In an ideal world, we would be conscious enough to choose what kind of energy would be the most valuable response in every situation. And to help us do so, we can turn to the 7 levels of energy within catabolic and anabolic energy. These 7 levels of energy become a rubric for awareness and management (and we’ll go into greater detail on these in our upcoming webinar).

I could go on and on; there are just so many benefits to raising your overall energy level at work! Here are just a few benefits to start:

  • You’ll help inspire and motivate those around you, leading to a more engaged, happier, committed team.
  • Like energy attracts like energy. You will resonate at a higher level of energy, which will help attract success to you.
  • Instead of continually solving problems, you’ll be more focused on opportunities and growth.
  • Your stress levels will decrease.

7 levels of energy leadership

Restart your energy today

This is your moment as a decision-maker or leader to stop, think, and restart. Energy levels go both up and down depending upon how you perceive and respond to what’s happening in your life—both at home and at work. Are you relying more on catabolic or anabolic energy? And how is that serving you?

You can start to improve your level of energy right now by being more aware of your thoughts. When you catch yourself with catabolic thought, stop and ask yourself:

  1. Where does this thought come from?
  2. How is it serving me?
  3. What is the opportunity here?
  4. Why is this happening for me (vs. to me)?

Here’s some great news: we have the ability to alter our energy level—our level of consciousness. And that has a huge impact on our businesses, jobs, and the people we work with... enough to make people want to stick around.

So, let’s harness the power of energy and create a cultural shift for the better—a Great Restart!


Opportunities to learn more & expand your leadership style

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and our team at Turning the Corner’s would love to keep exploring with you.

Learn more by attending a free webinar and learning more about the 7 levels of energy:

Energy Leadership: Turn the Big Quit into the Great Restart
November 16, 11 am (MST) | Register

In this webinar, you will raise your energy levels and overall consciousness by learning what the 7 levels of energy are and using this information to become more aware of your default tendencies.


Complete the Energy Leadership™ Index (ELI) assessment. This is a research-backed assessment tool that takes something abstract, like the way a person views the world, and turns it into something tangible—a metric that you can see and feel and even reevaluate in the future. Contact us to take the assessment and debrief with a Certified Energy Leadership Master Practitioner.


Enroll in Leadership Lab, a 5-month program for experienced managers and those in leadership positions.


At Turning the Corner, we believe that meaningful work that we enjoy is one of life’s greatest rewards—it’s why we do what we do! Our mission is to end suffering in the workplace and empower businesses to thrive through various HR services and training opportunities.