Laura on couch
Creating YOUR Advantage 
April, 2009

Are you a GREEN Leader?

Second to the word "Recession," the word "Green" is everywhere these days.  Green is the new black, not in fashion terms, but in profits.
Green is a business. Big Business.
Green products.  Green processes.  Green services. 
America has gone green and the green backs are following it.
A few years back when I was running an organic beverage business for The Coca-Cola Company, there were many people that didn't believe organic was here to stay. Many thought it was a passing fad. Today, just one visit to a Costco Warehouse (one of my favorite past times) will tell you that not only has organic reached the is one of the few growing segments in the grocery channel.
But Green is becoming even more than just a business.  It is a mindset, a movement and a philosophy.  This became clear to me when I recently saw my first ever "organic baby book."  
We now have Green babies!
Organic is one part of the overall green movement   But what is really driving this movement?  Many say it's for health benefits while others may say it's for quality or taste. But this doesn't explain organic books, does it?  No, there is more to the story. 
While many offer logical explanations for the movement, I believe it relates to a deeper emotional need to return to a different place and time.  What matters to people is to Re-store, Re-plenish, Re-new.  All of the "Re" words that apply in our lives reflect our need for going GREEN.  The growth in spas, yoga and other re-storative services are another element of GREEN.  It is based on a belief that certain things are limited, like our energy or our earthly resources.  In fact, we all have heard the common "Re" words associated with the Green movement:
In honor of Earth Day, I thought that I would address how our Green mindset is starting to carry over to leadership and into our workplace
. It is even more important now as resources are tight, and people are anxious to Re-store and Re-turn to a place of calm. Energy, a limited resource, is what you need to manage for yourself and for your business.  Energy management is a green way to address work/life issues and to grow your business. 
So, are you a GREEN Leader? 
It is no surprise that during these difficult times, people are being asked to do more with less.  There is no better time than now to reduce redundant and unnecessary activities.  Are you clear on your priorities? Or, are you chasing too many small distractions?  Are your timelines filled with too many wasteful activities that eek away at your energy and the energy of those around you?  Step away from those things that drain your energy and waste precious resources.  Identify the activities you can reduce so that you are more fulfilled and energized as a result. Green leaders focus on fewer things that generate the biggest impact.
  • Start today by looking at your activities and develop a NOT-TO-DO list.

The need for innovative solutions has made the word "reuse" a dirty word in business these days.  However, when we completely throw out what works for the sake of doing it differently, we aren't being innovative, we are being wasteful.  Being wasteful is not green.  Real innovation is reusing old things or ideas in new ways.  How are you using old ideas and re-applying them?  Are you shutting down ideas before they have a chance to be reused or reapplied in a different way?  Can you reuse a solution on a new problem with potential success?  If you have recently been laid off, can you apply an old skill to another industry or job?  Green leaders don't ever start from scratch; they realize that past experiences can be reused in new and innovative ways.
  • Start today by finding a new way to re-apply an old idea or skill.

Unfortunately human energy is not able to be recycled.  We expend it and it's gone.  We can replenish it by doing things we love, or we can restore it by resting.  Unfortunately, you can't treat your energy or the energy of others around you as used-up plastic bottles to be melted down and turned into carpeting.  However, we can recycle energy and resources in the workplace and in our lives by replenishing and restoring and starting fresh.  Are you just plowing through to get things done with no regard to your energy level?  Are you taking the time to restore yourself by stopping when its time to stop? Do you recognize the things that sap your precious energy and the energy of those around you?  Green leaders recognize that productivity is only possible when energy is restored and replenished. 
  • Start today by focusing on things that restore and replenish you and those around you and limiting the activities that sap your energy. 

When you become a Green leader, you will be keenly aware that your business results are dependant upon your ability to effectively manage this limited resource called energy.  By keeping in mind the "Re" terms: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and applying them to your life both at work and at home, you are likely to return to a different place and time...while keeping the green backs coming.
Now, I wish we could bottle that.  I am sure that Costco would love to sell it!  Don't you?  But seriously, isn't that where you want to be? 
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All the best,
Laura Lopez  

Laura is a sought-after keynote speaker, award-winning author of The Connected and Committed Leader, and business and life coach who has been featured on the Today Show and Fox News. In addition, her accomplishments have been highlighted in several business periodicals including The Long Beach Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her articles on management and leadership are regularly seen in Leadership Excellence. 
Laura can be contacted via her Web site at:
Laura Lopez & Company
(713) 868-5025
cell (713) 828-8829