When you come out of a room from a meeting with a colleague, do you feel
b) sapped of energy?
c) just the same?
Guess what? Organisations that can scale excellence have a large number of energisers in the team.
This is borne out by a study conducted by University of Virginia's Rob Cross. As referenced in the book "Scaling Up Excellence" by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao, they say Cross' team found that "successful and innovative organizations have networks that are swarming with interconnected energizers".
I often use this as a rule of thumb when conducting interviews for new hires. If I come out of the room more energised than when I went it it's a very positive indicator. If that candidate can make me buzz with positivity, the thought is that they can do the same inside a team. It's not a given, but it's a useful indicator.
Bear in mind that some people take time to warm up and will give out energy in a different way as you get to know them and as they get to know the team.
It's a useful mental shortcut though when evaluating new hires, especially in a startup teams where positivity is needed to walk through walls and make change happen.
I've blogged before about thinking about whether someone is a "multiplier, adder, subtractor or divider". The energiser is a marker for a good multiplier.
This is a two part equation though... you need energisers but you also need them to interconnect on a regular basis, across teams and functions to spread the positivity. Having an isolated energiser is like stopping the sun shining on a solar panel.