Selecting your Energy Team Leader

Choosing the right leader is important to the team success

An energy team leader should be:

  • Someone who has power. Power in a business doesn’t necessarily just imply management. There are several different forms of power:

    Legitimate 1: People will follow you because of your business title. Commonly referred to as authority.

    Referent 1: People will follow you because you are well liked.

    Expert 1: People will follow you because you are knowledgeable.

    Reward 1: People will follow you because you have the power to reward them.

    Coercion 1: People will follow you because you have the power to punish them. (This form of power is not recommended for an energy team leader.

  • Someone who has time. An energy team leader should not, for example, be someone from maintenance though maintenance employees work on the plant floor and may therefore be the most knowledgeable about the equipment, they are likely to be too encumbered by their daily tasks to effectively lead an energy team.
  • Someone who can see the organization as a whole. That is to say an energy team leader should be someone who understands the functions and needs of each sector of the plant. A senior engineer or someone in the financial department are candidates that meet this criteria.
  • Someone who can take down barriers by understanding why resistance arises. Consider, for example, the resistance which would arise when you have machine operators that are paid a bonus for each piece they produce beyond their quotas turn off their machines every night. Every morning they will have to wait for their machines to fire-up which will cut back on the time they have to make their quotas. A good leader would have to understand this and find a way to work around it.

What makes an energy team leader unique: An energy team leader is charged with and has accepted the responsibility of the task. Unlike most tasks, which a leader can complete and walk away from, an energy team leader must understand that his/her task is ongoing. Furthermore, if an energy team leader gives up or takes a break from his/her duties there is a strong chance that the culture of the organization will revert back to the way it was prior to the energy saving program.

1 Johns/Saks, Organizational Behaviour, Prentice Hall, 2000.