You’re familiar with IQ and EQ, your cognitive and emotional intelligence, respectively. Energetic Intelligence, or EnQ, contains both of those, as well as your physical, mental, and spiritual bodies comprise a more all-encompassing and sometimes less quantifiable intelligence. It might be helpful to consider: IQ = thinking/reasoning, EQ = feeling, EnQ = embodying/Being. Just as there are skills and exercises that enhance your IQ and EQ, there are also practices and distinctions that will enhance your EnQ. Unseen but all-powerful, your energy and EnQ is constantly fueling and impacting your thoughts, feelings, and actions, which in turn fuels and impacts how you collaborate with other energy (people, animals, emotions, and even objects) around you. We are all made of energy, and energy does not tell lies. Regardless of IQ or EQ, your energy speaks before you do. The “7 Wheels of Leadership” approach provides a framework that will train you to harness and be responsible for what your energy is saying.
Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a connection, a synergy, before they even say a word? Or, conversely: you’ve met someone new, and before the conversation even starts, without any rational reason, you don’t like them — you just have a feeling about them, and it isn’t good. The phenomenon of how our energy knows things before our minds do is demonstrated in this EnQ experiment: I’ve been in dozens of rooms where strangers were asked to pair off according to who they are most or least drawn to, without any information or introduction to one another. Results show that people are attracted to those who display qualities they want more of, and people are repelled by those who display characteristics that they themselves possess (and energetically lead with) but either wish they didn’t or don’t realize they do because it’s a major blindspot.
Your energy speaks before you do. It is an all-compassing intelligence, and as a leader, it is crucial that you’re fully aware of what your energy is saying and how it’s impacting those around you.
Why does that make EnQ important for coaches and leaders?
IQ and EQ can help leaders succeed, but they are also sometimes the exact strengths that get us stuck in energetic and behavioral patterns that don’t serve us in getting to our next level of leadership or impact. It can be hard to notice when the brilliant mind or the caring heart are in the way of one’s impact; those blindspots are where a great coach and EnQ come into play.
EnQ is not a fixed property; it will evolve and stretch with your leadership development. Like physical fitness, EnQ requires conscious, consistent practice to maintain strength and effectiveness. Like IQ and EQ, some leaders are naturally gifted or more comfortable with certain aspects of EnQ. Unlike IQ tests or certain personality diagnostics, EnQ assessments and EnQ-based coaching serve by indicating some simple practice areas that can create new results in as little as a few minutes, versus certain tests or frameworks that leave people feeling boxed into a fixed (and flawed) archetypal identity. Every single human is capable of developing and heightening their EnQ. Every single coach is capable of making a lifelong difference for their clients using this work.
Here, we will cover EnQ’s “7 Wheels of Leadership”: an introduction to the framework, along with a few tools and practices that will train you to be aware of:
what your energy is saying,
how it’s impacting others, and
how to master it in a way that will help you thrive during even the most uncertain and challenging times.
I’ve been honing the concept of EnQ for years. For years, I studied and practiced various coaching techniques, ontology, neuroscience and psychology behind coaching and behavioral change, spirituality, and leadership development. I observed that the coaching, development, and leadership practices that were most effective for my clients and myself aligned beautifully with chakra theory, which I’ve also studied and practiced for over 21 years.
A brief note on chakra theory: it stems from ancient Hindu texts that say we have chakras, or energetic wheels, spinning throughout our system, keeping our Qi, or life force, moving through our spiritual body. The locations of these energetic wheels correspond with various organs, hormones, and nerves; attention and energy applied to these powerful energy centers impacts our emotions, bodily functions, and states of Being. I do not by any means claim any ownership of the 7 major chakras, nor am I the world’s foremost expert on Hinduism. My intention is not to appropriate any specific culture or religious belief, but to pay homage to ancient wisdom that is unquestionably reflected in my leadership work, and to do so in a way that is accessible and impactful for people from all walks of life and spiritual belief systems.
Chakra System + Endocrine System
With a nod to the chakra system, I’ve utilized hundreds of client case studies to pinpoint the 7 wheels of energy that are aligned in the leaders who display and report the highest levels of confidence, productivity, profitability, well-being, and overall fulfillment and joy in their careers and personal lives. A brief summary is in the graphic below, and this article is the first of a series of deeper dives into each wheel that will further explain how this system will enhance your life and work as a coach, a leader, or simply as a human being.
This might seem like an overwhelming system to remember at first glance, but there are more simplified check-ins and tools that will help you identify that 7 Wheels for yourself, your clients, and fellow leaders. It will be an indispensable resource once you begin to integrate into everyday life and leadership.
The 7 Wheels of EnQ-based Leadership:
1st Wheel: Root & Foundation. “I Am”. Humanity, self-acceptance, basic survival needs met and empowered. Connected to shared experience of humanity (imperfections in self, others, and human experience are discerned and addressed without shame). Finances, self- care and well-being, and home life/home base are handled, empowered, and experienced as stable.
2nd Wheel: Creativity. “I create”. Creative power pertains to everything from creating actual human life to bringing creative ideas into tangible form. Whether you are birthing a baby or a book, your 2nd Wheel governs the process from conception, to innovation, to the celebration of its creation. Leaders seem to overlook at least one element of that process. For some, it’s the willingness to innovate or try new things; for others, it’s the joy of celebrating the wins, large and small.
3rd Wheel: Aligned Action. “I can”. One of the most profound challenges of EnQ mastery is the balance of Doing + Being. Many leaders tend to fall into one of two camps: visionaries or builders. Visionaries bring the ideas and inspiration. Builders bring the action and project management. Visionaries can easily get stuck in their thoughts and dreams, and Builders can easily become isolated or burned out because of the nonstop action. Practices and distinctions involving the 3rd Wheel keep both of those types of leaders present to what’s possible when thoughts, words, deeds, and commitments are all aligned. EnQ Leaders are in consistent, inspired action, with ample, empowered rest and delegation. They are also consistently in partnership with a healthy support system of other inspired, committed leaders.
4th Wheel: Heart. “We”. The heart of leadership bridges the humanity of the first 3 Wheels with “divinity” (this word can be used in a spiritual or non-religious context, depending on the leader or organization) of the upper Wheels. Humanity + Higher Purpose come together in a leader who can set aside ego in order to 1. freely give and receive support, 2. practice empathy and compassion, and 3. put the needs of the team/We ahead of the needs of the individual/I in a way that creates win/win situations more often than win/lose power dynamics, which are isolating or disheartening for an organization and the individuals within.
5th Wheel: Authentic Communication. “I hear”. Humans all have implicit biases that filter our thinking, hearing, and speaking. Great leaders are aware of the impact their biases might have on their decision making and communication skills. Practices that support the 5th Wheel will “clean the filters” on our speaking and listening, so that our leadership can be truly aligned with a sense of self and others that is as free of judgment and bias as is humanly possible.
6th Wheel: Intuition. “I know”. Going with your gut is reliable only when you are attuned to the voice of Intuition over the voice of Fear. Many leaders struggle to discern which is which. The 6th Wheel version of “I know” is embodied with the quiet, calm wisdom of a sage — distinctly different from the ego’s righteous, tense version of the same phrase.
7th Wheel: Mission + Vision. “I believe”. A great leader generates and expresses a vision that inspires action sufficient to create a purpose-driven result. A clear mission and vision provides the container for leadership. The 1st Wheel and 7th Wheel are generally the first two places to look when coaching and developing powerful leadership; they are also two of the most vital places to look when one’s leadership or results are in breakdown. 7th Wheel is considered by some to contain not only the Mission and Vision, but also one’s connection to God/spirit/divinity. Whatever a leader’s spiritual background or belief system, the 7th Wheel is a reliable place to recharge and recalibrate when any of the other Wheels seem stuck or misaligned.
When our energy is fully aligned, we are in such a naturally empowered state of Being that we may not even notice, so sometimes the best way to approach Energetic Intelligence as a tool is to distinguish what it looks and feels like when our energy is stuck.
Coming up next: a brief overview of the 7 Biggest Blocks to Leadership, and how EnQ can help.
Energetic Intelligence (EnQ) is leadership development fused with ancient wisdom and modern practices. My work is where the “woo-woo” meets the “To Do”, and the EnQ framework is a holistic approach to human, personal, and professional development that trains leaders to be better humans and humans to be more impactful leaders.