This past weekend I attended “Energy Leadership” hosted by iPEC, where I’m training to become a Certified Professional Coach.  Their website is if you want to look into coaching or Energy Leadership.  The reason I wanted to become a coach was two-fold: first it would give me an opportunity to work with people one-on-one in a non corporate setting, and second it would give me an opportunity to add value to my existing client base. Initially, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to weave the coaching into my executive search business, but that all changed this past weekend.


Energy Leadership is where you learn about the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, created by iPEC founder Bruce D Schneider.  The Energy Leadership Index is different from other assessments commonly used in HR and by executive search firms because it is an attitudinal assessment as opposed to a personality test.  A personality is as much of a part of a person’s makeup as their DNA;  it can’t be changed, it is the person.  An attitude however, like one’s perspective, could be changed.  You can read more about the assessment on the Energy Leadership section of iPEC’s site, .


The coaching that I’m studying is about helping people shift their energy in different areas of their lives.  There are 7 levels of Energy, with 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest.  The lower levels, one and two, are made up of predominately catabolic energy, which is stressful and takes energy away from us. Catabolic Energy dampens our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.  Level 3 is transitional and levels 4 – 7 are anabolic. Anabolic energy adds to our health in all areas and helps us attract other positive people: like energy attracts like energy.  It is impossible for a human being to resonate at level 7; it’s a nirvana-like state of being.  There are only a handful of Level 6’s: think the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa for example. 


So what would be the Energetic makeup of a great leader?  He or she would be predominantly Level 5 and would have very little level 1 or 2 energy.  A great example of a Level 5 person is “Kate” from the new show on USA Television Network.  Kate is a mediator. One day she is in court and she keeps whispering tips to the prosecuting attorney, until the judge finally asks her to introduce herself and explain what she is doing there.  She promptly stands and announces, “My name is Kate and I’m here to make sure that everybody wins.” A level 5 person’s true make up is the win-win scenario; their attitude is described as someone who feels they can only win if you win, too.  They are also known as people who see opportunity in every situation.


They are the people that you can’t help but like. They are the ones you walk away from thinking about what a great aura they had.  Chances are there is someone close to you that you admire who is a level 5.  A level 5 never sees failure, challenges or mistakes -  everything is an opportunity.  In fact, just today I was talking to a candidate who is interviewing for a CFO position with a company that is well established though not well known.  When the CEO mentioned to the candidate that this was the case, he responded by saying, “What an opportunity.” That is a level 5 response and needless to say I feel pretty good about his chances. Keep those characteristics in mind when you’re talking to candidates because it’s not always the best resume that gets hired. In fact, there’s an old saying in recruiting that says you look for the two A’s, Attitude and Aptitude.  I like the two and agree whole-heartedly with that philosophy.  A great attitude is a level 5 attitude. 


Feel free to contact me if you would like to get an assessment for yourself or get certified in giving the assessment. I would also be willing to give you a complimentary coaching session as well. In the meantime look for people that see opportunity everywhere and live by the win-win credo, and then deliver them to your clients. Now that you know what you are looking for, go get’em! 

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Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 15, 2011 at 3:14pm

Jack...I offered the following comment on this blog post and discovered it missing.  So I'm re-entering it here once again.  There may have been a glitch in the system that led me t believe it was posted.  Hope you see value in it.


"Great stuff, Jack--"Attitude and Aptitude" (the two A’s), and having a substantial energy level are essential for “The Makings of a Great Leader.” And it’s laudable that you’re getting training and certification to coach future leaders, some of whom may be great ones. 

However, I have to disagree with the statement of looking past failure as if the experience of failure is not part of the learning process.  You mentioned, “A level 5 never sees failure, challenges or mistakes - everything is an opportunity.”  While seeing opportunities in everything sounds proactive and bold—it can also be a youthful mistake to ignore or overlook a true barrier or a flaw in the process that keeps contributing to a failure outcome.  Thomas Edison is the master of learning from his 10,000 mistakes to get to a success.  So the concept of never seeing failure, or at least acknowledging it, is shortsighted at best.  And the macho boast that some make—that failure is not an option--is misguided and can actually guarantee failure.  Sometimes you have to retreat, punt, reconfigure, reassess, take a time-out to figure out how to move forward to try to win, and observing failure, and what caused it, is a great way to get perspective.

It’s interesting that you also bring “coaching” into this particular blog post because a good coach; an effective coach—a leader among coaches is one who can motivate her/his team and/or individual player to understand what doesn’t work and contributes to failure.  That’s coaching toward getting past, past mistakes.  Part of good coaching is to teach toward excellence, fair play and winning--but to also point out flaws to eradicate those flaws.   Why?  Because, frankly, failure and losing are inevitable. The “win-win credo” functionally is a goal and a motivator, but anticipating and preparing for the potential of failure makes you human--which brings us to the whole concept of win-winning and lose-losing.  My favorite appreciation for this concept and its outcomes was best philosophically presented, in my view, in the movie, White Men Can’t Jump.  For me it is a famous, or infamous quote made by the character Gloria Clemente (played by actress Rosie Perez) when she commented on the concept of winning and losing.  She said: “Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.”

For me, when the rubber meets the road in a career trek it will be past "failure and challenges, or mistakes" that will be most instructive to survivors of the continuous trek—on the business and/or personal level.  As a recruiter, with the exception of entry-level positions--I’ll take education/training and EXPERIENCE of past successes and FAILURES as an asset over just "Attitude and Aptitude" and high energy any day.  The “two A’s” and aggressive tail wagging may get you in the game, but nature and nurture (your biological make-up and how you were raised—hopefully with a moral center); street smarts and scar tissue from meeting challenges head-on (getting your hands dirty as you tussle and muscle forward, taking and giving some hits, expected and unexpected); and making adjustments along the way will position you to follow, lead or get blown away. 

Sometimes you’re at the right place at the right time—and you’re prepared to perform; or “your daddy’s rich and your mamma’s good lookin’”…and so are you.  Attitude and Aptitude with the spark of energy—are important, but show me some scar tissue too—then I’ll know you’ve scraped your knees on the playground and got up to get back in play onto the ever bigger playgrounds.  And if you’re playing on a team expect to follow and contribute BIG before you can ever lead, because 360 degree assessments, invited or not, can derail the best Double A with oodles of energy.

Finally, “The Makings of a Great Leader” depends on so many other contributing factors, characteristics and attributes than these mentioned here, but these are valuable points to ponder."

Comment by David Jacks on April 18, 2011 at 10:16am

Thank you for writing me mentioning that you really enjoyed my post.

Thank you for the thoughtful response although I get the feeling that you didn't look at the website for Energy Leadership or read about the assessment at all prior to your comments.

Frankly when I read your response it didn't feel like you liked (or agreed with anything I said) at all.  It occurred to me that you were saying to me "that's great that you are getting coaching training though you don't yet know what makes a great coach" - let me explain.


Is it possible that I'm actually studying a very specific form of coaching that focuses on a person's attitude and thoughts and default tendencies as those things could be coached?  You can't coach a person's personality?  If you looked at mistakes as an opportunity to learn might that reduce your level of fear? May it be possible that primarily I'm looking to be a life coach as opposed to an executive coach?  Also - how much consideration would you give to a candidate that has a track road of failure after failure without learning from those failures or mistakes?


I would love for you to read more about iPEC or EnergyLeadership as I really think the person that created my coaching school and the Energy Leadership Index Assessment is amazing and since he is at a much higher level than me (like you apparently are) he may resonate mopre with you.


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