Leaders Should Be Aware of the Five Energy Batteries

Topic(s): burnout, job performance, stress, wellness
Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: The Restorative Power of Small Habits
Authors: F.G. Mereu, J. Jordan
Reviewed by: Daisy Rowser-Grier

Employee wellbeing has become a prominent topic in the workplace. While most people seem to acknowledge the detrimental effects of burnout, the authors of this article (Mereu & Jordan, 2024) argue that, long before burnout occurs, it’s the daily maintenance of energy that will make workers resilient and productive. Based on decades of experience in research and consulting, the authors identify five “energy batteries” that leaders must maintain: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social.


Physical Battery:

The authors say this refers to “physical health and vitality.” This can be depleted, for example, by poor nutrition or insufficient sleep.

Mental Battery:

Here the authors discuss the need to stay focused and clear-minded. They say that “constant demands and interruptions” can deplete it.

Emotional Battery:

According to the authors, “This is about creativity, emotional intelligence and self-regulation.” They add that hobbies or creative outlets can help restore energy here, whereas getting caught up in interpersonal conflicts or other painful emotional events can deplete energy.

Spiritual Battery:

The authors say this means “motivation and sense of purpose,” and add that this particular battery is often ignored. They offer several suggestions for how to recharge in this area, including volunteering, religion, or spending time in nature. Mediation or yoga may also help.

Social Battery:

According to the authors, “This refers to both personal and professional relationships.” They say that spending time with others helps recharge this battery. They also discuss the importance of feeling safe where we live and when we travel. The authors say that this battery is depleted when worrying about people we care about, such as friends or family members.


Leaders face many daily challenges, which collectively take a toll on their minds and bodies. Understanding the energy batteries that can deplete throughout the day can make leaders more productive. It can also ensure that small problems do not add up and eventually lead to burnout or other serious health concerns.


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