Skip to main content
Home » Career Transformation » Burn bright vs burnout: energy and your professional success

Danica Murphy

CEO And Founder, Prism Leadership & Change Consulting Ltd.

Empty batteries make it difficult to win a race or clock a personal best, just as they impede professional success and ambitions.

Change and uncertainty, fuelled by new technology, global shifts and the pandemic, often demand significant attention and, unfortunately, drain our energy. This depletion, coupled with hybrid work setups that limit face-to-face interaction, can further drain our batteries.

Energy levels impact professional success

A study by NASA aimed to explore how people’s energy levels influence their professional performance. Participants were evaluated based on their impact within their internal network, ranging from ‘strongly energising’ to ‘strongly de-energising.’

By tracking outcomes such as promotions, salary increases and performance appraisals, the study concluded that participants perceived as energisers by their peers are more likely to have their ideas put into action, garner greater contributions from those around them and attract the commitment of high performers. This resulted in more promotions, higher pay and access to more interesting projects.

As you set your ambition, consider how you
can supercharge your battery to burn bright.

Optimism and energy lead to success

Another study found that individuals who ‘project optimism and energy and are receptive to new ideas’ where ‘grimness was replaced with kidding and laughter’ were more successful as business innovators because they were able to influence thinking and decision-making on their ideas.

These findings point to the importance of consciously managing and modelling your energy. Anyone who has driven an e-car knows about energy management: the battery has to be full; energy is used to get where you want to go; there are periods of acceleration requiring more energy usage and coasting where less is needed. Humans are not all that different and by adopting a formula, we can better manage our own energy.

Mind + body + connection = energy

  • Mind: Your mindset about your energy. ‘Do I want to be an energy vampire or an energy generator? What is in my control to model that?’
  • Body: Your physical care in hydration, sleep, exercise and diet. ‘What are the small habits I can adopt to move more, breathe and put the right fuel into my system?’
  • Connection: Your willingness to show up and plug in to your workplace relationships that release oxytocin (fuels positivity), dopamine (enhances happiness), endorphins (to kill pain) and serotonin (creates belonging).

The pace of change and the terrain of your career are, typically, not in your control. The refuelling and readiness of your battery are. So, as you set your ambition, consider how you can supercharge your battery to burn bright.

Prism partners with organisations to create bespoke, science-based and strategic people development to energise, engage and align your people and your business.
Visit or email [email protected] to hear more

Next article