Power Barometer: A book review by Bob Morris

Power Barometer: Manage Personal Energy — Not Just Time and Money
Josefine Campbell
Pine Publishing (May 2023)

How and why energy-efficiency is essential to achieving high-impact results

Allocation of resources is among the most valuable of skills that an executive can develop. Consumption of time and money can be measured. With all due respect to all manner of diagnostic equipment, how to accurately measure consumption of energy?

In this volume, Josefine Campbell introduces what she characterizes as “the Awareness Matrix.”  It consists of four quadrants: Agile, Mellow, Narrow, and Fragile. A human’s state of mind is most likely to thrive when agile and mellow; least likely to thrive when narrow and fragile.


o When in an agile state of mind, “you are ready for whatever comes your way, and you have energy to deal with it. You are far more adaptable than when you’re in one of the other states of mind. This is by far the best state to be in when you have to collaborate or lead.”

o “When you feel mellow, you can still bed ready, but you have a low energy level. You can still be calm and relaxed but you’re not fully alert and awake.”

o “In the narrow state of mind, you can be very productive or accomplish [tasks] you have been putting. This state of mind is a type of focus that lets you zero in on a task right to the end. But you don’t have a wide view. and you’re not flexible or open to new points of view.”

o “Your nervous system can be exhausted from being narrow or fragile. Being fragile is worse than being narrow because your energy is low and your brain is highjacked. This means you can’t be ready for anything, and you’ll easily feel stressed and overwhelmed.”

How to accurately measure consumption of energy? Campbell’s response: Using a power barometer to obtain the essential analytics and then adjusting allocation of resources to accommodate priorities.  She thoroughly explains HOW.

What are the specific benefits for those who read this book, who absorb and digest the material, and then apply what they have learned and now understand? I consider these among the most important:

1. Reducing (if not eliminating) how you waste resources (i.e. energy, time, funds, attention).
2. Reducing (if not eliminating) how others — such as direct reports and team members — waste energy.
3. Improving management of what had not previously been measured…or measured accurately.
4. Improving communication, cooperation, and collaboration between/among stakeholders in the given enterprise.
5. Producing more and better results sooner while expanding organizational capabilities.

NOTE: With only minor modifications, the same process can be used by supervisors to measure their direct reports and project teams.

Here are two concluding suggestions: Highlight key passages, and, keep a lined notebook near at hand while reading Power Barometer in which you record your comments, questions, action steps (preferably with deadlines) and page references. These two simple tactics will facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.


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