Guest Blog – Mervyn Bowden: Calling out for leaders!

Where are the Leaders in Energy Management? Leadership in some quarters is becoming a dirty word – almost as bad as being called an expert! Every sector needs leaders for […]

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By Sumit Bose

Where are the Leaders in Energy Management?

Leadership in some quarters is becoming a dirty word – almost as bad as being called an expert!

Every sector needs leaders for sure who can drive progress and bring about better results for all. The energy sector is no different.

Many organisations already have latent talent – existing employees – whose talents and leadership potential they fail to spot until it’s too late.

As I’ve commented ad nauseum over many years, Governments and their civil servants have proved themselves palpably unable to come up with the goods, relying on the backstops of consultation until everyone falls asleep. Missed opportunities strewn everywhere!

So what may leadership look like in the energy management space and what benefits could it bring?

Who are leaders?

Leaders can come from all parts of the sector, and even beyond, there’s no specific template so maybe it adds value to focus on generic traits.

Clearly the first attributes will revolve around persuading and influencing others and getting them on board, whoever they are and whatever value they bring but it helps to be able to influence other leaders to spread the word. Not least aspiring leaders will need to persuade their boss to give them freedom in their role to apply new thinking.

A good understanding of industry practices, finances, costs and the way organisations buy and use energy is vital, but can be learnt.

Gathering all this knowledge will hopefully have provided the aspiring energy leader with clear ideas of what is wrong, what needs changing, the benefits of doing so and what the future might look like.

All this is likely to inform a vision which can be crystalized into some sort of strategic plan, with the “what, how, whens” all featuring. Formulating the plan, populating it with costs and benefits then selling it to the C level guys is quite a task but a worthwhile one as, once it’s signed off they should help drive it forward to reality.

Next comes the challenging of all accepted and routine practices.

Being bold

Any leader worth their salt won’t accept no for an answer when seeking to change systems and behaviours built up, in many cases, over years.

Taking everyone along for the ride and staying with the plan through thick and thin, are vital to being a leader in the energy space.

Being crystal clear about what needs to be achieved must be spelt out to all – and measured constantly, even projected forward. The fruits of all this effort can be very significant – worth millions to the organisations concerned as well as reputational enhancement and a better overall business.

Great leaders will recognise that motivation of all involved is the driving force – people leadership is fundamental whether in energy or other disciplines.

Great leaders also tend to get great results – how many organisations recognise who the leaders they already employ actually are and what they could achieve, if they realised their potential?

And what will they do about it?

Mervyn Bowden is the MD of Intuitative Energy Solutions