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Theresa Welbourne
  Theresa Welbourne

Business Leaders Feeling Less Productive and De-Energized

3/25/2004 --

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A majority of senior business executives are feeling less productive than usual and somewhat de-energized, according to a recent Leadership Pulse survey conducted by the University of Michigan Business School and eePulse Inc.

"This is very surprising," says eePulse CEO Theresa Welbourne, an adjunct associate professor at the Michigan Business School. "I would expect to see leaders rating their current energy levels at or above their most productive levels.

"I'm afraid these results suggest the effects of an economy and work environment where our most senior executives are feeling less confident than they were in the past. The downturn in the economy might be finally taking its toll."

More than 900 business executives worldwide were asked to rate their personal levels of energy (or motivation) at work and the level at which they are most productive. In every view of the data (when classified by job level, performance level, occupation, size of firm, etc.), respondents indicated that their current energy levels were lower than their most optimal and most productive energy levels.

Among the findings:

  • Sleep, exercise and overall health levels have a profound impact on leaders.
  • Clarity of vision, adequate planning and execution followed by success are key for energizing leaders.
  • On a personal level, leaders respond positively to the same things all employees need: sense of appreciation, challenging work, positive feedback and the ability to have time to get their work done.
  • Reducing barriers to performance by minimizing meetings, reducing bureaucracy and helping teams work better together all optimize energy levels.
  • Many personal problems, such as death in families, illness and alcohol problems, lead to de-energizing events.
  • Negativism, dishonesty, lack of cash and sales and dysfunctional leadership at any level in the company make leaders feel de-energized.

"The results suggest that stress on executives may be at an all time high, and this stress may be leading to executives doubting their abilities," Welbourne says.

For more information or to participate in the Leadership Pulse study, contact Welbourne at (734) 996-2321 or visit or

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847