On Form

I have been collaborating with a new and special friend, my incredible Alliance colleague, and former high-flying hospital Consultant turned coach: Rif Malik | The Alliance. Our plan is to build a focus on Healthy High Performance into our Alliance coaching during 2024. I’ll come back to that.

As I started to reflect on plans for 2024, and talked to Rif, I kept coming back to one word. Energy. And this coincided with reading my first HOT tip book of the year, Michael Muthukrishna’s “A Theory of Everyone”. Muthukrishna brilliantly explains how we have got where we are; he does this by examining four laws of life, the first of which is the law of energy. Energy needs to be found and stored for us to perform, to grow.

A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are,… by Muthukrishna, Michael (

So why, in coaching, do we not spend more time helping clients to reflect on how to build their energy.

How often do you feel off form?

For an athlete, this would be immediately obvious. Athletes train to hit form at the right moments. So why don’t we?

This, I would argue, is in part down to the oldest of fundamental attribution errors; that we must work harder, harder still, grind it out, fall into our weekends and then our Mondays.

Coaching conversations can help leaders find their form more consistently, to help them access their stored energy at the critical times. To recover, to turn up again, to keep turning up. Coaching is about igniting a client’s own thinking. We can often think ourselves to energy and form, can’t we? Like asking ourselves when we feel in good or bad form, and why. Like creating strategies to do and not do things that unnecessarily deplete our reserves.

This year I am going to take more time to reflect on my energy levels and work harder to ensure that I am more often at my best when I show up for clients and colleagues. I will try to have fun but regulate more the intake of things that might impact my energy. I will use techniques learnt during 2023 to slow down and build my capacity to think with a view to a more intentional, energising release of emotions. To avoid the stealth like depletion caused by mental and emotional energy spent unwisely. I will prioritise recovery. I will hide away when I need to. Think grown man in treehouse. I will use my strengths rather than fret over my weaknesses. Working on my weaknesses, of course, because this is the real world, but working with my strengths more. I will seek laughter. I will seek more flow in what I do, by writing and creating and learning more, by spending time with my family and other people that inspire me, by walking between Cumbrian hills.

Is this a plan? Yes, at least the start of one, if I hold myself to account.

What’s your plan?

And does it help you spend more of your energy moving forward at a speed at which you are not out of breath, when you can still talk, and more importantly, listen, to those around you, about recovering, about being strategic with your energy, leaving less to chance. And keeping going. About enjoying the keeping going rather than the exhausted end.

To talk more about how coaching can help in building this most critical of building blocks for your year, contact me, Rif or any of our partners at The Alliance. We will be using this more in our coaching through 2024.