How to deal with “energy vampires”.

Companies are filled with energy vampires. We all know who these people are: When their names come up on your phone, you automatically stop and think, “Do I have the energy to take this call?” They’re the people in the company who have demonstrated repeatedly that they will suck the life out of you and others in every interaction. They schedule lots of meetings. They fire off lots of missives that force your people to stop serving the customer and instead respond to yet another information request. They exercise pocket vetoes on key decisions, and stop action with their requests for one more round of analytics.

Energy vampires are often smart, well-intentioned managers who inadvertently slow the company down with too many questions, too much analysis, too much process–and not enough action. They exist in the organization to administer various systems and processes that in isolation seem necessary, but in aggregate simply clog up the works and slow the company down. Very often their initiatives and suggestions are hard to argue with because they are practical or adhere to the “way things are done.” The problem is that amid all the PowerPoints and spreadsheets, very little that actually matters to customers actually gets done.