This post is from Jon Gordon.


How to Deal with Energy Vampires

Over the years I’ve heard many stories from people who read The Energy Bus about how they dealt with Energy Vampires. Some successfully transformed them. Others let them go so they could no longer sabotage the team. And some unfortunately abused their power by labeling anyone who disagreed with them an Energy Vampire. I’ve learned a lot from these people and have garnered lessons from their successes and mistakes. In this spirit I wanted to share some thoughts about how to deal with an Energy Vampire (EV):

  • First and foremost, love them. No one really wants to be an energy vampire. He/she is likely negative for a reason. The first step should always be to love, understand and transform. For example, Martin, from the company Seventh Generation, told me that he put a sign on his door that said Energy Vampires Welcome. Expect to be filled up with positive energy.
  • While I love Martin’s approach, I also know from personal experience and the work I do with teams and organizations that not every EV is willing to change. If your efforts to transform an EV are not successful and they are sabotaging the team and organization then they should be let off the bus.
  • If you don’t like the thought of letting people off the bus you are not alone. That’s why I always tell leaders and managers that you won’t have to let EV’s off the bus if you create a positive culture where EV’s are uncomfortable being negative. If you create a strong, positive culture that attracts positive people, fosters positive communication and generates positive energy, the EV’s who are unwilling to change will walk off the bus themselves because they don’t fit in. Energy Vampires don’t like the light.
  • The best way to deal with Energy Vampires in your organization is at the culture level where you set the expectation that people who drain the energy of others will not be tolerated. One college football coach did this with his football team a few years ago. He had all his players read The Energy Bus and had an artist draw a huge picture of an Energy Vampire on the wall of their team meeting room. Any time a player was being an EV they put the player’s picture on the wall. No one wanted to be on the wall. In essence, the coach was telling his team that we will not allow negativity to sabotage our team and goals. While I don’t recommend business leaders and school principals utilize the Energy Vampire on the Wall strategy I do believe they must make it clear that negativity that drains others and sabotages team performance is not acceptable. Leaders/managers/coaches/principals must create a positive work environment where their people can do their best work without being affected by an EV.
  • If you are not a leader or manager and you’re not in a position to define the culture or hire and fire people you are likely wondering what you should do if you have an EV on your team or in your office. In this case you can influence your team and office culture by sharing The Energy Bus with your manager/leader and encouraging them to utilize it to create a positive culture. I’ve witnessed many organizational transformations simply because an employee shared The Energy Bus with a leader and the leader invited everyone on the bus. Please know I’m not trying to be promotional here. People tell me all the time that The Energy Bus is an effective tool that creates a common language for organizations to talk about and address negativity. Since it’s a tool that works I believe in helping others use it. You can read some quotes about it here.
  • If you are not a manager or leader and you have EV’s on your team or in your office it’s also important that you decide to be more positive than the negativity your face. A simple rule is: Your positive energy must be greater than all the negativity.
  • If you encounter Energy Vampires in your daily life remember Gandhi’s words “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
  • If you have a personal friend or a friend at work who is an EV you may decide to talk to them about their negativity. If you have a strong relationship with them and they know you care about them, they may be open to your advice. But remember Energy Vampires can’t see their own reflection. They may not realize they are an Energy Vampire.
  • Proceed with caution if you decide to go this route. And if you do, do it with love.
  • If you have a neighbor that is an EV and it’s one of those days where you just don’t want their negativity to impact you, run away as fast as you can when you see them. Just say you have something in the oven. : )
  • Finally, if you have Energy Vampires lurking in your family I recommend you become a positive force of positive energy that demonstrates to others what real positivity, in the form of love, patience, kindness, and care, looks like. Honestly it’s something I’m still working on myself. It’s not easy but it’s worth the effort.— – Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.


Good morning!


Yes, I’m emailing on my day off (my birthday) but my husband gave me a gift this morning that made me think of both of you and Drexel. A hand carved wood bowl that came with quite the inspiring letter from the creator. See the attached pictures. We sell lumber for a living but it’s so much more than just that. We take a simple thing (a piece of wood, piece of siding, etc.) and help to turn it into a thing of beauty. Someone’s home. Someone’s happiness.

We come across people that aren’t always the most fun to deal with, may scream and holler some days but at the end of the day they are people too. It’s always easier to write these people off and move on to the next.  May each of us look for the beauty within each contractor, client and team member and always remember each person has a hidden beauty inside that shouldn’t be overlooked.

As leaders we should always remember to give each person we encounter a chance and look for that uniqueness they posses.

Thanks for the day and allowing me to be a part of Team Blue.    — ALICIA SCHIESS




– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.




After attending the National LBM Journal 2016 strategies conference in Charlotte with Doug and Caitlin- where Caitlin and I both spoke… I’ve got a lot to share with you.  You always get a new perspective on things when you talk to other dealers and the perspectives you get traveling.


We are known nationally for what we are doing.  I had people come up to me from Florida, Iowa, California, Texas, Louisiana and more and all said basically the same thing.  We watch you guys, you are an inspiration to us, and keep doing what you are doing!

However, I also felt we are getting fat and lazy.  Things are working pretty good.  We are busy, we are making money, we laugh more than we used to.  What a dangerous position to be in.  We must continue to get 1% better.  In every way.  One thing I’ve noticed from my perspective is our standing operating procedures (as they say in the military) can be compromised quickly when we make EXCUSES  because we are busy.  One example, we have builders that one a full house delivered, the next day… that’s nuts right?  Yet, we love to make miracles happen so we allow it.  Why?  Will the builder leave if we explain we just can’t do that, that is takes up to 6 hours to pull a house start.  I don’t think so.  Or are we simply not being organized on their behalf as we promised?  Hmm… I wonder.   I do know it’s certainly not a healthy situation.  Or in one store we had 28, 28 DWI’s in one week.  What’s a DWI?  Deliver when in.  It’s lazy at worse, careless at best.  Just because an item is in doesn’t necessarily mean GET IT TO THE JOBSITE SOON AS WE CAN.  Yet, 28 is the reality.  We can certainly improve in many ways.  That’s my job to make sure we are.



Here’s a neat thing.  On the movie “Finding Nemo” there is popular scene which I quote often, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”  What does that mean?  That in the act of believing, and in the act of doing you will figure it out.  Going FORWARD is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.   The rest happens along the way.  Dory does end up finding her way.

In another scene fish stuck in an aquarium are encouraged to find a happy place.  See they are stuck and afraid and never leave the confines of the glass.  They are stuck.  So they get frightened and retreat.

Are we Dory or the star fish?

What is the best version of who you want to be?



One thing I learned at the conference…


Baby boomers buy from a person.  Or a product.

Baby boomers say I buy from Jason.  Younger folks say I buy from Drexel, they buy from a team.

How true that is… I can think of many examples of this at Drexel.

Also and to me more interesting baby boomers buy brands of products. I always buy Levis, Dodge.  I always have Miller Lite.  Younger generations buy from places and trust they have good products.

Amazon prime is a great example for me.  I buy online at Amazon prime.  If it is rated good there I trust it.  Same for zappos shoes.  I buy my shoes online, if it’s good enough for zappos, it’s good enough for me.  Costco is the same.  If it’s good enough for Costco, I’m not judging, actually I’d prefer it.  Really even the same for beers.  Younger generations go to local bars and ask what do you have on tap, what’s the local flavor around here.  They trust that restaurant not the product.

And that is HUGE for what we do at Drexel.  Less is more.  More trusted products, our builders trust our expertise to pick great products for their homes.  Not vice versa like it used to be.  Good stuff right there…

Interesting one supply company there,,, when they guaranteed a list THEY SIMPLY WILL NOT EVER, give them the list.  You want one guaranteed amount, we will meet your specs after review, but no list.  That way they can’t compare or cherry pick.  I like it.  Up to your world if that makes sense, just info here.


“Chooses to Cheat”

My favorite speaker Glen from U.S. Lumber says he challenges his people to cheat.  Time is your #1 thing in life.  So you are either cheating your family or cheating your work.  Cheat work more.  I agree.  He asks people daily, “Are you cheating enough?”   Makes sense.  We will continue to work on balance going forward here at Drexel.

Two truths about late fees:  1.  People pay them.  2.  People know about them.  Credit isn’t free and unlimited.  Be sure you take that seriously with our clients.


CLIENTS.  Never customers, let’s start calling everyone CLIENTS.

I’d rather be a client than a customer.  Little stuff like that is important!


False sense of stability in the marketplace.  Watch your slow paying customers and fire them before they take our money!


Bigger isn’t Better.  Better is Better.

That’s a well said statement.


Charlotte is a cool town.   I don’t know how to help homeless people.  Like many things in life, it’s just easier to ignore, but certainly not the right thing.  We are all very blessed.  I like where I am at.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.