The Positively Energized Leader, Parent, Partner, Friend…Woman.

Sarah Deane: Founder MEvolution
4 min readSep 13, 2022

I was reading some articles lately and it occurred to me how many times I was seeing the word gap in relation to women. There is a mental health gap where 27% of women reported an increase in challenges associated with mental illness compared to 10% of men, not to mention that women are two times as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression compared to men. There is a stress gap, where 74% of women reported being stressed for work-related reasons compared with 61% of men. There is an exhaustion gap where 68% of women experienced burnout compared to 50% of men. And while we have made progress with the wage gap, when you look at it, it’s taken 47 years to make a gain of 26.4 cents.

Then an article from the Harvard Business Review recently gave light to research that validated what many of us know, the importance of being positively energized, stating that, “the best leaders have a contagious positive energy”. With the positively energized leader being the next big buzz for leadership and personal development, when you look at the gap’s women are facing, it may well mean that they are already starting on the back foot.

While there are certainly many external blockers to a diverse leadership pipeline, there are also internal blockers to success that have stood in the way of women for years. I remember 20 years ago having conversations around increasing confidence in women, about women feeling as though they had multiple jobs between inside and outside the home, and with women suffering from a negative inner voice or overthinking. That was 20 years ago. I do not want to be having this conversation in another 20 years’ time. It’s time to actually close the gap…or gaps I should say.

Five years ago, we started a quest to discover the ultimate model for what was needed to perform and feel your best throughout the day. The journey included over a thousand sources of data, from research studies to expert articles, hundreds of interviews, and years of applying the model to individuals, leaders and teams. Lo and behold, at the crux of it all, is human energy. Our journey resulted in a system to accurately measure how energized someone is, identify their unique combination of needs, and then map this to their own individual roadmap of personal development modules to systematically increase and optimize their energy.

While as a company MEvolution’s mission is to energize the world, one soul at a time, I have a personal passion to use my research and tools to enable women to live a life of greater capacity and to close the gap by removing the internal blockers that they face. Because it is these internal blockers that are draining their energy and causing them to have less capacity for the things that matter. Because it turns out that energy influences everything. From how we respond to challenges, to how much we can get done, even including how others feel around us.

I’ve worked with thousands of women across the globe, at all levels of business, and multiple employee resource groups, and through our data and insights we’ve seen some of the most common blockers that hold women back. My Stanford Continuing Studies course, “The Power of Personal Energy for Women: Reclaiming Mental Capacity and Redefining Potential”, being taught virtually this fall, will leverage all these years of research and application. It will start with the Energy Management Quotient, an assessment that will show you where your energy is being drained and continue on a 4-week journey into increasing awareness of your energy and tactical strategies to increase and optimize it.

To be positively energized you need to:

  1. Reduce energy waste or energy leakage. That means decreasing or stopping the behaviors that drain your energy.
  2. Increase your energy. That means increasing behaviors that enable you to draw energy from positive energy sources.
  3. Protect and optimize your energy. That means implementing behaviors that enable you to make the best use of the energy you have.

From our data there are several areas where women are having challenges. These include:

  • Overthinking. Processing a situation to learn and move forward is productive. However, there is a moment when it becomes repetitive thoughts that take you off down the rabbit hole, which is no longer productive or positive.
  • Not being able to express how they truly feel. Harboring your true thoughts and feelings, or feeling as though you have to show up in a certain way, is a huge energy sinkhole as it’s simply exhausting to feel you have to wear a mask
  • Self-care and taking time to themselves. With lots of demands on our time and energy, often time for self is the first thing to go. However, looking after yourself enables you to have more energy to be there for others.

By making small, achievable shifts in how you direct your energy, it is possible to strengthen relationships, increase wellbeing, feel more fulfilled, and reduce stress and negative emotions. From women that have been through our programs, we see that once they are aware of where their energy is being wasted and the behavioral patterns that drain their energy, they can better harness and direct their energy, giving them more capacity for the activities that matter, more time for themselves and others, and more time to spend on meaningful work.

So, take a moment to ask yourself:

  • Where do you think the sources of energy drain are in your life?
  • Which activities don’t make you feel good?
  • Where do you think you could make shifts in how you spend your energy, so that you are investing it in a more intentional way?
  • What is one choice you can make to better protect your energy?



Sarah Deane: Founder MEvolution

Energizing souls by relinquishing blockers, reclaiming mental capacity, restoring energy, and redefining human potential.