Be Positively Contagious to Unlock Your Influence

Be Contagious


In this week’s “Aim Higher” podcast, I had the pleasure of talking with Anese Cavanaugh, author of the books Contagious YOU and Contagious Culture.


“Your contagiousness is a superpower. With great power comes great response-ability.” – Anese Cavanaugh 



At the heart of both books is a concept that I literally use almost every day: The IEP Method or Intentional Energetic Presence. It’s about helping people start on the inside and then “show up” in a way that creates a positive impact without creating burnout. I won’t try to teach you the method… but I would invite you to listen to our discussion and then take a look at her materials and read her books. It’s truly a transformational way of thinking about your inner energy and how it affects those around us, especially if we are leaders.

One part of our talk, though, got me thinking. If you’ve listened to my interviews and podcasts, you hear the metaphor of “the oxygen mask” come up more than a few times.

You know the one on an airplane, we’re told to make sure our own oxygen mask is in place before taking care of a child we’re traveling with—because we can’t take care of someone else until we take care of ourselves. Usually, when this topic comes up in leadership training exercises, the kind of “self-care” that’s discussed is about, primarily, health and family—make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, taking time for your family and faith needs.


“Does the way you show up help you create the impact you want and the experience you desire?”- Anese Cavanaugh 


That’s all true!

But Anese used a couple of interesting terms that I think merit some attention.

She spoke of “self-talk” and “self-kindness.” The stories we tell ourselves about how we do what we do. Why we go to work. How we start our days. Why we’re in this meeting or having this performance conversation. And those are very, very important moments that inform our “inner game,” which, as she reminds us, “drives our outer game”. When I asked her about the qualities of great leaders she’s worked with, one of them she mentioned is something you don’t hear often—they’re good at pausing. And I’ve found that to be incredibly true. Because I think that good leaders are pausing to listen to that inner voice to make sure that they’re not bringing any of their own negative energy to a situation. They’re making sure that the self-talk is good first, and then putting out good, clean, positive leadership direction.

I hope you’ll pause… and listen to what Anese has to say. She’s a wonderful teacher, and I know you’ll learn something important from her. I certainly did.


Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.


“Our greatest opportunity as a leader is to nourish, champion, and grow other leaders.”- Anese Cavanaugh 


“We all have our space, and we get to decide what we take on and what we don’t.” – Anese Cavanaugh 


“When I’m present, I’m now in a place of power where I can choose what to do to change the game.” – Anese Cavanaugh 


“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” – Abraham Maslow 


“Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



For more information, see Contagious YOU and Contagious Culture.



Learn the important power of prioritizing sleep

Learn the important power of prioritizing sleep

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