“If you want to have a big life, you have to be a big spender.”

Dr. Jim Joehr

Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist and author of 17 books including his most recent, Leading With Character. He also co-authored the NYT best-selling book, The Power of Full Engagement, and is one of the greatest mentors I’ve had in my career. In our conversation, Dr. Loehr talks about the importance of energy management, the power of leading with character, and what it really takes to live a big life.


  • Leaders perform to their potential in high-pressure environments.
  • The spiritual profile (e.g., purpose, values, beliefs) has emerged as the single most dominant factor in well-being and overall sustained performance.
  • Read The Making of a Corporate Athlete (Harvard Business Review)

Two Types of Character

#1: Performance Character

acquired competencies that drive extraordinary achievement (e.g., focus, discipline, positivity, grit, etc.)

#2: Moral Character

acquired competencies that support the ethical treatment of others (e.g., integrity, honesty, kindness, compassion, etc.)

“The highest priority is how you treat people in your quest to make a contribution.”

Dr. Jim Loehr

Key Character Points:

  • People want to follow people who have integrity.
  • People are always keeping score.
  • “I want to treat you the way you would like to be treated.”

Character Exercise Questions:

  • Why are you here?
  • What is life all about for you?
  • Are you the kind of person other people want to follow?

Character is Good Business

We want to be around people who are fully engaged.

You have to feel valued as a person, in a culture that understands the sacrifices we make and has concern for our well-being–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

“Health ignites performance.”

Dr. Jim Loehr

The Spiritual Dimension

The spiritual dimension in human beings must be tended to, defined as:

  • The energy of the human spirit
  • Your purpose and values
  • How you want to conduct yourself
  • What kind of legacy you want to leave behind

Exercise: Create Your Eulogy

The #1 takeaway from Dr. Loehe’s data: Health ignites performance.

Coaching Character

The secret to coaching is being a sort of “Sherpa” – helping people get to the top of the mountain. Through caring, you cause people to dig deeper and come up with stuff that actually makes a difference in terms of getting to the top of the mountain.

These principles apply across the board in sports, business, and life.


The false promise of time management is that to be truly successful in life, you must first define what truly matters to you, then you must courageously invest time in the causes, people, and events that matter most to you. In that investment of time, you will get the return for the kind of life you want to live.

The Reality of Time

  • Time has no power.
  • It’s not the time you invest; it’s the energy you invest aligned with your mission.
  • Quality time does not exist.
  • You can’t manage time. Time just keeps rolling out.
  • You can manage yourself around time.

“Human beings are reservoirs of potential energy.”

Dr. Jim Loehr

The Power of Energy

  • Energy is the substrate that makes everything happen.
  • Life begins with the first pulse of energy.
  • All systems in the body are driven by some kind of energy dynamic.
  • Energy has quality, quantity, focus, and intensity.
  • The more energy we have, the bigger life we can have.
  • When you’re out of energy, life is over.

“People don’t want your time; they want your energy.”

Dr. Jim Loehr

The Power of Full Engagement

  • Full engagement is the greatest quality and quantity of focus and intensity of energy right here, right now.
  • Energy is life. You take life out of your body and you give it away to others or to a cause.
  • Sharing your energy is how people know you care.
  • Whatever you give your energy to, you give life to.

How to Optimize Your Energy

  1. Understand where energy comes from. All energy comes from the cells in your body.
  2. Increase your physical capacity. “A healthy body produces great energy.”
  3. Channel your energy. Have a clear sense of your priorities and investments.

Extraordinary leaders invest energy in what they want well beyond what they normally do.

“Most inventions come from turning things upside down.”

Dr. Jim Loehr


More important than the chase is who you become as a consequence of the chase. We were born to chase but we want to chase the right thing for the right reasons.

  • Follow your own path.
  • Be a curious learner.
  • look at things from different perspectives.
  • Don’t just accept conventional wisdom.
  • Be courageous to go against the grain.
  • Take more time to reflect.
  • Walk your talk. “The more you can be what you teach, the more power you have.”
  • Don’t wait to be happy or joyful–be joyful every day.
  • Keep pushing the envelope to learn something new.

“Who are you becoming as a human being?”

Dr. Jim Loehr


Favorite Movie: Top Gun

Worst Job Ever: Graveyard watering lawns at 90 cents/hour

Favorite Quote: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”-Mark Twain

Favorite Word: Engagement

Favorite Animal: Dogs

Live Anywhere Besides Current Residence: Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Song: Simply the Best by Tina Turner

“I hope that my work inspires others to dig a little deeper to find new and better ways of helping human beings find their way back home.”

Dr. Jim Loehr

How to Find Dr. Jim Loehr: www.jim-loehr.com


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E-MAIL: rene@renevidal.com

WEBSITE: www.renevidal.com

LINKEDIN: www.linkedin.com/in/coachvidal

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© René Vidal

A 7-time NCAA championship coach, René Vidal serves as head coach at McKendree Tennis and founder of Vidal Peak Performance, an executive coaching company for business owners, leaders, and teams.

To learn more, email: rene@renevidal.com.


A 7-time NCAA championship coach, René Vidal serves as head coach at McKendree Tennis and founder of Vidal Peak Performance, an executive coaching company for CEOs, business owners, and sales teams.


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