Lately, I\u2019ve been feeling lousy. Maybe it\u2019s the change of season; maybe it\u2019s allergies; maybe it\u2019s germs. Whatever it is, for the past two weeks my head\u2019s been aching, my nose has been running, my eyes have been burning, and I\u2019ve been looking even more pathetic than I normally do.The doc put me on antibiotics and told me to take antihistamines, drink lots of water and take it easy.But I haven\u2019t been taking it easy. Most days, I\u2019ve been dragging my sorry butt into work. There\u2019s a lot going on right now at CIO. We\u2019re deploying a new content management system. We\u2019re building a new Web architecture and redefining our online coverage to make our award-winning website* even better. We\u2019re reengineering our internal work processes to make our site and our magazine more timely. And I figured that without my physical presence, without my sterling, hands-on leadership, the whole kit and caboodle would go to hell in a handbasket. So I showed up to work and led the troops with my noggin noddin\u2019 and my rheumy eyes half-closed. I deferred decisions and radiated martyred misery. I led with a whisper, a whine, a sneeze and a sniffle.Very inspirational. I should have known better.Recently, in conjunction with last month\u2019s CIO Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to interview Pulitzer Prize\u2013winning historian David McCullough. (You can see excerpts from that interview in \u201cDavid McCullough on Leadership,\u201d Page 30, or download our whole conversation at www.cio.com\/podcasts\/leadership.html.) Among the many things McCullough said that made a tremendous amount of sense to me was that leaders needed to be energetic. \u201cYou can\u2019t be in second gear all the time and be much of a leader,\u201d he said.In order to summon that energy, in order to be the engine that drives the endeavor, in order to provide a positive example for the people who look to you to see how they should conduct themselves at work, executives and leaders have to take care of themselves. They need to stoke their own engines and do whatever it takes to feel good about themselves, mentally and physically. And while at first blush that may sound selfish, it is actually one of the most important parts of the job: making sure that you can come in to work each day with the enthusiasm, optimism and vitality necessary to lift the spirits of the people around you.If you can\u2019t do that, you might as well stay in bed.*CIO.com won the 2006 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award for Best Website.