People need sustenance to exist. As a leader you are responsible to ensure your team members are fed. Not just to keep them at the minimum. If that is all you do that is all you will get from them. The minimum! You are responsible to ensure your team members are fully satiated in order to thrive. What happens when your teammates are thriving. Your team thrives. When your team thrives, guess what? That's right! You thrive. People need fed. Are you feeding anyone?
How do you feed your team? You need to ensure their professional needs are being met. You need to inspire your team members to continue to grow. You need to demonstrate to your entire team the importance of your own commitment to professional development. That's right, your team is watching what you do and they will mimic your behavior. If you think you can provide them a budget for professional development and you did your part, you are sadly mistaken.
Through my 17 years of executive level leadership I observed several of my c-suite colleagues act as if they were omniscient and fully prepared for the challenges of the day and for any challenge that may come their way in the future. That was and is sad. They professionally shrivel and their competencies shrivel. More to the point, if the leader is not demonstrating a commitment to professional development how likely are his/her direct reports to feel sincerely welcome to attend conferences or workshops? I argue they see the annual training budget as lip service. They will not feel comfortable. Guess what? That behavior then trickles down to their direct reports and then so on and so forth. The result is a hungry team that is underperforming and an untapped training budget.
As a leader, let's lead by setting an example! Fed yourself and then ensure your team is eating! Provide the budget and then hold them accountable for their own professional growth. Ensure they are fed. They are hungry. They need sustenance. Make sure they are growing and your team will thrive.
Happy 2022! Keep shining!