“It’s hard to feed someone else when you’re hungry.” Anonymous
I first heard this quote when I was working with a leader in the Netherlands and we were talking about creating an environment that would nurture a motivated, cohesive team and take them to the next level of accomplishment. The point my interlocutor was making was that trying to motivate people, when you yourself are not motivated, was a fool’s errand. I remember how struck I was by the relevance of this quote in the context of not only being a leader, but by being led. I’ll explain. Business is a real pressure-cooker environment today, no question about it. In many cases, expectations are rising as resources are dwindling. Yet, middle managers are expected to deliver…period. But what if the middle managers are “hungry” for leadership? How can they “feed” their people in a way that is believable? A leader must feed her people—give them the example of caring, thoughtful, competent leadership and inspire them in a way that they feel fed, so they can do the same for their teams, and so on, down the line. It’s an excellent metaphor for the responsibility of leadership. Are your people getting enough to eat?
Good luck on your journey!