Leading with Purpose: Empowering Growth and Development
on January 02, 2024
By Jeremy Stolz, CEO, VGM
In the dynamic landscape of professional development, leadership not only propels individuals toward their full potential but also shapes the culture of the workplace. It serves as a beacon, illuminating the path toward success, fostering mentorship, and cultivating a culture that resonates with positivity and achievement. As a leader at VGM, I place a strong emphasis on nurturing the growth of our employee owners. This commitment is rooted in my hopes of leaving the business better than I found it for employee owners, our customers, and beyond.
Investing in Development
In my view, a leader’s primary responsibility is to cultivate more leaders. This, I believe, ensures the sustained success of any company long after a leader’s departure. I make sure to dedicate a substantial amount of time with the people who report to me so that it is meaningful for all of us. I learn as much from my team as they do from me. That is another very important part of my job to keep learning as much as humanly possible about our people, technology, industry trends, our customers, and their customers. The time I spend with people on my team is where I can do a lot of that.
Setting aside time to have these meaningful check-ins with team members leads to a valuable exchange of knowledge and connection, but it also allows me to keep a pulse on the overall morale of the team. The more time I can spend directly with people, the better sense I have of the morale of the entire team. This hands-on approach enables me to promptly address any issues and maintain a positive work environment. Team members appreciate this investment in their professional development, recognizing that it encourages them to think bigger and appreciate the impact of their contributions.
Message of Improvement
I am always thinking about our customers and our teams at VGM that are serving them. When I read a book, watch a TV show, or read an article, I can almost always apply part of it to what we are trying to do at work. During our regular staff meetings, I try to bring these messages that I find to share with the team and see how we can apply it to our every day, whether it’s enhancing day-to-day operations, elevating the customer experience, or advancing personal development.
Empowering Through Mentorship
I emphasize the importance of mentorship in my own career. I regularly engage with a diverse group of mentors, both within and outside VGM and the industry. These mentors serve as a source of guidance, helping me navigate complexities and providing a sounding board for my ideas. The reciprocal nature of these relationships fuel inspiration and innovation. I believe mentors play a pivotal role in personal and professional growth. That is why I advise fellow leaders to seek out mentors with diverse backgrounds and skills.
While you can seek people who are in similar roles to yours, it’s also important to seek out people with completely different roles and skills than you. I always strive to learn from individuals who have achieved success, as they bring invaluable insights born from both triumphs and failures.
Embracing Organizational Culture
To fellow leaders, I offer a simple, yet powerful piece of advice: Focus on the positives within your organization. Every business has challenges—but it’s immeasurably more powerful to latch on to the smallest optimistic fragment in the business than it is to allow a negative thought to permeate, which can quickly drag you or the culture down. By acknowledging and celebrating even the smallest victories, leaders can create a culture of resilience and optimism.
VGM Power of One Principles
There’s also tremendous energy in finding the good work being done by people on your team and calling it out. VGM has a set of principles we call “The Power of One,” which are at the heart of our culture. One of those principles is “Cheer each other on,” and it reflects the impact of employee recognition for a job well done, which is a hard feeling to match.
As business leaders, we have a vital role to lead with a purpose, and that can come in many forms. Investing time in professional development, mentorship, and the cultivation of a positive work culture can serve as a guiding light for leaders seeking to empower their teams and foster an environment of continuous growth and achievement. Through my approach, I hope to exemplify the transformative potential of investing in those who drive our organization’s success.
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This article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Elevating Performance: Harnessing Human Capital. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today!
- human resources