Leadership Through Volunteerism

People volunteer for a variety of reasons. Some want to give back to an organization that made a difference in their lives. Others are seeking a meaningful way to remain active and involved. Still others just enjoy helping out. People who donate their time may not ask for anything in return, but volunteering often reaps many rewards. One of the greatest rewards is the chance to develop and practice leadership skills.

Volunteers often rise more quickly to take on roles as leaders than in the workplace. A "can do" attitude, along with a proactive and results-oriented approach is sure to be noticed, and welcomed. Team players who develop effective ways to pull people together to achieve goals are always in need. A willingness to take charge, identify challenges, and overcome obstacles is the key to any team leader's success.

A truly effective volunteer leader keeps the team members motivated and energized, doing good things in a fun way. Frequent communication using a supportive yet goal-oriented approach enable the team to keep on track and interact in a positive way. No one is perfect, and even a good leader is bound to stumble some times. The secret is to learn from mistakes, to listen to feedback, to be flexible and adaptable, and make continual improvements.

Leading a group of volunteers is a great way to gain experience in critical life skills. Are you already a leader at work? Then volunteer leadership allows for innovation and a new approach, or just exercising a style that has served you well in a new environment. Regardless, good deeds are made even better with the added feeling of pride from a team well-lead, a noble goal successfully accomplished, and the added confidence knowing you went above and beyond to help make it happen. Isn't it time you lead a team of volunteers?  

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