Volunteer and Grow? Side Effects of Volunteering

February 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

growinunfamiliarplaces 300x300 Volunteer and Grow?  Side Effects of VolunteeringHas volunteering made you a better leader?

As I was getting established in my career, going to grad school at night, and becoming a mom, I kept thinking (and saying), “I just don’t have time to volunteer.”

Sure,  I would bake the cupcakes or volunteer at church, but certainly nothing that required sustained energy and effort. I thought, “people with more time would surely be better at that than me.”

Looking back now, that sure sounds like an excuse… and a mistake.

I regret what I missed in the giving and in the growing that comes from volunteering during that phase of my life.  The growing is more fun these days.

I am delighted to have a guest post this week on SmartBlog:  Smartbrief on Leadership entitled How Volunteering Makes You a Better Leader.

I hope you will take the time to check it out and leave a comment.  How has volunteering made you a better leader?

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4 responses to Volunteer and Grow? Side Effects of Volunteering

  1. I started drinking the volunteer Kool-Aid about 12 years ago. My first event was Special Olympics. Then I moved on to numerous others including our local soup kitchen and community theatre. The one thing that stands out for me is the best leaders are great human beings. They’re all about helping others. Humble is their middle name. At this point in my life, I’m encouraging others to volunteer when they can. You can’t help everyone, you can help someone.

  2. Steve. thanks so much. That is the perfect summary, “great leaders are great human beings.” amen.

  3. Karin,

    I recently relocated to a new city and was trying to connect with a local charity that I could volunteer at. Last night was my first night!!

    I was bagging sandwiches and helping prepare a soup that will serve 80-200 people this weekend. Then I stuck around and washed dishes and swept the kitchen floor. I met some really great people.

    For me, volunteering re-energizes me with positive energy. It is a cleansing activity that helps me re-center myself around being positive and making a difference. This helps me at work, especially when I am feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. I love being around other people in the community that focus on making positive changes.

    -Shawn

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