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Has 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?
Filed Under:   Career & Learning
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, marketing, customer service, and human resources. Named as a top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Karin helps leaders improve business results by building deeper trust and connection with their teams. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders. Ultimately, it's about Confident Humility.
 

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What People Are Saying

Steve Borek   |   22 February 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   22 February 2013   |   Reply

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

Shawn   |   22 February 2013   |   Reply

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

letsgrowleaders   |   22 February 2013   |   Reply

Shawn, Thanks so much for sharing that. Your volunteering efforts sound meaningful and fulfilling. Awesome.