Many great leaders are not born as great leaders…they learn the skills they need over time and through experience.
If you aspire to lead…whether a team or an entire organization…you need to put yourself in situations where you can learn what works for you and those around you. Situational leadership training experts suggest that volunteering for a nonprofit agency in your community is an excellent way to hone leadership skills and prepare for an executive position.
Think about it. To lead a group of volunteers, you cannot rely on positional power or monetary rewards to encourage best efforts. On the contrary, you will need to rely on your persuasive ability to motivate your team. As well, you will have to practice many of the responsibilities of leaders—strategic planning, budgeting, delegating, influencing, and ensuring compliance. Fundamentally, you will have to earn the respect and trust of your volunteer troops.
Leading a group of volunteers can expose you to all the challenges of leading in the corporate world without the associated career risks. You can learn how to lead at the same time you are doing good. What could be better!