No act of kindness is ever wasted.
Community service or volunteering is a great way to develop the leadership skills a good leader needs. Do not start by thinking that time is not on your side when it comes to volunteering – as it is not all about time. Even the most minor acts of volunteering matter.
Therefore, receive this with an open mind and see what you can do, who can you help, how can you help, and how can this be added to your already busy schedule? Each participant in the community service is critical for its success as well as for your personal development.
Starting this in your early years can positively influence your future. Apart from focusing on community goals and doing good, community service helps you learn and grow personally and professionally. The hands-on learning while doing community service will last a lifetime.
Leadership skills are developed through hard work and not only through studying. Most of them are developed through activities that engage you in real situations with real people that need help and guidance. A leader does not mean only managing a team of people, and you can be a leader without having a team to lead.
Service outside your school classes
Service activities in college years help you grow and develop for the future. The opportunities that appear in your school years to make a change and help make a difference in your future self allow you to grow your leader.
What is essential in a community service program is that you DO NOT HAVE TO do anything! It is your choice; the motives in the back are the ones driving you and making your work meaningful.
Starting with high school years, the service-learning practice is an approach to education that connects what you learn with real-life lessons through community service. This type of experiential learning helps students develop skills like decision–making, focus on the value of teamwork, and grow the abilities a leader needs.
The IDEAS Student Societies: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, and Service at Spark School, help you get involved in community service. The leadership course here enables you to find your voice, be prepared for the future, develop your social conscience, and see how you can personally contribute to the world.
Moreover, the ten competencies Spark School focuses on helping raise awareness of the community service in our students. They learn that compassion, courage, and kindness are skills that define a good character and a good leader. And what better way to put them to practice than by volunteering?
Volunteering as a student will prepare you to be a part of the global community.
How can volunteering help grow the leader in you?
You may wonder about the relationship between volunteering and being a good leader and how it can develop leadership skills? It starts with developing core leadership values. More than this, it is a great way to shape a person’s character, which will help thrive in a leadership role.
Some of the skills you will develop while volunteering
A successful leader needs to be passionate. Starting with community service early in high school and continuing it throughout your life helps you contribute to a better society. Also, seeing the results you help reach will create that passion and keep it alive. As a good leader, it is necessary to be passionate and thrive. Having the mindset already there helps you become a better leader while also giving something back to the community.
Any volunteer team has a leader to guide them in the right direction. If you feel up to it and are passionate, and believe in the cause, you can also become a leader in the volunteer team. This will help you adapt to many situations, grow personally, develop soft skills, be persistent, and clearly understand the goals. All of this will help you later in life and create a good leader.
Having a positive attitude is a trait a leader should feed all the time. Volunteering is a great way to be more positive while doing something for the well-being of others.
We are all born with a degree of communication skills. However, they should be worked upon and developed for one to become a good leader. It would help if you could communicate clearly and concisely, without sounding all mighty. Community service will help you develop this skill as you persuade others to assist your cause. Moreover, it is an opportunity to interact and work with some people you would not normally work with. This will help bridge the communication gaps and make you accept and collaborate with every person.
More than ever, community service helps you learn. It allows you to give and open up new goals to achieve, goals that keep your mind sharp to help you reach them. Learning is an ongoing process that even a very experienced leader needs. You can never say – I know everything I need to know.
As a volunteer, you have access to a limited budget, to a small number of people to help you, and you have to learn to think creatively and work with what you have. The ability you gain through this is making the most of what you have and developing and using the resources you have at hand.
Most often, in community service situations, things do not go as smoothly as expected. Here comes the need to have patience and perseverance until the results come. While it may take longer, the right involvement and commitment will lead to the expected outcome.
Many problems may arise, and you have to deal with them as you are in charge. In time, your problem–solving abilities develop in such a manner that you will no longer run from problems but face them and give them a good and fast solution.
As a volunteer, you share information and knowledge. As you shift roles within an organization, you will be allowed to mentor new members and mentor those in need. There are many opportunities to choose from when talking about mentoring.
Human resource management
While we all focus on developing those professional skills that help the leader become better, you will be surprised how well your soft skills develop as a volunteer.
Community service opportunities
The volunteering opportunities are many, and you can choose the ones that fit your skills or match the skills you want to develop. You can contribute to making a difference for any cause that speaks to your mind and soul.
There are short–term commitments and long–term commitments.
However, it is a great way to pay attention to causes that may seem more complicated, usually avoided by many, and need you.
Just as with leadership, when it comes to community service, the more you care and are involved in a cause, the better results.
Steven J. Hudoba said, while “the reasons to volunteer and help others are overwhelming. […] you’ll have a great time, you’ll help others, and you’ll help yourself.” (Volunteering: A Key to Leadership Success, By Steven J. Hudoba)
Volunteering from an early age can shape a better leader than just working and trying to climb the professional ladder without having any volunteering activities in the past. Volunteering helps develop a broader perspective of the world, develop networking skills, and, most importantly, shape your personality. This is what will eventually help create a great leader.
Remember that with every community service you are involved in, you help make a difference, and apart from contributing to a need, you may empower others who can do so.
“ Be a blessing to others, and your life will be blessed without measure.” Tony Robbins (Linkedin)