How to Inspire Others
In my last blog, I talked about inspiring others. This got me thinking about what “inspiration and inspiring others” means. I started thinking about what inspires me. I volunteer to give back to my community, and I lead to inspire others.
Show Personal Leadership:
In my younger days, I looked at leadership as a command post that only came when you achieved a management title. As I matured, I realized that leadership comes from within.
What we do with the talents we are given and the skills that we learn is a key part of our success as leaders. Inspiring others gives us the opportunity to share that knowledge. It is a big part of the leadership responsibility and accountability I take in performing my volunteer roles.
It begins with a simple, cheery “Good Morning,” which sets a positive tone to begin the day. Throughout the day, I do what I can to enable and encourage open and friendly communications between paid staff and other volunteers to strengthen their relationships and build working teams.
More often than not, inspiring others means encouraging them to say what they are thinking, share their ideas, or speak up when they can improve a process or see that something is not working well. Their voices and contributions often positively influence the outcome of a situation.
Another way that I inspire volunteers is to hear their stories and help them aspire to roles that raise their interest and potential, help them grow, and provide a bigger contribution to the organization.
I was surprised to hear that many volunteers were not aware of the full scope of roles that are available to them, and that they felt limited in their current role. After learning about their backgrounds and diversity of skills, as well as their leadership abilities, it opened an opportunity to explore new ways of capturing information about volunteer skills, and linking that to the needs of the organization’s departments.
From time to time, I ask myself, what is the legacy that I want to leave behind? Lately, I hear people measuring themselves by their carbon footprint; I talk about what my volunteer leadership print will be. Do you want to be remembered by how many hours you put into your role, or the difference you made through effective leadership decisions and contributions?
If you are a volunteer leader who has inspired others, or have been inspired by a volunteer (after all, we are all leaders), please share your stories with us.