Volunteering: Giving Time

One skill that every business needs and I firmly believe cannot be learned in a classroom is leadership. Yes, you can read books on the topic and attend seminars, but the only real way to develop the skill is by doing it. When you step up in the corporate world and assume a leadership position there are a number of risks you are undertaking. Also, many of your coworkers may not be helping you as much as they can. They may secretly wish you fail so they can move up in the organization. If you don’t want to risk your career by attempting to take a leadership position in your company, how can you develop that skill without seriously jeopardizing your job? The answer is VOLUNTEERING. There are many organizations looking for help; it’s a great way to develop different skills and you discover your unique leadership style.
During my career, I have had the opportunity to work with the American Cancer Society, the Illinois CPA Society, my church, my school district and ROTARY. Rotary has taken me to Denmark, Germany, France, Australia and Guatemala as well as countless domestic adventures. The trips have not been all work, and they were all enjoyable. I have had the great pleasure of meeting and working with people from around the world.
One of my most interesting projects was working on a Mayan school in the middle of the rain forest in Guatemala. My team was bat proofing the boys dormitory to keep vampire bats from coming in at night and biting the students while they were sleeping. We also delivered local low cost water filter systems to many families that were living on about $2 per day. Providing clean water was a major health benefit.
If you are struggling with the Covid shutdown and have pent up energy, look for a release by helping other people. Perhaps you can organize a food drive, or a back to school supply drive. Search your own neighborhood, business or community with open eyes. What is needed? Be the volunteer to get it done! Doing something small will make a difference in someone’s life. You will be helping someone you may never meet and I also guarantee another person you help will be YOU!

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