Just like a diamond is cut and sharpened around the edges so that it reflects light and shines brightly, the same way potential leaders can be shaped up to become better leaders. There are many ways an individual can practice leadership and inculcate leadership qualities. Among them, volunteering is a very effective and practical method.
Volunteering and leadership
Modern times do not require typical leaders who just lead a set of followers and get them to a task or achieve goals. The world today needs leaders who are not only capable of leading others but also who can think out of the box and bring about a positive change in the world.
Volunteering lets an individual go beyond the frame of typical leadership and become a unique leader. Apart from the basic leadership qualities such as teamwork, management skills, good communication skills, etc., future leaders need a unique set of skills that can easily be acquired by volunteering.
Why volunteers are better leaders
Self-motivation is an important leadership quality. Because it is the leader that motivates others. And there is no one to push and motivate the leader in particular. As the name suggests volunteers are self-motivated. Because individuals engage in volunteering out of their own free will. They volunteer not because it’s a duty or a responsibility. But because they are self-motivated to participate in a course that they believe in.
Leadership is mostly about working towards achieving a common goal. But the journey towards achieving a goal is never a smooth sail. There are unexpected situations and problems that arise in the way. Engaging in volunteering projects gives one the ability to think on their legs and to be solution-oriented. Volunteers always face with unexpected situations which make them better at crisis management and handling pressure.
Most often volunteering projects are about providing solutions to social problems. So these projects touch different fields and areas of concern. This makes volunteers be versatile and work in close proximity to different fields. Owing to this volunteers gain the skill to be adaptable to new situations. Therefore, adaptability is one of the leadership qualities that a volunteer gets to master.
A leader without the skills of collaboration and coordination would never be able to serve the purpose of being a leader. Coordination and collaboration are two skills that any volunteer acquires. Because volunteering projects require a lot of coronation and collaboration, be it with sponsors, partners or fellow volunteers.
One of the must-have leadership qualities in a leader is empathy. If a leader is unable to empathize with the followers or other stakeholders concerned, that kind of a leader would not be able to achieve the ultimate goal. But being a volunteer helps you to empathize with others and thereby understand others’ sentiments and personalities. This helps a leader to better understand the best way to lead.
Groom yourself to be a better leader with AIESEC
Having mentioned all the reasons why volunteering makes an individual a better leader it is mandatory to mention how to have the best volunteering experience. AIESEC’s leadership product, Global Volunteer (GV) provides you with the opportunity to be a volunteer through two of its functions which are incoming Global Volunteer (iGV) and outgoing Global Volunteer (oGV). So turn your aspiration to volunteer into reality and volunteer with AIESEC. Be a better leader than the one you aspire to be.