Let’s face it, volunteer leadership can be tough, but simply changing the way you present yourself to your volunteers can make a huge difference. Here are some tips on how to lead like a boss, and inspire volunteers to follow you.
Be present. All too often, volunteer leaders find themselves focused on project goals and their responsibilities, when they should be focused on the present: getting involved, inspiring others and being available for questions. Avoid getting sidetracked and stay in the moment, and when speaking to your volunteers, make sure to give them your full attention. Your undivided attention lets your volunteers know you appreciate their time.
Be clear and passionate. Clarity and passion are two attributes of a great volunteer leader. Clarity in communication and vision for what needs to be done, and passion for your organization’s cause. Your enthusiasm alone will inspire others to follow your lead.
Prevent burnout. It is hard to lead like a boss if you feel stressed, anxious, or simply burned out from having too much to do, and your tension can easily rub off on others. If you are feeling overwhelmed before a big project with your volunteers, consider delegating some of your tasks to others, and make sure you are well rested.
When leading your volunteers, remember that what leaders do and say makes up a only small part of their overall impact. The majority of that impact lies in a leader’s presence, and the energy they bring to the table. Stay present, clear and passionate, and you’ll soon find that leading and inspiring volunteers comes naturally.
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