Volunteerism as Leadership Development

74729_10151461893365101_1608222741_nBeing an active participant in community development brings me joy. I’m adding value and having an impact on the future of Omaha – that’s feels awesome. Studies show that people who volunteer are happier than those who don’t – we all know this, right?

But have you thought about the leadership development it can provide you as well?

Serving on the board for the Greater Omaha Young Professionals for the past 12 months has been the single most impactful decision I have made to develop myself as a leader.

As young professionals, many of us have career aspirations that are bigger than our current role. I want to move up, be noticed, and have an impact for my employer. As a board member I have the opportunity to not just read about and talk about the skills I need to develop to be a better leader, but actually use them, consistently in a practical way.

Skills I have been working on:

  • Negotiation – As a board, we are working together to retain and attract young professionals to Greater Omaha through engagement, opportunity advocacy. Individuals all have distinct ideas on how we can accomplish this. As a board member, you must work to develop your negotiation skills and sell the benefits and value of ideas that you support. Refining this skill takes time and practice, serving on a board  is a vehicle to aid you in this journey.
  • Presenting/Public Speaking – Currently, I am serving at the Chair for the YP Summit (our annual conference). Monthly, I present to the board the progress our committee is making to develop our conference for 2015. This allows me to hone my public speaking & presentation skills which adds value to my professional job every day.
  • Writing – & communication in general. To be an effective board member you must be able to communicate well via written and spoken word. Again, that practical application for development is key!
  • Relationship building – Building alliances and strategic partnerships with other community leaders and fellow board members – talk about value here!
  • Time management – Balancing volunteer work with a full-time job and family/friend obligations takes an extra level of balancing and prioritization. It’s oh, so worth it.

Are you considering getting involved on a board or volunteering for a committee? DO IT. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations that would welcome your input.

Inspired? Applications are open right now to serve on the YP Board! Act fast as they close on Friday (the 16th). Come join me in developing yourself as a leader while having a measurable impact on the future of Greater Omaha as a destination for talent and growth. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s