Managers who can lead effectively create a positive working climate and learning culture, which in turn leads to high quality individual and organisational performance.
Leaders inspire and motivate others to follow them towards a vision, rather than commanding them to do things
For managers of volunteers, it is particularly important to develop strong leadership skills. Your success depends on your ability to inspire volunteers to do what is needed and to go that extra mile. Not because they are paid, but because they want to.
How can you go about assessing your strengths and limitations as a leader?
Try to imagine your ideal self as a leader.
Who do you admire as leaders and who would you see as role models? What would your ideal self be doing, feeling and saying? How authentic is your picture of your ideal self? Is it what you believe a leader should be, or what you truly see you could become? Does it build on existing strengths, your ‘tipping points’, the things that you already do well but could excel in?
Once you feel comfortable with your vision of your ideal self, you can move on to think about your real self.
What are the aspects of your real self that measure up to your ideal? What are the differences? Other questions you can ask yourself: Am I naturally more democratic or commanding, relationships or task orientated? You might want to ask others for feedback about some or all aspects of your leadership style. What insights can your manager, your peers and your volunteers offer you?
And finally – you can use your assessment to help you develop meaningful learning goals.
For example, you might want to become more confident in conveying ideas to others. One you have identified this as a learning goal, you can focus on practising as situations arise in your daily life at work, at home and in social environments. Giving yourself some thinking time to prepare, and time afterwards to reflect on your progress. What went well? What could you do differently next time?