What do you do to help others?

When I commenced typing these words I wasn't aware of the sad news about the death of South Africa's 'soul', Nelson Mandela. 

It's a coincidence that my leadership thoughts this morning revolved around the 'volunteer' theme given yesterday many people celebrated International Volunteer Day.

My question is 'what do you do to help others?' Not in your paid workplace and not as a parent to your children or daughter/son to your parent but for people outside of your inner sanctum?

Consider the incarceration of Nelson Mandela. He spent 27 years in jail - volunteering his time to 'stand up' for what he believed in and what was best for his people.

I'm not suggesting these extremes however I am recommending that to continue to build your leadership capacity, you need to volunteer your time to help others. Whether it's helping a charity of choice, being a mentor/coach or providing pro-bono work for a NFP - these three simple examples will make a difference to those who benefit and you will learn more about your leadership.

When I have read peoples' CVs in a recruiting capacity, it's the Volunteer aspect of a person's profile that speak so many words about their values, principles, drive and leadership. It's these core components that generally don't change in a human being.

As the year comes to a close, you can reflect on how others have helped you and respond by planning how you can help others in 2014.

My thoughts are with the family of Nelson Mandela and my hope is that we can all be more like him in our lives.

Lou's Leadership Views: Thanks A Million

We’re acknowledging the many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Volunteers around Australia this week by saying, “thanks a million”.

You hear people say, “where would our country be without Volunteers” and it’s true, but maybe we don’t understand one of the meanings associated with this quote.

Volunteerism has a ‘Win-Win-Win’ effect on society. The organisation providing help, the person/people being helped and then there is the hero, the Volunteer. They feel a sense of self-worth, they learn through the process of helping and knowing from first hand, you feel ‘a better person’.

It dawned on me yesterday that the Leadership I experienced through volunteering myself over the many years in Junior Chamber International outweighed the opportunities provided in my corporate career. Mind you, considering the hours I worked, I think I volunteered at work as well!

Do you volunteer? Considered it? Go on, try it out or maybe do more of it. I am – I’ve been a bit lazy and it’s time to give more. I’ll say “Thanks a Million” in advance!