When you accept a volunteer role in a booster organization, you are stepping into a position of leadership. Whether you serve as president, a committee chair, or a general volunteer, you lead others by your influence. Everyone has a leadership style – their own way of influencing others.
Sometimes we are blind to our own leadership style. We just don’t take the time to see ourselves as others see us. Often, it’s not intentional. We mean well. After all, we are passionate about the student program and we want the very best for our students. What we fail to realize, though, is that other parents are on the same journey that we are. They also want to play an active role in the students’ lives.
Let’s take a look at three leadership styles. Are you a hoarder, a delegator, or a collaborator?
Hoarders do everything themselves – they hoard the tasks of the organization. Typically, hoarders feel as if they have to be there every time the door is open. Some actually feel that the organization will not run without them.
Hoarders derive a sense of self worth by inserting themselves into every activity. By doing many tasks themselves, they deny others the opportunity to serve.
The hoarder leadership style presents at least three risks:
- Other volunteers will fall away from the organization. There is just not an opportunity for them to get involved.
- The hoarding leader will burn out quickly.
- The organization will not be able to develop future leaders.
Delegators spread the work around. They make assignments and call the shots. While we may prefer the delegator style to the hoarder, delegators face challenges of their own.
Delegators typically do not seek input from others, and lose that important outside perspective. Delegators expect things to be done exactly as assigned, and micromanage the people doing the tasks. If they aren’t careful, delegators may appear to have – or may actually have – big egos.
Collaborators approach situations with an open mind. They genuinely appreciate the input of others, and adopt others’ ideas. Collaborators understand that they don’t know all the answers. In fact, they enjoy the process of brainstorming with others to solve problems and develop courses of action.
Collaborators realize that other parents want to participate and respect that they are all on the same journey of parenthood. They offer others leeway in determining how to achieve tasks. By collaborating with others, they develop future leaders and set the foundation for sustained success.
Do you want to improve your effectiveness as a leader? Take the time now to assess your own leadership style and consider how you can become a better collaborator.
Question: How can you collaborate better with other parent volunteers? You can leave a comment by clicking here.