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Overcoming Difficulty When Raising New Leaders

Submitted by James Higginbotham on February 16, 2010 – 4:25 amNo Comment

Raising up new volunteer can be difficult. The rules are different. Even if you raise leaders in your job or business, raising volunteer leaders can be a painful process. Let’s find out how to overcome some of the issues and navigate the process.

You invest in a potential leader. You give your time teaching them the skills. Then the worse happens – they drop out or give up.

Or, you seem to spend time teaching the same things over and over. They just don’t seem to get it.

Perhaps they showed some signs of leadership capability, but then they seem to stall.

Why does these kinds of things happen?

Often, it is because we pushed on them too fast. Volunteers have other obligations, so the time they have to focus on growing as a leader moves slowly. Don’t assume that because they show a glimmer of leadership one week that it will happen again soon. Look for consistency instead of a single event. Be willing to give them the time they need to grow. Be willing to let them step back before they step forward again.

Also keep in mind that your volunteers are often untested. You haven’t worked with them at a full-time job. You don’t know their work habits, attitudes, and fears. This takes time to learn. It only comes after many hours of working together directly. It doesn’t happen through a couple of quick lessons and then telling them to “jump right in”.

Finally, remember that your leadership development took many small steps rather than a few big ones. Break challenges and learning experiences into smaller steps that can be used to grow them rather than burn them out.

Leadership is developed over time and requires patience from both you and the future leader. Are you willing to give your future leaders the time they need to grow?

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