Leadership means stepping up to the plate, and there is no better way to show this than by volunteering.
When you are asked to take on a difficult assignment, and you demonstrate your leadership in how you get it done, that’s good. It takes things to an entirely different level if you actually volunteered for that assignment in the first place!
Just the willingness to step up when others aren’t (or haven’t thought to yet) will change how you are perceived at work.
Let me share a concrete example of this.
I had been an Assistant Vice President for several years, and really wanted to earn a promotion to Vice President.
Our company had recently established an Officers Advisory Group (OAG), with a rotating chair, and we were facing some particularly daunting challenges that might require considering layoffs.
No one seemed terribly anxious to lead us during this time, and I volunteered to take on the chair role. I worked hard over the following months to see that the OAG took an active role in responding to the current challenges.
At the end of the year, I was promoted to Vice President. When I later took over for my boss, I found the memo he wrote to our CEO, urging him to promote me to Vice President because I was clearly one of the company’s strongest leaders.
Now take a look around your own organization. I guarantee you there are initiatives no one is currently tackling that would address significant challenges faced by the organization.
What can you volunteer for?
Watch for Part 2 of “Volunteer … To Show Leadership” next week.