Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
Why do leaders who excel atop one organization fail while leading another?
For one, leadership is hard. If anyone could successfully lead any company, executive compensation would be a lot lower. But more notably, as I have learned from my time leading a volunteer organization, capably leading different types of groups requires a clear understanding that a different set of ground rules necessitates a different set of leadership tactics.
Leaders should stay true to who they are to their very core but must recognize that what worked in one place may not work in another.
Here are some of the differences I have observed when leading a volunteer organization compared to leading a business, and what leaders can take away:
You don’t pick your cards.
When you are the leader of a company or even a leader of a division within a company, you generally enjoy a significant amount of control over who is around you. You get to hire, you get to fire, and your team will ultimately consist of your people. But when you are the leader of a volunteer organization, you have pretty limited say over who you work with. The people who report to you are other people who have signed up, not lieutenants you can handpick. You have some say over the board composition, but you are working off of a limited pool and likely will not have complete free reign.
Leaders in business, on the contrary, manage teams they can personally build, shape and cultivate. When filling job openings for my business, I am very aggressive in marketing the openings — telling everyone I know, posting on my social media and on job boards, asking employees to spread the word — to try to get a large pool of strong applicants.
As the leader of a volunteer organization, you have to play the hand you are dealt — you don’t get to pick your cards. It is also worth noting that volunteers feel far less accountable to you personally than they do to the cause they committed to. Leverage organizational staff when the message is more powerful or effective coming from the organization directly rather than from a fellow volunteer.
No money = different incentives.
Not only are you not getting paid as the leader of a volunteer group, but neither are the people who report to you. You can’t motivate by increasing pay or cutting salaries, you can’t promote or fire, and there is only so much you can do to enhance the professional growth of fellow volunteers. In other words, the traditional tools and incentives we use in business do not exist in this game.
Instead, leaders must appeal to the intrinsic wants and needs of the people they are leading. Try to understand what they want to do, what they enjoy doing, what they find fun, how they want to spend their time, what they consider to be meaningful and what they consider to be interesting. Additionally, appeal to their commitment to the cause they signed up for — they decided to commit to this specific unpaid post for a reason, and the group’s mission is at least a part of it.
With that said, recognize that busy professionals may love the organization they volunteered to serve but still do not want to spend time doing things that they do not consider important, meaningful or intrinsically interesting.
The metrics are different.
With my office furniture business, the metrics are very clear. We want to sell more products and do so more profitably. There are specific measurables that allow us to chart our progress as we work toward achieving our financial and professional goals as a company. For instance, I can assess the performance of our digital marketing efforts by charting the sales from our website alongside our online spend.
But with a volunteer organization, the measurables are very different because there are often no real financial goals. Even when there are, the main goals are generally more social in nature. You are not trying to sell goods — you are trying to throw great events, add new members, get new followers on social media and get people off of social media to show up to your events to connect.
Because these metrics are softer and not as intuitive as more traditional business targets like dollars and cents, it can be challenging to steer organizational focus toward reaching hard goals. Getting five thousand followers on Instagram is not quite as powerful or exciting as doubling sales. But I believe in the importance of setting ambitious benchmarks for your group, as it is my strong belief that no matter what organization you are running, when you reach for something big you will get more done along the way, even if you fall short of your end goal.
Do not be afraid of setting bold and ambitious goals: If you set a target you know your team can reach, there is a good chance you selected too easy of a target. Challenge the people around you and challenge yourself. Leading a volunteer organization is a good place to start.
December 13, 2018 at 07:01PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs