The Gen-Z mantra — Volunteer Mindset!

It was a bright Sunday morning and the Zoroastrian club of Secunderabad was amidst the hustle and bustle of a large group of youngsters. Some fixing the tents, a few sweeping the floor and a few arranging the kennels for the rescued dogs and cats. As my wife and I entered the club we saw high energy and positive spirit buzzing out of everyone. This was an event organized by HSPCA, Humane society of protection and care for animals. We too were volunteers for the day! While the event was a success and a lot of animals got adopted and funds were collected for the welfare of the animals. I witnessed something special.

The event was 100% volunteer-driven, everyone worked without any compensation or a desire for gains. We were all bound by one agenda “animal welfare” and everyone was on top of their game, ensuring the event was a success. This experience is still fresh in my memory and has helped in improving my leadership skill. You’d say really! How would volunteering help in improving leadership skills, hence to answer this question and to take it one step ahead, I wrote this article.

A lot has been written and spoken about fixed and growth mindset, however at this time in the world I believe that the “Volunteer Mindset” can help you uplift your leadership game. Today many managers, leaders struggle to get their paid employees to do the jobs they were hired for and find it harder to motive their teams to focus. At times you may find your employee walking to work as if they are doing a favor. These challenges are real, so what should leaders do to manage the teams more effectively.

The answer is to shift to a “Volunteer mindset”, learn how NGOs operate and make a huge difference with a large workforce without even paying. Go to Blue Cross on any weekend and watch the efforts of volunteers, how they are making a difference in the life of animals. Time has come that leaders at all levels start thinking about the culture change, don’t expect people to follow your orders just because you are their boss. Just imagine, you need to raise funds to repair a nearby village school — would you be able to achieve it just because you hold a respectable position? The time is gone when a Bollywood actor would rally with a local politician and help them win. Today the generation would make million of memes and rofl about it.

Hence the answer is to bring about a change in leadership mindset, where you treat everyone as a volunteer even though they are full-time employees, you cannot take it for granted that they are aligned and will deliver just because they are on payroll. You have to ensure to

Instill a sense of purpose

Culture of being valued

Clarity of role

Open & Judgment free communication

There is no greater motivator than to have a sense of purpose, we have this inherent pull towards the greater good that was born for. As a leader, it is your job to share your passion, instill a sense of purpose in your team about what you are set to achieve and how it is impacting the lives of consumers at the same time how everyone’s contribution collectively ensures success.

People like being appreciated it’s a feel-good factor and if you couple it with ensuring to make people feel valued by sharing how their efforts are helping in the overall scheme of things, it multiplies the impact of your appreciation. Try to make it as detailed as possible and it is going to stick with people and you will be remembered for how you made them feel.

While everyone is busy, people must have clarity of what they are supposed to do, what they will be measured on, what will be the success criteria, etc. Initiatives often fail, when there is a lack of clarity within the team on the tactical level. Hence as a leader, you must define roles, responsibilities, and key expectations from everyone.

While the above is very important, communication is a key aspect of your success. Understand this while you hold a position of “The boss” people will at times be quiet or at times try to please you. It is your responsibility to build an open relationship when people feel comfortable coming and telling you that your idea was crap! And have the confidence to present you with another approach to solve the problem — that’s the real deal. Remember trust is a two-way street, people often try to build an open environment but are quick to climb the ladder of inference. Hence it is important to practice emotional intelligence and empathy.

Now! I don’t want this to be a monologue, hence request your thoughts in the comments section and we can discuss to bring more clarity on how a Volunteer mindset can ensure overall success.

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Ravi Verma

Ravi Verma

15 Followers

I am believer and strongly believe that our choices define us. It’s really important to be self motivated and have a clarity in thoughts.