Taking Leadership into the Community.
"...that ultimate success in community leadership will only be achieved if it stimulates participation by others who are also to be seen as in their own way leaders and not merely helpers.” – Sir James Gobbo, author, Supreme Court Judge, Victoria, Australia
Start them young.
My first foray into volunteerism happened the year my aunt was in the hospital over Christmas. I was saddened by the thought that she and her “roommates” would not be able to take part in the season’s festivities. I decided to dress up as Santa and distribute candy treats to everyone on the ward. I was 12 years old.
At 14, I became a candy striper. In my pink and white uniform, I cheerily handed out beverages and snacks to patients at St. Joe’s hospital in Hamilton. After that, I spent a few of my summers, volunteering with the Children’s Aid Society taking less fortunate kids to nearby parks to play.
Volunteerism is in my blood but as Sir James Gobbo said, ultimate success is only achieved in a community if what we do stimulates positive action in others. I believe it is my role as a leader, a mother, an aunt, a friend to encourage others to participate. So, I do.
My MCE team and I have participated in “Walk a Mile in her Shoes’, cooked dinner for families at Ronald MacDonald House, and, once Covid is under control we will do more.
My granddaughter and I spent many hours baking for and with the residents at AMICA – Stoney Creek. The recipes did not always turn out quite right but we all had a good laugh.
My nieces started walking in the CIBC Run for the Cure when the youngest was still in a stroller. The picture below is of us getting ready to walk in the rain this year.
Leadership – it is not just about being in the office or workplace. It is about helping others find their place in the community. It is about developing skills through volunteering. It’s about being a role model.
And it's good for corporations too. The Canadian Corporate Council on Volunteering asserts that “through corporate community involvement, companies improve brand reputation, recruit and retain talented employees, increase social capital and invest in professional development—all while making a positive impact in the communities in which they work and live.”
What are the initiatives you have taken on, either personally or professionally? I’d love to hear about them.