We’ve summarized some powerful principles that have stood the test of time through our collaborative efforts in leading volunteers in the church and nonprofit setting. We share these principles knowing that the real value isn’t what we’re writing here. Rather, we hope it will encourage you to make your own list of what you’ve learned in leading and equipping volunteers.
1. Volunteers are not paid because their contribution is priceless!
2. People become committed to plans they help make, so plan with, not for people.
3. Mission motivates; maintenance does not.
4. Integrity is the leader’s most powerful asset.
5. Avoid the trap of becoming either a specialist or a generalist.
6. Be yourself—no one else is better qualified.
7. The key to wise leadership is effective delegation. The key to delegation is getting the right people in the right positions.
8. Motivation of others is critical to your success.
9. To become advocates and innovators, develop the 3 C’s: Curiosity, Creativity, and Courage.
10. You can’t lead others if you don’t stay healthy yourself.
[Editor’s Note: Adapted from Marlene Wilson, in the book, Go The Distance.]