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UpMo for Leadership Development: Volunteering is the Yellow Brick Road

 

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UpMo (for upward mobility), recently featured here, is an online service that promises to help you accelerate your career success.  As a lifetime volunteer, and a matchmaker for business volunteers and nonprofit boards, I see volunteering as an opportunity for people to make valuable contributions, while they also learn, grow, and advance themselves, especially as leaders.

 

You develop as a leader through personal experience.  This can even begin at a young age.  Children can engage in valuable service, including building awareness among their peers, and yes, even fundraising, for issues related to the environment, global health, and disaster relief, to name a few.

 

People grow as leaders through a variety of volunteer experiences including team projects, tutoring and mentoring.

 

Talented business professionals and executives often have extraordinary opportunities to develop as leaders through nonprofit board service.  Through boards, they can contribute valuable strategic acumen, while engaging with peers in helping to envision an organization’s future potential; focus the organization on key, high-impact programs and services; determine reasonable outcome metrics to build support; build and make the compelling case for support; create ambitious revenue models; and achieve success.

 

I just came from an inspiring event sponsored by the American Red Cross Greater New York (ARC/GNY).  A woman told us how she saved a stranger’s life because she was trained in CPR.  The story drove home the point that, although the organization needs staff to be the engine, it’s volunteers who have the exponential impact in saving lives.  The people around my table were donors.  And the man next to me, who chaired two other nonprofit boards, asked Terry Bischoff, ARC/GNY’s CEO, about youth volunteering for his teenage daughter.

 

We can all participate in valuable service, while developing ourselves through a variety of volunteer experiences – including mentoring the next generation as they embark on the Yellow Brick Road.

   

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