I’ve heard all the reasons why people volunteer; they want to give back; they want to stay involved; they want to make a difference; they want to support the industry…..Yep, that is all fine and good and those organizations who are the recipients of the efforts will tell you that, “They could not have succeeded without the support”; “Our industry is better because of those efforts”…..you get the drift.
I too volunteer for many of those same reasons and of course the logo’d shirts, pens, stationary and the pleather portfolios – those are a plus. I certainly enjoy being part of a strong effort to promote change or create opportunity; yep that’s why I volunteer.
What happens when a volunteer does not meet their obligations? Do you fire a volunteer? Do you have to do an investigation? Really, does it have to come to that?
When does accountability enter the picture? I would venture to say from the day you say, “Hey, I’ll be happy to join that group”, or “Sure, count me in, I’ll be at the next meeting”.
That is when you become accountable and people begin to depend on you.
Like a lot of charity organizations and other associations that are desperate for support financially or otherwise, they count on those volunteers to do and say what they offered up when the logo shirts were being passed out and when you said, “Sure, I can take on that role”.
Accountability starts at day one – you are committed to the outcome and success. Just because this is a volunteer role, does not give you the carte blanche to decide when and where you will show up and how you will contribute. You committed. You decided.
If you do not follow through others begin to take on more than they “signed” up for and that burden begins to slowly take away from the purpose and success of the group.
Commit to the work. Be accountable to the role. Enjoy the success of making a difference and wear your logo’d shirt with pride.
Image by ecastro