Why would someone spend 40 hours a week at their job they get paid to do, spend time with their family, exercise, enjoy some free time, sleep… and then spend additional hours of their life working, fulfilling a responsibility they volunteered for, don’t get paid for, and sometimes stress out over? Why would someone choose to do more work, to be more tired, to go to MORE meetings (seriously, enough meetings) and maybe even spend money on activities or events? Why would they send countless emails that sometimes they don’t hear responses from, spend hours planning, and sometimes even fail at what they try to accomplish?
I’m in a leadership role in two parts of my life: as the lead advisor of the Columbia Center for Spiritual Living teen group and the president of my work’s Toastmasters club (an international public speaking organization with chapters all over the world). Sometimes the work is frustrating. Sometimes I come home from my actual 9-to-5 and I’m tired, I’m cranky, and I don’t want to go to yet another meeting. But the difference leadership makes is creating opportunities for people. Whether it’s making sure our club is compliant with the Toastmasters rules to allow someone to compete in a speech contest, or encouraging someone who is terrified of public speaking just to get up and speak for two minutes in front of our club, I provide opportunities for my club members. And as the lead advisor of the CCSL teen group, I provide teens the opportunity to be with like-minded teens. To ask questions of an adult that isn’t their parent. To experience personal self-empowerment through spiritual awakening, as the CSL teen mission statement says. To learn Science of Mind principles in a setting that isn’t the Sunday celebration. To go to CSL teen summer camp, where I went as a teen and had the time of my life. And to feel heard—something that we all want, no matter what age or where we come from or what our goals are.
To lead, in my opinion, isn’t just to be in charge: it’s to serve the people I’m leading. It’s to create opportunities for people to grow, learn, and have fun. Sometimes, yes, it is work, and I’ll be the first to admit that some days the idea of working more isn’t something I’m crazy about. But then once I’m at whatever meeting I didn’t want to go to, laughing at someone’s speech, feeling unconditionally loved and supported by my fellow leaders, or learning something I didn’t know from a teen, the reasons for volunteering that time and energy are clear. Making a difference in someone’s life through an opportunity I provided them with is undoubtedly worth every second.
February 27, 2021
February 26, 2021