Volunteering is an opportunity that makes it easier for learners and leaders to develop adequate competencies, support others, and achieve their potential. The experience guides them to associate with others, improve their philosophies, and address the challenges different communities or social groups face. This paper gives a personal reflection and analysis of my volunteer experience and how it enabled me to practice the basic principles of servant leadership.
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I decided to volunteer in a Family Readiness Group (FRG). This is usually the focal point or focus of family readiness in a given military unit. The group was composed of different colleagues, servicemen, and leaders. The targeted soldiers were encouraged to share with their spouses and children. Community members and schools were also targeted by various activities and roles undertaken by the FRG. The volunteering initiatives were to be undertaken for a period of 90 days at Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City. Throughout the period, soldiers were supported and empowered to engage in various family activities. They networked with community members and their children. The needs of different schools in these regions were also identified and addressed by different volunteers.
The reasons for undertaking these roles were to support soldiers and their spouses, encourage children to pursue their academic goals, and empower more people in the surrounding communities. Many servicemen would also be guided and counseled in order to address their challenges, including depression and substance abuse when undertaking various military operations. With proper coordination, teamwork, and support from different stakeholders, my experience was admirable, meaningful, and inspirational. This is the case because I acquired numerous concepts and ideas that have made me a competent servant leader who can address the unique challenges most of my followers encounter.
My volunteer experience empowered me to implement some of Greenleaf’s principles of servant leadership, including persuasion, listening, commitment to the development and growth of other people, and the ability to establish better communities. Several examples can be presented to support this assertion. The first one is that I interacted continuously with many servicemen and listened attentively to the challenges they faced. I also engaged in persuasion in an attempt to discourage them from abusing illegal drugs. I also utilized by competences to guide, empower, and encourage others to focus on their career objectives and become better people. Most of the activities undertaken transformed the targeted communities.
The decision to complete servant leadership made it possible for me to learn more about new principles. For example, I appreciated the idea of stewardship in every challenging situation. This was the case because I was able to support and lead others to emerge successful. I also understood that managers should always embrace the power of awareness. Those who use this trait tend to focus on other people’s problems and implement appropriate solutions (Ng, Choi, & Soehod, 2016). The outlined gains will make me victorious in the future.
Finding Myself as a Leader
According to the biblical and Greenleaf passages studied in class, power comes from giving it away. Additionally, taking the role of a servant can also make one a better leader (Berry, 2015). My volunteer experience appears to support these assertions. For instance, my commitment to the development and growth of others is something that echoes the ideas studied in class. Throughout the period, I used by competencies to empower my colleagues and clients.
This practice equipped me with new leadership skills such as communication, listening, persuasion, and commitment. After interacting with different soldiers in the FRG, I was able empathize with them and offer appropriate support. I also embraced the concept of awareness to deliver meaningful results. I persuaded many couples to make evidence-based decisions. These examples reveal that my servant leadership volunteer opportunity made it possible for me to find myself as a true or competent leader.
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Most of the arguments and examples presented above support the use of servant leadership in different situations. Such a managerial style empowers individuals to serve others efficiently and produce a positive impact for the greater good (Coetzer, Bussin, & Geldenhuys, 2017). This outcome is possible since servant leaders make appropriate decisions, identify the issues their followers face, and use their values to make desirable changes (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2016).
They listen attentively, develop appropriate models, and focus on the targeted results. Such managers are always committed to the welfare of their followers and colleagues. Traits such as stewardship, listening, and healing encourage many people to implement change and achieve their potential. My experience has indicated that servant leadership empowers managers to commit themselves to the welfare and growth of others. This means that such individuals are equipped with adequate skills and resources that can be used to transform the targeted situation.
Before undertaking this volunteer experience, I used to embrace a transformational leadership style. Many people embrace the approach to create a desirable vision and encourage their teams to implement meaningful change (Ng et al., 2016). The good news is that this exercise has equipped me with additional competences that make me a better leader. For instance, I have understood how to interact with others positively, identify existing problems, and make meaningful decisions.
I can also work as a team in order to deliver desirable results. The experience has also widened my awareness, empathy, listening, and persuasion traits. I will utilize such competencies to empower and guide many people to achieve their objectives. Another achievement from the volunteer experience is that I can now commit myself to the development of my colleagues, teammates, and followers. I will always be ready to build better communities.
Applying the Above Lessons
The lessons learned about the principles of servant leadership can be applied in my workplace. For instance, I will always listen to the issues my workmates encounter and persuade them to make meaningful changes. It will be appropriate to use the power of stewardship to guide others and remain empathic (Ingram, 2016). It will also be necessary to commit myself to the welfare of different organizations. I will create the best vision, listen to the issues outlined by their stakeholders, and promote service delivery to the targeted beneficiaries. In my personal life, I will use the acquired concepts and traits to formulate meaningful goals, address the issues facing my friends and family members, and always remain empathetic. These approaches will make it easier to achieve my potential and become successful in life.
The above discussion has revealed that servant leadership is a powerful model that can transform the lives of many people and organizations. I have managed to develop superior traits, including such stewardship, empathy, listening, awareness, and healing. I will always use these achievements and lessons to promote meaningful changes, support others, and pursue my personal goals diligently.
Berry, T. R. (2015). Servant-leadership as an institutionalized model in air force education. Journal of Education and Human Development, 4(2), 123-129. Web.
Coetzer, M. F., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 5-36. Web.
Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. Human Relations, 69(1), 33-60. Web.
Ingram, O. C. (2016). Servant leadership as a leadership model. Journal of Management Science and Business Intelligence, 1(1), 21-26. Web.
Ng, X. L., Choi, S. L., & Soehod, K. (2016). The effects of servant leadership on employee’s job withdrawal intention. Asian Social Science, 12(2), 99-106. Web.