Servant Leadership in Volunteering

PMI Kenya Chapter

Stephanie is the Principal Project Manager at Redtie Consultants in Nairobi.

I have volunteered in different positions basically all of my adult life. This includes churches, aid organizations and professional bodies. For the last six years, I have volunteered with PMI both in my local chapter and in regional roles. I find volunteering very rewarding, and have learned a lot of my leadership skills through volunteering.

At the same time, you can also have a lot of fun and make solid friendships. For me, getting involved with PMI and starting to volunteer has opened a whole new world of opportunities—and a whole new worldwide network. It always depends on how much you are willing to put in—and how much you are willing to open yourself up to others.

Just don’t expect all of your fellow team members to act the same way. Unfortunately, not all volunteers embody the true spirit of giving back; some see it as an item to put on their resume/CV or improve their image.

While volunteering, you may often be tested by the unwillingness of others to pull their weight. But that should never stop us from trying—and having fun while doing so. Every once in a while, it’s important to remind ourselves about the true spirit of servant leadership.

Defining Servant Leadership
The phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in “The Servant as Leader,” an essay first published in 1970. He …

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"O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength! But it is tyrannous To use it like a giant."

- William Shakespeare