Archives For passion

Leading volunteers is a unique deal. The leader has authority and influence over people without any real ability to enforce that authority or influence. Most volunteers arrive at a nonprofit organization in order to help, and if you are like me you have probably showed up a nonprofit organization and discovered that your passion for making a difference is not matched by the staff you interacted with. Like me, you probably felt discouraged and sensed a lack of passion from the nonprofit staff.

Why You Must Have Passion When Leading Volunteers

Photo Credit: Chris Lasher

In today’s post I show how nonprofit volunteer coordinators can show passion for what they do. And, more importantly, I am going to show how they can use their passion to lead others more effectively.

I. Sell yourself to the volunteers as a passionate leader for the work you do.

Continue Reading…

Do What You Love

March 8, 2011

Here's part two of chapter three of my book, A Day of Hope.  If you missed the first section, you can follow the link below.

Passion: Discover & Deploy Your Strengths


As we’ve worked through these areas, you’ve probably started to think about the areas you’re strong in and how those are the things you love to do.  Often our passions and our strengths are mirrored closely in each other.  There are times where we’re really good at something we don’t like to do, but those are the exceptions.

Thinking through this process of discovering your strengths, here are some good questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you love to do? 
  • What are your hobbies? 
  • What’s your favorite activity? 
  • What’s your favorite part of your normal day to day job? 
  • What would you do for free simply because you love doing it?

The things you love to do have a good chance of being the things that you’re great at.  Those might be the things where you have some natural talent that should be used and developed. 

When I posted chapter two of my book, A Day of Hope here on this blog in February, it was popular among readers and web search traffic.  As a benefit to you, as a Learning Leadership reader, I'm going to post chapter three of my book here on the blog for you to read, free.


Discover and Deploy Your Strengths

When you look at your strengths as a leader there are two areas to examine: discovering and deploying. 

In this chapter I’ll walk you through both of them.  I will share my personal story of discovering and deploying my strengths as well as give some examples of what that might look like for you.  It’s important to remember that your ability to serve people depends on your ability to do both of these.

It takes time and effort to both discover your strengths and then to deploy them in your work every day.  My own journey in this is still a work in progress.  I’m still learning and growing every day.  And it’s nice to know that there are still ways that I can improve.

My journey to discovering my own strengths mostly came from my quiet time in the morning and seeking feedback from others.  Almost every morning I wake up at 4:00 AM to take time to pray, write, think, and reflect.  Most of the time I have a pad of paper, my journal, and a pen to write down ideas and experiences I’ve had.

In addition to thinking on my own, I often ask others what they feel my strengths are.  I simply ask, “What do you think I do well and what could I improve at?”  I also pay close attention to see what people compliment me on.  When people give you compliments on something you’ve done or a character quality you have, it’s a good indicator that you’re probably good in that area, and you might possess a strength there.

If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself very confused when it comes to discovering your strengths.  I remember many times thinking, “I’m confused.  I’m not sure what the heck I’m good at.  Will I ever figure this out?”  After hours and hours and months and months, I’ve slowly begun to gain some clarity about what my strengths are.  As I think about my own personal strengths, I believe they are:

  • Visioning – Seeing the future of what God wants me to create and do to further His kingdom,
  • Thinking – Generating ideas and concepts that will help that vision become reality,
  • Communicating – Communicating that vision and ideas to a group of people either in writing or speaking, and
  • Creating – Making daily progress on that vision by creating new things and new services to help people.

Those are the four areas I feel are strengths for me. They are areas that come pretty naturally to me, I love to do them, and I’m better than most people at them. 

There are lots of great strengths based books and tests out there to use with this stuff.  You can do the DISC testing, Myers-Briggs, and many others.  Most of my own strengths discovery and deployment has been through my own self-discovery.  The good news is that what you’re about to read is real, it’s practical, and it has been used before. 

Like much of this book, my personal experience might not be the best for you.  So read it, evaluate it, and create your own personal process to discover your own strengths.  But for now, let me get started and share with you what I think the process might look like.

It’s a Saturday morning here in California and I’m ready to rock-n-roll for the day (at 4am).

But why be up so early on a Saturday? On a day where most people can’t wait to just sleep in.

Two reasons:
Passion – I’m passionate about the work I do. I know my work makes a difference in the lives of others and it makes a difference in my own life. 

Work Ethic – Because I know the work I do makes a difference, I must work hard to continue to make a difference to meet the needs of our community. I know that the harder I work, the more people we help and the bigger difference that we make.

What time do you wake up and why?

Leaders Hook You Early

May 14, 2008

While talking with one of my mentors, Steve Elliot last week, we were discussing the characteristics and qualities of great speakers. Steve made the comment, “Great speakers hook you early.” Continue Reading…