Drivers or passengers?

Three members of our Soroptimist club attended a conference for volunteer organisations, hoping to get insights into successful ways of delivering conferences. We were also looking at ways to involve more members as leaders. Our concern was that about 6 members out of 30 drove projects. I attended a session on leadership that changed our concern to celebration.

It was the revelation that for any group and for any activity 10% were drivers 75% were passengers 15% were hitchhikers and we realised that our club had 20% drivers – a cause for celebration!

Drivers: If you are on a journey 10% of any group are the organizers and take responsibility for us arriving successfully at our destination. The “journey” could be an advocacy project, or a programme to meet the Soroptimist mission to ” transform the lives and status of women and girls…”

Passengers: 75% are along for the journey but are able and willing to contribute to its success. If they are asked to do a task, they can be relied upon to do so. They want to help; but don’t want to lead. If it is a fundraising venture they will turn up with catering, or make the poster / tickets, or be on the door to sell tickets… the myriad of tasks that need to be done. They are valuable members of the team.

Hitchhikers – 15% – are also along for the ride but make no contribution. They may as well be luggage.

There can be movement in the composition of who takes on the tasks. Hitchhikers could be encouraged to be passengers; passengers could be empowered to be drivers; drivers might need a break and be a passenger for an activity.

You are never stuck with burning out the same drivers who carry the load every time if you put in place a programme to educate, empower and enable your members to move through their comfort zones to contribute.

Our Soroptimist club used mentoring . We have buddy groups of three members who take responsibility together for providing something to the programme. We need a multitude of ways to allow for small chunks of leadership / driving to be taken up by different members.

Author: Yvonne Simpson

This blog shares my leadership journey and my passion for educating to lead.

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