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Reactive or Proactive Volunteer Leadership: We Have a Choice

Reactive or Proactive Volunteer Leadership: We Have a Choice

When it comes to volunteer leadership, experienced volunteer manager Meridian Swift believes that two models dominate: reactive or proactive. But in this e-Volunteerism feature, Swift argues that it’s time to break the cycle of being a reactive volunteer manager – someone who waits for volunteer requests and then works hard to fulfill them – and ease into proactive volunteer management that anticipates needs and consistently networks with the decision-making staff.

“While reactive volunteer management will get the job done, proactive volunteer management frees us to take control and responsibility for volunteer services, to become creative, expand our circle of influence, have a hand in decision making and ultimately elevate ourselves within our organizations,” writes Swift. Through examples and additional insights, Swift outlines the way to proactive leadership for current and future volunteer leaders.


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Wed, 10/28/2015
Thanks for the thought-provoking article! I can't wait to try to change my and my manager's thought processes towards our circle of influence and away from our circle of concern. It seems to me that focusing on the wrong circle can be just as tough as a lack of time to address issues!

Wed, 11/04/2015
While reading this article I am grateful to see the comparison of volunteer managerial styles. So being new at this I will learn the how to of proactive leadership. I appreciate the references to Stephen R. Covey and plan to actively research his techniques.