June 17, 2015
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Since high school, I’ve found myself taking on volunteer leadership positions in pretty much everything I’ve been involved in. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on leadership from those experiences from time to time. While I’m calling this post “Part One”, I don’t have future parts planned yet, so it’s a bit of an ambitious title.
Volunteer leadership, like many things in life, tends to be a bit of a convex problem: There’s a sweet spot in the middle, and there are a lot of different failure modes around the edges. Organizations vary in terms of where exactly that sweet spot is, so I don’t want to focus on that side of the problem. Instead, in this series, I’ll focus on the failure modes, how not to lead. Being aware of what the edges are will help you stay near the sweet spot as a leader.
(By contrast, for instance, some organizations seem to find a lot of value in the edges, by approaching problems in an unusual fashion to generate something new. Some of them can even ride roughshod over the failure modes that I mention because it’s more compelling to live on that edge. If there’s a large amount of competition and/or novelty in your field, this might be the case.)
This lesson in particular has to do with the failure modes around delegation, allowing or assigning other people to do tasks. Read more of this post