It is hard to be a volunteer leader. We don’t talk enough about the challenges of volunteer leadership positions.

Blog after blog tells you how to be a good leader, how to use your leadership to mentor and inspire others, even how to dress like a leader. No one talks about how hard it is to fulfill that position. As a person who holds leadership roles in the community, I have to say it is not all accolades and rainbows.

There is guilt, sleepless nights, second guesses, burn out, and on it goes.

Did I remember to thank all the sponsors? Did I miss something on the agenda? I’m dreading that conversation. Do we have to have another meeting about this? How do we capitalize on that opportunity? I really need to update that on our website. Did I post enough on social media? Succession planning! What projects can I ask someone to help me with? What projects should I ask someone to help me with? Did I give everyone enough time to share their input? Did I give too much of my opinion? Do all the volunteers feel appreciated? I need to check on that committee. How can I convey how important this is? How do I tap into that person’s potential? I should be working on other things. I really don’t want to make that decision. How do we get in that door? Am I doing enough?

Then, after all that whining to myself, I put on my big girl pants and I remind myself it is NOT about me. It is about the mission and what is best for the organization. Sometimes that means having tough conversations, making big decisions, and sacrificing a Saturday night to catch up on emails.

Give your time and talents freely. Sometimes this means saying no to other opportunities so you’re not stretching yourself too thin. Being a leader means you will have difficult days, but it also means that responsibility affords you an opportunity to make a difference in the community. When you commit to a volunteer leadership position, commit all the way.

For more details about how to support your volunteer leaders, please contact Ivy Schneider, President of Helix Strategies, LLC at ivy@helixllc.org and visit www.helixllc.org for information about raising funds and developing your boards and leaders.