Martin J Cowling travels continuously all over the world, training and inspiring people who work with volunteers. Today (the 4th of March) his audience was 50 people from the Wellington not-for-profit sector – mainly managers of volunteers, some volunteers themselves, and others who desire more understanding of this powerful piece of society.
Leadership that will take us further into the 21st century and new aspects of recruitment, rewards, recognition and renewal were themes of the day. This Wellington workshop was the last in a series which began in Invercargill and meandered through the south and north Islands, usually with around 30 – 50 participants in each. ‘A vital refuelling with ideas and strategies for taking us forward,’ said one of today’s trainees. ‘I can see now why old management styles and expectations have to change. Generations y and x are willing, enthusiastic and socially aware and responsible – but they have to be worked with differently from volunteers in older age groups. Tlhey must see results, they must feel passionate about the cause, they must know what they’re going to get out of it (their volunteer role).’
And if we’re all completely honest – whatever age group we belong to – we all want to get something out of pro bono work; whether it’s a good story to tell the family, a sense of self worth, an interesting addition for a CV, a new friend, being able to make a world of difference, volunteer managers need to be aware and astute enough to work with these different motives and needs.
Thanks to Martin we left the workshop today with a sense of all being in this together, building a brave new world in which community life is not only being sustained but also growing an ever increasing number of movers and shakers – volunteers and voluntary organisations who will change the world….
We are looking forward to Martin J Cowling’s return journey (he lives in Australia) to New Zealand with another workshop series.