When three of my colleagues asked if they could nominate me for the NAPO Founders’ Award, I was touched on so many levels. I learned that they recognized my passion and believed that my contributions made a difference for NAPO and our profession. Winning that award and being acknowledged by my NAPO peers was an honor. Since that moment at the NAPO Conference, I’ve reflected upon how volunteering as a NAPO Leader, both on the local and national level, has impacted my personal and professional growth and development.
One thing I recognized early on was that the time spent as a Volunteer Leader is never lost time. The rewards we reap and their impact are often not realized until many years later. What one gets back in rewards, whether tangible or intangible, can be as varied as those who lead. For me, they came in the form of personal and professional growth, by impacting my relationship with colleagues and clients and encouraging me to pursue leadership opportunities on the national level.
Alongside the feeling of personal fulfillment and accomplishment, the greatest reward for me is what I’ve learned through my collaborative relationships with other volunteer leaders. Both those who have mentored me and those I have mentored have taught me how to be a better leader and grow as a person. I’ve had the opportunity to:
• Lead and follow;
• Succeed, as well as fail;
• Teach and learn;
• Talk and listen;
• Be a friend, comrade and partner;
• Realize that laughter and tears are related;
• Be a team player and collaborate;
• Change my mind;
• Admit that my way isn’t the only way or the right way.
Since 2002, when I began my business and joined NAPO, my passion for the organizing and productivity industry has grown in leaps and bounds and professed itself in many different ways. Getting involved has given me a strong voice and provided a venue for expressing my opinions. It has reinforced my skills as a connector of people and resources, and as a result, has made me more successful with my clients. They learn from me, while I learn from them. Just as NAPO, it’s a team process and effort. As a result, my business continues to grow and evolve, as I have.
My desire for personal growth and development begins from within, and is always influenced and driven by solid family values and a strong work ethic. When I share those pieces of me with my colleagues and volunteer my time with NAPO, I feel energized and successful. There’s nothing more gratifying than watching someone I’ve mentored grow into a true leader; it encourages me to want to be a better leader. Being recognized and honored with the Founders’ Award is both amazing and surreal. Knowing that I’ve made a difference makes my personal growth and development soar.
How has your volunteer work impacted your own personal growth and development?
Blog Submitted by Susie Hayman, 2017 NAPO Founders’ Award Winner
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