Leader 2 Leader: Community Service

Leader 2 Leader: Community Service

In this week’s Leader 2 Leader article, Lynn Flinn is joined by Wendy Thomas, the executive director of Leadership Tulsa. Wendy begins by asking Lynn about how community service impacts organizations, current leadership, and future generations of leaders. Lynn then responds by listing the various benefits of community service and taking action through corporate social responsibility. 

Recruiting top talent 

Lynn begins her response by noting that community service is becoming more and more important in the work place, especially to millennials. The younger generations care greatly about giving back and making a difference. To get the top young talent, businesses need to advertise their service and promote the idea of influencing their local community. 

Team building

The activity of a service project can bring people together and allow an opportunity to build relationships outside of the office. Sometimes a little laughter, a little sweat, or a little hard work outside of the office can open people up to co-workers that they might not normally be open to. Flinn writes, “I once had someone tell me that they were having a really hard time building a relationship with a coworker until they discovered they had a common interest completely outside of their workplace duties.” 

Positive and free recognition

Many companies may not realize that when they do serve, they will get attention. Others will notice. And when others notice a positive work, they will tell others about it. Social media is always a great way to gain exposure, but when someone else tells a friend or co-worker, the impact is much deeper. Flinn notes, “Forty-one percent of consumers bought a product from a specific company because they knew the company was associated with ‘a cause.'” 

Leadership development

Community service requires humility. It requires an attitude of service – an attitude of giving and generosity. The best leaders have this type of character trait in their DNA. They want to serve. They lead by serving. Thus, by allowing your team to get out and serve, you are investing towards valuable leadership traits. Lynn notes that this can not only build the leaders in your company, but it can also impact the retention of good employees or leaders when they see that the company is investing in them and in the community.

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