Learning from NGO’s about Leadership and Lifestyle-Design
Why do you do what you do today?
The usual answers might look something like "because my parents, friends, professors, etc... told me to and quite frankly, I have no idea what else I should do".
This is a pretty common situation for people of my generation (90’s kids). More than ever, we are told to follow the standard road and not fall of track. Sleep, eat, work, repeat. Otherwise we might earn disrespect and social loneliness due to "being different".
This is an extremely messed up situation, however it doesn’t have to stay that way.
A lot of people and organizations are rethinking what it means to live. There are various ways in which I see this upcoming trend.
People working remotely from various places all other the world, people becoming digital nomads, questioning if the standard path will lead them to the happiness that they wish for themselves.
Every time we are facing a challenge, this shall not be looked at as a a problem, rather than as an opportunity to achieve an higher level of success or happiness.
Overall we are all craving for "meaning" in our lifes. As a life without meaning isn’t worth any effort.
Tony Robbins has said it best: “You can’t be happy with a life without meaning.”
What does that has to do with NGOs, you might ask yourself?
Well, as I’m about to reveal, I’ve been volunteering for EESTEC and still am contributing as a soft skills trainer for the member of that association.
EESTEC doesn’t pay you income.
What EESTEC does, is that it enables you to travel extremely low cost.
All you have to pay are travel costs, all over costs (accommodation, food, touristic programm & academical programm) are taken care of.
So what is the learning that we can use to improve our leadership in for-profit-organisations? And what the heck is lifestyle design & why did I mention it here?
The #1 Learning for Leadership is that everything is all about human-to-human connections and emotions.
Totally tired, but never too tired to smile ☺ I’m the dude in the blue shirt!
The saying goes something like this "People will forget what you told them, they will forget what you did, however they will never forget what you made them feel like" . If we truly want to lead people, we need to inspire them.
Once we inspire someone, there won't be any need for constant leadership (as we know it) left. Once we inspire someone they start to transport this inspiration to others and spread the message.
When I came back from my first EESTEC trip, I was inspired to contribute to this association.
So I did.
And my goal was to inspire other people to work for this association.
So I did.
What about lifestyle design?
Corporations nowadays (and even more in the future) will have huge challenges, if they won't implement empathy to their values. Every corporation that wants to hire outstanding talents needs to pay attention to how these talents design their life.
A company not paying attention to their employee’s "after-work-life", nor respecting it, won’t stay alive for a long time.
It's the companies that understand that the most important people in their environment are their employees, that will thrive.
Simply, because with a well set team motivated to serve your customers and help them, you will be able to overcome all challenges.
If you are only oriented to serve your customers, no-matter-what, you will start loosing sight of your path.
You will focus on making money, instead of creating and maintaining meaningful relationships.
This will lead you and your employees doing stuff you don’t like doing. Just because you are hunting for money and customers.
You need to be aware that not all customers are good customers for your business.
You owe the most to your employees, as they contribute to your business day-in and day-out .
Ask them what hopes and dreams they have for their life and you will understand what I mean by lifestyle design and the importance of integrating empathy to your business.
These are just some of the lessons I learnt by working for EESTEC.
If you are a student now, then I highly encourage you to find a non-profit organisation or NGO and contribute towards it.
The lessons you will learn and the people you will meet will give you immense value!
For more information about EESTEC, visit our website at: www.eestec.net
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