Leadership skills are invaluable for success in any career field. While many skills are developed on the job, there are plenty of ways to build leadership abilities outside of work as well. Developing leadership skills in your personal life will make you a more effective leader at work. Here are 5 ways to gain leadership skills outside of the office.
1. Volunteer for leadership roles in community organizations
Volunteering for leadership positions in community organizations like your church, homeowners’ association, or volunteer group is a great way to practice leadership. As a volunteer leader, you’ll gain experience chairing meetings, managing projects, resolving conflicts, and motivating others. These are all essential leadership competencies. Look for opportunities to take on leadership roles that fit your schedule. Even a small-time commitment can provide valuable leadership experience.
2. Coach a youth sports team
Coaching a youth sports team develops important leadership abilities like goal setting, strategic planning, and team-building. As a coach, you must motivate players, resolve conflicts, teach discipline, and lead the team through wins and losses. These experiences will strengthen your ability to lead teams at work. Bonus – coaching is very rewarding, and you’ll positively impact young lives.
3. Start a book/debate club
Organizing and leading a book or debate club will flex your leadership muscles. To start a club, you must recruit members, identify discussion topics, facilitate meetings, and keep the group organized. This involves project management, influence, and problem-solving skills. Leading lively discussions also builds active listening, communication, and conflict-resolution abilities.
4. Develop and lead a workshop/class
Teaching others is a tremendously effective way to develop leadership skills. Put together a workshop or class on a topic you’re passionate about and invite others to attend. Designing the curriculum, structuring the sessions, and teaching the material will strengthen your leadership, communication, and strategic thinking skills. Mentoring students one-on-one provides additional growth opportunities. Look for opportunities to develop and lead training programs at work, church, or in your community.
5. Organize a charity event
Planning and hosting a charity event takes serious leadership abilities. You’ll need to define the event’s purpose and objectives, draw up a budget, find sponsors, promote the event, manage logistics, and lead a team of volunteers. Pulling off a successful charity event demonstrates your skills as a strategic thinker, project manager, fundraiser, and team leader. It also builds your network and provides an immense sense of accomplishment.
Gaining leadership experience outside of work will benefit your career immensely. Employers value leaders who have demonstrated their abilities in various settings. The more experience you have guiding teams, managing projects, and spearheading initiatives, the more prepared you’ll be for leadership at work. Additionally, developing leadership skills outside the office will build your confidence. You’ll have proof that you can successfully lead in any environment.
Look for opportunities in your community to take on leadership roles. Coaching a team, leading a workshop, chairing an organization, or organizing an event will provide growth experiences. Approach these opportunities with enthusiasm and self-awareness. Recognize your strengths, but don’t be afraid to admit where you need more work. Be open to feedback from others. With dedication and effort, you can build highly valued leadership skills that will propel your career success.