At our January GRAVA meeting on “Defining Your Philosophy of Leadership,” we were happy to be on Sesame Street, hosted by Community Idea Stations and our board member, Brynn Markham.
Katie Campbell, CVA and immediate past Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA), led us through a step by step process to begin developing a personal philosophy statement.
Katie shared the characteristics of a strong personal philosophy statement, and stressed that it is about you, not your organization. It should focus on the present, what you believe about your role as a leader of volunteers, no matter where you work. Your statement should be consistent with our professional core values and principles. Katie provided this handout with more details about the value and characteristics of a strong personal philosophy statement.
To get us started on creating our own personal philosophy statement, Katie provided a worksheet with questions to spark our thinking, such as “Why do you do what you do?” and “How does your role as a leader of volunteer engagement fit with who you are a person?” She encouraged us to start by responding with simple words, phrases and ideas. She suggested that we use this as a jumping off point and continue to write, revise and reflect on why we engage volunteers, discussing these questions with staff colleagues and finding a GRAVA buddy to further discuss. See Katie’s PowerPoint here.
“The intrinsic elements of service to others do not change – no matter what words we use, what we call ourselves, how we are compensated, or who we are. Embracing this philosophy means letting go of the notion that there is only one way to operate, one way to climb the mountain, one path to follow. There are many trails worth exploring and we need not fear we will get lost as long as we keep our eyes on the mountaintop.” ─Katie Campbell, CVA
After Katie’s excellent workshop, Melissa Gilmore, GRAVA president, announced that the group’s professional development scholarship will be renamed the Katie Campbell Professional Development scholarship, in recognition of Katie’s 30+ years of leadership and excellence in volunteer engagement as she retires from her position as Executive Director of CCVA. Katie also had a gift for all of us as she brought ample books from her library to share and everyone went home with a book to continue our learning.