Reader Question: How do I get more opportunities to contribute? Why doesn’t my boss (or colleagues) pick me for projects? How do I get chosen?
Another great question! Not only have I gotten this question, I’ve heard many leaders get the same one.
Back in January, Wendy Wolock decided to start a non-profit. She had lots of time to think about who could help, meet with them, and toss ideas around.
Today, as she prepares to officially launch MissionFit, lots of people are coming out of the woodwork, offering to lend a helping hand. Making a distinction between the offers, Wendy said, “Misti, it’s interesting to see how some people show up constantly, ask for what I need, and then go do what they can to help.”
She then shared a story about a guy who came up to her and asked, “What do you see my role as?” Watching her face cringe as she recalled the incident, the whole thing made perfect sense!
As open day approaches, Wendy needs to spend her limited time and energy on fitting all the various pieces together while remaining focused on the big picture. Instead of wasting time trying to choose which roles are the best fit for which volunteers, she effortlessly assigns tasks to those who show up, with sleeves rolled up, ready to start contributing.
So, how do you get the assignments you want? Here are 3 practical steps you can take today (don’t wait, or someone else will seize the chance from you).
- Listen for the need and determine what this individual is trying to accomplish. What are their challenges? How can you enjoyably (yes, it’s important that you enjoy the opportunities you’re creating for yourself) help them solve their problems? For example, several personal trainers told Wendy, “I’m available to train the kids on these days.” She put them on the very top of her list. These trainers are also asking when they can help clean up the new space. They clearly want to be a part of it. Who else would agree to put on work pants to sweep, mop, and get the place ready for the kids? People who are hungry for the opportunity to be chosen, that’s who!
- Offer specific suggestions and take on whatever tasks you can. It’s exciting and rewarding to be a part of MissionFit! While Wendy does not expect me to get all the sponsorship dollars, she can expect that I will look for opportunities, share the mission of her project with others, and send volunteers and donors her way. For example, someone suggested that Wendy shoot a video in which she shares the inspiration behind MissionFit. That same individual bought their own plane ticket to Boston where they filmed Wendy interacting with folks at Inner City Weightlifting, the non-profit that provoked her to start MissionFit.
- Take action. Don’t wait for permission. If you’ve done your job listening to the problems, and you know you can help solve them, take action. This increases your chances of being chosen for the task. If you’re really worried about the person’s reaction, start small, and see how they respond. Beg for forgiveness later, if needed. Ultimately, your intentions are good, and they will see that you not only care, but are also reliable.
By the way, Wendy still needs more of the following to meet her project goals:
- Funds! Including fundraising ideas and connections to those who can give
- Certified trainers for the kids
- An official budget
- Exercise equipment
- and the list goes on and on…
So, what are you waiting for? How can you help? Don’t wait to be chosen! Choose yourself and then go get the opportunities you want!
Here’s to your greatness!
Image Credit: Amber via Clkr