Working with Volunteers

Recently been working with a volunteer committee and have enjoyed the people and the process. But I’ve also discovered that having an entrepreneur mix in the group is essential. I need to be clear that the entrepreneur I refer to is entrepreneurial to the extreme. That is, their goals are far more important than their relationship with those they work with. Achieving their ends is what they are about not relationships with the people they work and live with.  

When compared to true leaders genuine entrepreneurs are totally different people. The outstanding leader is about nurturing and growing relationships between people. They are at their roots, role models and teachers. Where-as the true entrepreneur is goal driven even at the cost of relationships. Realizing goals is what they are about. Demanding that they be more humane in their relationships is akin to spitting in the wind.

Both good leadership and committed entrepreneurship are necessary whether a business for profit or a board of volunteers committed to community service. This is certainly true as long as the funding of programs to sustain and grow the volunteer organization exists in the first place. What better contributors than having true entrepreneurs in the mix to find and bring home the bacon?

The problem and a serious one is that true entrepreneurs and volunteers that commit for the good of the community are a terrible mix. Most volunteers invariably care for the people they contribute their time to. Feelings, words and behavior count a great deal. On the other hand, true entrepreneurs make things happen. They knock on doors, make the calls and write the letters. They know exactly why they volunteer and it’s not about “fuzzes.”   They are also lousy leaders and not because they don’t respect and work well with others, but because they are much more goal directed. They step on toes and mostly view people they work with as a hindrance to achieving the more important goals, and that’s filling the coffers.  Volunteers need to support the entrepreneurs amongst them, or they will fight them and resist. Any conflict is woefully misplaced. The question is how to avoid.

To be clear, I’m referring to winning entrepreneurs not the many that express their desire to be entrepreneurs, but don’t or will not put in the effort to make things happen. True entrepreneurs leave no stone unturned. They do not do what they do for themselves, but because they know one way and that way is to find and get the gold. Help them or get out of their way.     Sy


Working together————Takes effort, understanding————Do we give ourselves?

Some do or do not———-So be a giver and help—————-Make it happen now.

Do what is called for————–Take necessary action———–Maybe it will work?

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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