Integration of Seven Habits to Professional (Volunteerism) Administration

While a lot of effort has been dedicated on learning volunteering skills, little persistent has been shown on helping administrators of non-profit organizations build up the abilities to apply to their particular associations or projects according to their hierarchy positions. Each of Covey’s seven habits contains certain significance to today’s supervisors and chairmen of charity organizations without discrimination of the kind of people, nationality, objective, or co-operate supporter.

“Being proactive” urges volunteership supervisors to always check a volunteer program’s dynamic interior and exterior conditions to recognize developing needs that can be tended to through volunteerism before they get to be too much. Most volunteer projects are composed around recognized needs or resources in a particular community, or focused on a grouping of a customer base, that might be tended to through some kind of formal volunteerism.

This habit creates upon a few vital volunteerism administration abilities categorized contemporary research, including support, requirements evaluation, tactical, operational coordination, and expertise growth (Safrit, 2005). Nevertheless, (Covey, 1995) states to that pro-action “implies more than only taking a step. It implies that as individuals, we are in charge of our own lives. Our conduct is a component of our choices, not our conditions.

We have the ability and the duty to get things going”. (Merrill 1995) additionally urges volunteer directors to expand the viability of projects and make a more prominent feeling of shared initiative by going past what we are doing and how we are getting along it to help the association recognize and comprehend what we are there for and what we pride for.

It is this one of a kind ability to constantly and proactively create shared authority among paid staff, volunteer staff, and the persons we serve that will guarantee the accomplishment of volunteer projects in times of fast and erratic change.

“Beginning having the last end result in mentality” challenges directors of volunteership to put attention upon a definitive effect on a group’s occupants that we look to accomplish through volunteer projects notwithstanding everyday administration contemplations. (Covey, 1995) gives emphasis on the significance of an individual mission in applying this habit to life, a mission that is focused upon the rule that we as people are unwilling to bargain upon.

“Our present place of employment depictions distinguishes the particular capacities we perform. It is our qualities that portray how we ought to play out those capacities,” (Harvey and Lucia, 1995). Brinckerhoff contends that any non-revenue driven association in the 21st century must be mission-situated keeping in mind the end goal if it has to survive. We would contend that centring upon a mission is insufficient; volunteer chairmen must concentrate upon a core mission while additionally endeavouring towards an individual and authoritative vision.

This extreme and perfect vision is the “end” that we should remember ever.” “We should grasp the individual ability to imagine a positive and elevating future for our depended persons and their groups, and after that connect with the association’s assets to move in the direction of that vision (Brinckerhoff 2000).”Vision does not suggest a characteristic endowment of prescience nor a hereditarily decided intuition.

We trust it is an essential contemporary hierarchical capacity that is best gotten from the individual thoughts and experiences of every single authoritative partner, both paid and unpaid” (Safrit and Merrill, 1999). The issue is not whether we ever really achieve that objective, yet rather, that we continually expand upon our association’s central goal to push forward toward the objective.

“Putting first things first” accentuates the significance of overseeing assets adequately and proficiently in connection to priority setting. As stated by Covey, “Successful administration is putting things first. While administration chooses what ‘first things’ are, it is administration that puts them according to the most sensitive from time to time. Administration is in charge of the planning” Covey 1995).

Setting the most important tasks in volunteer-based associations is never an easy errand. We are encompassed by a bunch of human and social needs that we perceive should be tended to, successfully in volunteer-conveyed services and projects. Volunteer heads must resolve troublesome decisions based generally upon the two previously addressed behaviours: the proactive recognition of the most sensitive requirements (“being proactive”) and the association’s concentration upon both its centre mission and main vision (“beginning with the end result in mentality”).

On a personal standard, “setting essential things first” likewise identifies with how we as individual supervisors and managers of volunteers set up individual needs in both our private and expert lives, and in regard to a similar problem among us the volunteers in our projects.

Fox and Wheeler, explored how volunteers figured out how to adjust the requirements of their homes, work and volunteering. They reasoned that “volunteer supervisors can outline situations that better match the conditions of life, subsequently expanding the individual volunteer’s capacities to flourish . . . ., building and creating assets and systems to bargain adequately with volunteers who adjust most responsibilities.”

As a person and as an expert one should work perseveringly and always with our associates and volunteers to cooperatively recognize where our automatic endeavours may have the best effect for our demographic and their groups. As a person, one should likewise centre his or her individual and expert energies upon those projects and undertakings wherein we may augment the utilization of exceptionally restricted time and assets to achieve the best and our projects.

“Thinking ‘win-win’ ” and “synergizing” means we concentrate on leading the contemporary need to create solid groups of personnel, volunteers, and patrons all cooperating toward the best result we work for. Covey (1995) comprehensively examines standards of interpersonal initiative through which “. . . collaboration in the working environment is as imperative to free enterprise as rivalry in the commercial centre.” (Austin 2000) talked about in awesome detail the significance of shaping key organizations together amongst nonprofits and organizations that permit us “to accomplice viably with each other for shared advantage and social wellness”.

Safrit and Merrill, noticed that today’s volunteers “have a tendency to stay away from dictatorial administration and vast bureaucratic foundations, and are looking for volunteer associations that treat them professionally and incorporate them in the arranging and basic leadership periods of the work”(Safrit and Merrill, 2002). The once overwhelming free market focused administrative worldview of the twentieth century has developed into a “kinder, gentler” cooperative initiative approach of this first decade of the 21st century.

In volunteer-based projects, Hierarchical leadership is being supplanted by smoothed community structures and procedures through which people from different parts and positions inside a similar association share information, bits of knowledge and ability with a specific end goal to address effectively exceptionally complex hierarchical difficulties and societal issues. As volunteer overseers, we should provoke ourselves to continually reinforce people around us – both expert associates and volunteer partners – by sharing influence, assets, and opportunity it is through this that the entire association acquires the victory of every composite person.

“Seeking foremost to comprehend, afterwards to be understood,” difficulties us to remain in steady and direct contact with the genuine and perceived requirements and views of people around us, including proficient associates, volunteers, and our projects’ and beneficiaries. (Covey,1995). Covey, (1995) depicts this habit as “. . . paying attention with goal to know. I mean looking for first to comprehend, to truly get it. . . .

Compassionate listening gets inside someone else’s way of reference. You watch out through it, you see the world the way they see the world, you see how they feel” (Covey 1995). Various authors have stressed the basic significance of volunteer overseers working always to better comprehend and interface with individual volunteers’ inspirations that convey them to our volunteer projects (Smith, 2004).

Volunteer endeavours that are focused around and based upon the overgrowing needs of individual volunteers and managerial advantages prompt to positive effect upon the beneficiaries of the volunteer efforts, expanded volunteer maintenance, the productive and powerful utilization of constrained authoritative assets, and a more positive and remunerating background for volunteer and paid staff alike. Seeing first and being seen optionally encourages the “win-win” collaboration.

Lastly “Sharpening the saw” this stresses the essential significance of meeting up as associates and partners to share abilities and thoughts, to exchange with respect to the eventual fate of our projects, and to commend our common triumphs. “It’s saving and upgrading the best resource one has. It’s restoring the four measurements of one’s personality such as physical, religious, intellectual, and social/enthusiastic” (Covey1995).

In our occupied and wild individual and expert lives, we discover it’s always difficult to make opportunity to stop and reflect upon and gain from the everyday difficulties and encounters that barrage us. In any case, to really create to our fullest potential as people and associates, we should unequivocally grasp and model the moderately new accentuations in volunteer organization upon consistent expert advancement, morals, and joint support.

While the chronicled major capabilities of our calling will keep on being the administrative establishments whereupon we work, it is this seventh habit and developing main ability to always “sharpen the saw” which will enable us, our projects and our associations to not just maintain but as well to flourish.


“A large portion of the essential principles of individual limits have been key to volunteer organizations all through . . . .let us not overlook the more personalised and experience of being a manager or chairman of volunteers,” (Safrit and Merrill 1999). Bridging expertise with ability will guarantee progressive accomplishment of volunteerism and volunteer projects, and improve the expert status of volunteer directors.


Association for Volunteer Administration. (2005). The CVA credential: A mark of excellence! Core competencies and content outline (Updated in 2004).

Austin, J.E. (2000). The collaboration challenge: How nonprofits and businesses succeed through strategic alliances. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Fox, J., & Wheeler, D. (2002). Add volunteering to the mix of balancing work and family: The findings and implications for volunteer administrators. . The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 20(4), 27-34.

Merrill, M., & Safrit, R.D. (2003). International megatrends in volunteerism. The Journal of the Institute of Volunteering Research: Voluntary Action, V(2), 63-69.

Russell, J., & Thompson, C. (2003). Vision to reality: A new future for volunteer administration in Minnesota. The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 21(4), 33-37.

Safrit, R.D. (2002). Developing effective teen-adult partnerships through volunteerism: Strengthening empathy, engagement, empowerment, and enjoyment. The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 20(4), 21-27.

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