In the corporate world, leadership is a necessity. Too many operations, decisions, organizational movements, and activities happen daily that would turn into very big problems without clear leadership in place at all times. However, while corporate leadership development and training is originally intended to run companies and produce profits, that doesn’t mean that it can’t also help communities as well.
Corporate leaders who have developed leadership skills over time, risen through the ranks, taken on greater and greater responsibilities, and learned how to troubleshoot big challenges on the fly don’t just turn off their skills when they leave the office, notes Kirill Vesselov. That mindset becomes ingrained in their personality and how they see the world, both on and off the clock. So, where a corporate leader has the time, community volunteering can benefit greatly from such people’s help, time, and energy, especially in areas where organizational and project leadership is sorely needed. Kirill Vesselov sees this routinely.
The fact is this: community support happens in one of three ways. It can be addressed through local government services, non-profit efforts toward specific goals, or through people providing their time and efforts for free through volunteering.
All three suffer differently from limited experience, funds, resources, and skills. These demands don’t regularly attract highly-skilled types who can cost significant salaries or compensation for their skills to work full-time. However, Kirill Vesselov points out that for those corporate leaders already established or now going into retirement, nothing stops such people from helping out part-time or full-time, translating their knowledge and abilities to fill the gap.
Still, too often, Kirill Vesselov watches as the two worlds don’t connect. Corporate leaders don’t go out of their way to be available, and community programs don’t make it easy or possible for such people to come in and share their help. Some non-profit and community leadership can even feel threatened by a corporate leader’s presence or hostile to their offered help. This dynamic must change. To harness the capabilities of corporate leaders, we must make service, advocacy, and donation rewarding and attractive.
At the same time, Kirill Vesselov highlights, that corporate leaders cannot come expecting miracles and the same fine-tuned operations they enjoyed working in fully resourced corporations. The lack of resources may even be so great as to task these innovators and leaders with spreadsheet work to connect ideas and crank out the solutions needed to change conditions. In both worlds, plugging corporate leadership into the community is a connected issue. Kirill Vesselov advises proactive communication and coordinated planning as the mutual key. Identifying the values and opportunities available while being willing to work alongside each other, corporate leadership can produce powerful community improvement to benefit everyone. Kirill Vesselov has seen it first hand; he’s given corporate leadership through community involvement himself.