Managers strive to put something back

Apr 05 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Being an effective manager can sometimes appear all-consuming, but nearly half of British managers carve out the time to put something back into their communities by taking on voluntary or charitable leadership roles.

A study by leadership organisation Common Purpose has found 49 per cent of UK managers juggle the day job with responsibilities such as becoming a school governor, sitting on a public board, becoming a special constable, being a volunteer councillor or getting involved in a community campaign.

Nearly a fifth of the more than 500 managers polled said they planned to take-up a leadership role outside of work during the coming year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, managers from the voluntary sector were least likely to take on leadership positions outside of work (39 per cent) compared with private and public sector managers (52 per cent).

More than two thirds of managers across the board felt their companies and organisations were supportive of their out-of-work commitments and sympathetic to their wider life ambitions.

This figure was highest within the private sector (71 per cent), dropping to 67 per cent among public sector managers and 63 per cent among managers in the not-for-profit sectors.

Taking on such roles could not only be personally satisfying but also could have a beneficial impact on a person's career and ability to manage, argued Julia Middleton chief executive of Common Purpose.

"This isn't purely a one-way street. If you leave your comfort zone as a leader and take on positions outside of your usual work, you will learn new skills and new ways of thinking that will, in return, make you a better leader at work," she said.

"Our research shows that many leaders are already doing this with the support of their employers and with the confidence that they can continue making a difference into the future.

"Now, it's time for the other half to stand up as leaders and do something. There are so many compelling reasons why it's a great thing to do," she added.