Leadership Resources

November 7, 2009 at 5:33 am 1 comment

I have long observed that in groups there is often a tendency for a few people to do most of the work and be “super-volunteers” while the rest just show up but don’t get more involved. Granted, some people have more time than others, and are more passionate and dedicated. But still it can be a problem as the super-volunteers get burned out or sick of doing everything, and the group becomes too dependent on them. This is especially a problem in Pagan and other all-volunteer organizations, though I see it in churches and other places that do have paid staff. This phenomenon is called “social loafing”- in which people work less hard in a group than they would alone. Jessie Olsen, a fellow ADF Druid has some articles on social loafing & group dynamics in groves.  (They are at the bottom of the page)

Jessica Karels, an acquaintance of mine who is a leader in the local polyamory community has written an excellent series of posts about these problems, and related concepts like the definition of community, and how to be an optimal leader. Another problem I have seen is that the super-volunteers aren’t just enthusiastic, but that they like the attention, status etc. that comes with their involvement.  Jessica talks a bit about this in her posts.

Take ideas from wherever you find them (Jessica finds some from evangelical mega-churches and Fortune 500 companies!) even seemingly unlikely places can be helpful sometimes. Then adapt them to the structures, values and needs of your own coven, grove, or other organization.


Entry filed under: Pagan Communities. Tags: , , , , .

Slaves to the Gods? What would you like to see?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jessie Olson  |  February 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I’m actually working on a handbook on Neopagan leadership at the moment. Its in the editing stage right now but I hope to release it by the end of this year, possibly sooner.

    Please feel free to contact me for other Neopagan leadership resources.


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