As the summer and holiday season approaches, I was inspired to write a personal article about volunteerism. I had been thinking of writing this article for quite a while, as a tribute to the over 50 individuals who volunteer their time with ICF Québec as members of committees or on the executive or as members of the conseil d’administration (Board of Directors).
I am constantly in awe of and inspired by the dedication and hard work of the members of the Board, who work tirelessly for the benefit of all the members of ICF Québec and for the betterment of the coaching profession as a whole.
Members should know that the Board meets twice during the year, for a full day on each occasion, to review and develop strategies, to discuss important issues and to plan activities. In addition, the Board meets every month (except July & August) for 90 minutes, through the medium of web conferencing calls, to keep the momentum going, to respond to new issues & initiatives and to share ideas and concerns surrounding coaching in Quebec..
This does not begin to indicate the hours spent in committee meetings and planning events, presentations, meeting with stakeholders, suppliers, partners and potential partners. Each board member heads at least one committee and in some cases multiple committees.
Many Board members attend events around the province and in the case of our executive team, also attend meetings in the U.S. with other ICF leaders. Many create presentations and workshops which they deliver to various coaching groups and interested parties. Everyone participates to the level of his/her availability. What we find though is that involvement is contagious. The more interested you are, the more contribution you make but in the end, everyone masters his own time.
In addition to the Board, there is a strong cadre of dedicated volunteers who serve on committees, offering their input, support and involvement in planning and executing activities. Their hard work and input makes the organization relevant and strong. ICF Québec could not be as pro-active as it is, without their valued contribution.
So, why do people get involved and offer their ideas, wisdom and hard work as volunteers?
- There is a feeling of accomplishment when one contributes to a project and works with other dedicated team members.
- Many people want to contribute to helping to shape and elevate our industry and make a difference.
- Giving back to society is another reason why we volunteer.
- The sense of accomplishment in completing a project successfully brings not only satisfaction but also, many opportunities to learn.
- I would add my own favorite reason: to work with and be inspired by fellow coaches who value our profession and want to contribute to growth and the well-being of society as well as coaches.
It has been my privilege to be part of the Conseil d’Administration of ICF Québec for almost two years. The work has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. The inclusive nature and openness of our board coupled with the most democratic and professional standards I have ever seen make me proud to serve.
My final word would be to those of you who have been thinking about getting involved in ICF Québec. Make it happen by contacting committee chairs or even contacting our President, Richard La Rue directly. You have everything to gain by giving of your time and energy to a worthwhile profession.