Joe’s Journal: The Rewards of Service

“There is a need to restore community. . . . The one area in which this need can be satisfied is the social sector. There, individuals can contribute. They can have responsibility. They can make a difference. . . . Citizenship in and through the social sector is not a panacea for the ills of post-capitalist society and post-capitalist polity, but it may be a prerequisite for tackling these ills. It restores the civic responsibility that is the mark of citizenship, and the civic pride that is the mark of community.” — Peter F. Drucker

Peter Drucker advised knowledge workers to explore the possibilities of a second or parallel career early in life, and he was passionate about the opportunities that these careers could offer for developing community, for developing one’s talents and for fulfillment.

[EXPAND More]Frankly, Drucker was a little discouraged that opportunities for functioning communities, where people could enjoy citizenship and truly develop, were shrinking in business. He was so committed to the idea that he spent a good part of the last three decades of his life promoting it, and felt that this problem was one of the really important challenges to work on.

I hope you get the opportunity to volunteer for an organization where your full talents can be utilized. I hope the organization spends some time and money training you, and provides constructive feedback on your performance. I hope you feel empowered to use your talents to the fullest extent possible and make a contribution that counts in the lives of others. And I hope you experience the rewards of that service.

I was startled a number of years ago to read in Chester Barnard’s landmark 1938 book, The Functions of the Executive, this passage: “The reward of service is more service.” This is personal motivation at the highest level. My own experience is that in order for this to happen you must search for an organization where your strengths can be made productive and where you are challenged to perform at a very high level. Because, the reward is not monetary; the reward is in the service itself.[/EXPAND]