Real change happens when the people who need it, lead it.

Have you ever been of the mindset that if you need something done right then you would have to do it yourself? Conventional wisdom actually discourages this kind of thinking. Well, for today I am going to buck conventional wisdom and say – you might be on to something there!

Some time ago I was impressed by a quote I heard in connection with the documentary “Teach Us All.” This film “addresses the need for ALL students in America to have equal access to quality education.”

Here’s the quote: “Real change happens when the people who need it, lead it.” –Teach Us All

There are times when the best candidate to effect change is the one who needs it. The best solutions can come from nowhere better! Having intimate familiarity with the need qualifies you as an ideal candidate to be an active participant – even a leader – in those change efforts.

What I am saying is that a level of personal investment is prime currency in the economy of change.

This is essential when it comes to recruiting volunteers. This is similarly important when choosing to be a volunteer.

Apply this filter. What level of personal investment is evident here? What degree of intentionality is engaged regarding the people invited the table? To whom does the issue matter? Is it more than a resume bullet point?

When those who “need it, lead it,” the lens through which the issue is assessed will be much clearer and the issue itself will be targeted more precisely. If the question of “who needs it” is not answered by a hand raised at the table, the team is not yet complete.

Has the change you’ve been working for, programming for, and lobbying for fallen flat? Do you see a surge of effort and then a seeming disinterest settles in? Here’s a hint. Follow the passion of personal investment. Find it and go with it. That’s when real and lasting change can even begin to happen. 

By: Kylah Martin, Operations Manager –

Do you have questions about recruiting an invested team? Want to team up as a volunteer yourself to get more done on an issue important to you? Let’s talk about how we can help you to make this can happen! 

SDV Network has researched and developed a structured framework for engaging and implementing Self Directed Volunteer Teams (SDV Teams). Let us help you get your teams going!

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