GEN Shelton emphasizes that all values based leaders have an obligation to give back. It doesn’t matter whether you are a student or a working professional, you have an obligation to work to make your corner of the world a better place. He urges us to “be bigger than ourselves, to give back to our community, and to our state, and even to our nation.” He reminds us that there are multiple opportunities to do this in small and large ways. Corporations and nonprofits mutually benefit from these partnerships. Corporations reputations are enhanced by their corporate giving back to the community. Nonprofits, by their very existence, are known for their mission-driven programs to the community.
One of our signature programs at the Shelton Leadership Center is the Shelton Challenge. The Shelton Challenge has selfless service as a key program component . Our Shelton Scholars volunteer twice a year (in addition to their other volunteer efforts), to go to a particular town for a Weekend of Service, where they partner with local civic organizations to build handicap ramps, clean up a blighted area, or help in other ways. We partner with NC State’s CSLEPS to support them in their student service learning and leadership efforts. I’ve been in awe of high school students who volunteer to help those with disabilities in and out of school.
I’m not highlighting these to boast about different Shelton programs are doing (although I am incredibly humbled and impressed with our tireless staff , students, our Board, and the many students who are a part of the Shelton Leadership Center and how each lives out this cornerstone daily ). I’m emphasizing that there are lots of ways to give and give back in a community. As GEN Shelton prompts us, “…that is a part of what each and every one of us from the corporate level right down to the individual should be doing.”
Values based leadership-It’s not about you.
What situations have you found where giving back to the community gives you an even greater gift?