October 12; Take Over Work From Your Manager
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Ten: Deciding 12 October

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said,

“Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8

Take Over Work From Your Manager


“Never volunteer” is the ancient Army truism. The reasoning is simple: you won’t get paid more. Competence will only increase your workload. You won’t get any more rank. Keep low. Keep quiet.

dog_tags_yoestThe old military maxim demands that the soldier does not step up and do anything extra because you are not likely to get any more stripes or immediate promotions. So keep a low profile and do no more outside of your assigned duties. You can’t get hammered if you don’t get noticed. No mistakes are made if nothing is moving.

This is, of course, a lie.

Every school semester, Your Business Professor will instruct the students that each attendee will introduce themselves to the class. I give them a few minutes to collect their thoughts.

Then I ask for volunteers. I wait. And wait. And I know to outwait them because no student has ever jumped in and immediately volunteered.

And so one brave soul will eventually volunteer to go first. This is after realizing that a long, silent, boring class will follow unless somebody says something. Because it won’t be the professor who is patiently awaiting.

As soon as the student is recognized and speaks, I interrupt. Rudely. But with a smile. I go into didactic mode and launch a lecture. (Sometimes I create my own “teachable moments.” This is something best left to us professionals.)

I congratulate and compliment the heroic pupil. My message is to “Always Volunteer.” Especially in a forum where everyone will be required to participate.   Because everyone will have a speaking part, speak up and go first. This has several advantages.

  • No one is paying any attention to the First Person. The rest of the class is rehearsing their lines that they now know they will have to give.
  • The standard for acceptable performance is low. No one can be critical of the early speakers—who are likely to be forgotten as the others drone on. Let’s call it the First Mover Advantage.
  • The followers will take the early cues and add and expand on previous speakers.
  • Finally, remember: no one is listening to the first guy any way. He will be quickly forgotten by everyone. Except me. He will get an ‘A’ in the class and he doesn’t know it yet. I can make things like that happen. I am the boss.

Dr. Henry Mintzberg in his book Management, quotes Jonathan Gosling, University of Exeter, U.K., who touches on standing up,

The best way to predict who will take initiative and serve as a leader is to see what young people do at school.

Participating in sports, school clubs and volunteering in the community are all strongly correlated with activism in later life. Strengthening our youth organizations is a real and proven way of growing leadership…[Management: It’s Not What You Think, Henry Mintzberg, et al, American Management Association, 2010]

Volunteers are natural leaders. Always volunteer.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8




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91 Responses

  1. Isabella says:

    Growing up I was always encouraged to volunteer, so it was odd to hear about this Army truism, “never volunteer.” It seems almost like a head game, much like the head game of who will talk first in class. Yes it is easier to just keep low and keep quiet, but the one that stands up and shows competence and takes upon themselves the responsibility of others is the one that you want to stand next to on the battle field and during that final class presentation. That person has the nerve to take a stand and make a difference.

    I do not think the Army is actually supporting this idea of “never volunteering” in fact I think it is quite the opposite. As I said before, I think this truism is a head game, used to weed out the people that will keep their head down. Nothing extraordinary will be expected of these people, they are the conformers who will take orders and only take orders never trying to be more or attain more. There is nothing wrong with these people, they’ve simply fallen victim to conformity. The people that speak up, take initiative, and volunteer are the extraordinary people. Those are the people that are often found in leadership positions in the Army.

    It is simple; volunteering is more than sports, clubs, and giving back to the community. It develops a person’s morals and induces hard work. It incites personal growth and teaches humility. A person, who volunteers, is a person who knows his or her limits, and that is a key factor in leadership and success.

  2. jack says:

    Isabella, you are exactly right — this should read that ‘some in the Army say’ rather to imply that this is military doctrine.

    Well done,

  3. Robert Walsh says:

    Volunteering should play a major role in everyone’s life. Whether it be helping out at your local church or choosing to speak first in class, volunteering is a behavior that can benefit an individual throughout one’s entire life. As it stated in the article, people that volunteer demonstrate qualities of leadership. These are the people that others look up to in their community.
    Volunteering can also establish great connections and give you the chance to meet people who share similar qualities. You never know, there is a chance of meeting someone who can land you a job. The great thing about potentially meeting someone like that while volunteering is that his or her first impression of you is that you are an individual who serves others.
    The portion of the article that discusses the benefits of speaking first in a class is something to take note of. I believe that having the confidence to present a project or an idea to fellow students or co-workers before anyone else can show one’s strong personality. By becoming comfortable speaking before anyone else in a room can cause someone to become a natural leader. By showing these leadership skills through volunteering will enable an individual to be promoted faster or, “rise up the ranks” quicker than someone who doesn’t.

  4. Aubrey Gierlatowicz says:

    As a kid I never liked the idea of volunteering and being first in class. It would make me nervous and I felt like being the last one to present would take away my nerves. Little did I know it made my nerves so much worse. Everyone before me did so well, which made me feel like mine would be awful. In these cases I felt I needed to expand my point in order to do extra well. But, time and time again I would hide in the back hoping my name wouldn’t be called on. Quickly I began to realize that I needed to volunteer first first to get it over with. It was always a struggle to get anyone to go first anyway and with me going first there would be no expectations which this article pointed out. When I started doing that my nerves subsided.
    It is true in saying that no one pays attention to the first person. I was so nervous of my presentation that it was hard for me to listen to anyones, even if I tried. My mind would race as I began re-reading my notes. So, now when I have the opportunity to go first I can actually listen to what others have to say and not be caught up in my own thoughts. It is also true that followers have to expand on others thoughts. You can not just reiterate others points, it has to be tailored to you specifically. And unfortunately people before you have the same ideas. So, then you sit there wondering what you can say differently.
    In saying this, going first builds your confidents and makes you feel comfortable in situations when your asked to do something. You will quickly realize what you are capable of doing and start pushing yourself. Sometimes being uncomfortable is the way to build your comfort in a situation.

  5. Paige Melley says:

    Trying to stay under the radar will get you nowhere. Whether it is being the first to introduce yourself, joining a club or activity, or taking an extra step to be involved in a class discussion you will benefit. You never know how the volunteering will help you or who is listening. My Business Professor brought up some good points about how being the first person does not matter to anyone in the class except the professor and the one speaking and that was something I have never really considered.

    An argument can be made by simply saying, “I am going to submit my assignments like everyone else and just get through the semester with minimal contact with my professor or classmates.” That might work for some but that mentality will not lead you to success.In fact, it will probably make your grade lower in reality because you are essentially a nobody to your professor.

    Although the classroom is just one example, not volunteering will do more harm than good in your academic and professional career. Be smart, be outgoing, volunteer even when it is hard. These things will bring you recognition and the leadership skills that will get you far in life.

  6. Devon O'Toole says:

    The idea of volunteering is one that I have always tried to take advantage of. Whether it is at school, at work, or at home, I am making a constant effort to better myself for the good. Volunteering is a way to stand out in every setting and to go from being “that kid in the back of the room” to “the student who was the first to take the chance and stand out.”

    I love the idea of being the first to volunteer is like “the first mover advantage” because in a sense you get a chance to try it first. You can make mistakes and have errors because no one has done anything yet to prove you wrong. Volunteering is about being selfless and stepping out of your comfort zone. In a business setting, employers will look to you first because you were not afraid to make a mistake and grow from it. This helps you develop a sense of work ethic that creates productivity, happiness, and strong morals.

    Volunteering is always something that should be a part of life. In some cases you are helping others and in others you are helping yourself for your future and beyond.

  7. Claire says:

    I really enjoyed this article. I think that many times we sit around waiting for things to happen in our lives instead of taking the initiative and volunteering ourselves. It may be hard for us to take that first step, but it will really benefit us in the end. I really liked your points about the advantages of speaking up first. Even though it may be hard to take the first step, but our classmates will be busy figuring out their speeches to pay so much attention to us and it will make the Professor really recognize us as a leader. I think this is a great message for anywhere- especially the workplace. We will be shown as leaders in the workplace if we volunteer, it will help us gain recognition and many lasting. We will not be seen as a follower but a leader. Lastly, we should always go the extra mile, participate in extra curriculurs, volunteer, seek out your professors, bosses and others because it will truly help us succeed and bring us recognition from everyone.

  8. Sam Galvin says:

    It is easy to stay under the radar and do the minimum. But leaders are not born out of doing the least expected. For college students, all it takes is to start a conversation with a professor or peer that can make a huge difference in the long run. It doesn’t hurt you to volunteer and put yourself out there. Take a look at the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. You will find that most, if not all, volunteered or stepped up in some way to take on more responsibility and put themselves out there.

    Did they ever expect themselves to become CEOs? No. But because they were the type of person to volunteer and take initiative. These are the qualities of a true leader. These also are not qualities one would be born with. So you can work towards attaining them throughout your academic and professional career, as I expect many executives do.

    So start volunteering yourself earlier. Whether it be speaking to the class, running an errand for a professor, or taking on a leadership position. It will all pay off in some way. Start small and in time, you will be volunteering for an opportunity that could be life changing.

  9. Allison Alduncin says:

    In the classroom, students are given a vast number of chances to volunteer. When I enjoy a class a lot, I am always eager to volunteer first or even at all. But sometimes I feel pressure from myself to not to volunteer first all of the time and to wait for another student to speak first at the next opportunity. I perceive this pressure of resisting to volunteer as negative because it is motivated by my embarrassment that I am acting differently from my peers and thus I should speak less like them.

    Reading this article reminds me that I should tell myself that at times those peers are not volunteering because they could not be paying attention or understanding the discussion that I am actively listening to and engaging in. Although I restrict myself from always volunteering when I want to, I take advantage of the pause by gathering my thoughts and thinking about the important points of the discussion. I try to see where the discussion is going and what the professor will say to prevent saying something that will be repeated without additional insight. I pause from volunteering to do my best to say something that will be meaningful, relevant and can add another good insight to the principal points of the discussion.

  10. Brenden Amanto says:

    The article on being the first volunteer is the most meaningful and life-proving article I’ve read in a long time. Being a volunteer in life is so important because it shows how much you care about the community or activity that you are participating in. One isn’t doing it for the money they are doing it because they care and are willing to take their own time out and give back! In the classroom, it is even more important to volunteer because it shows the professor that you are a leader and that you take pride in being involved in the classroom. Also, as someone who volunteers there is not going to be a wrong answer. Although, even if there is, there will not be consequences because it is the act of giving back to the community or an organization that matters the most to them. I believe that volunteer work is extremely important in today’s society and can be a path to success when applying for a job or when searching for a way to give back. Finally, a lot of the time places that accept volunteers will often lead to full-time positions, which is a goal we all aspire to have!

  11. Zarima Greco says:

    I love this article. It shines new light towards the act of volunteering. I would consider myself an active volunteer but I wouldn’t consider myself the first to volunteer. I grew up as a very talkative child, who often got in trouble for talking too much. But as I matured I learned to respect other when talking and giving everyone a chance to share their ideas. I dislike being wrong, so I get shy in class when I am unsure if what I am going to say is right. As a junior in college, I have grown to learn that it is okay to be wrong and taking the risk is the hardest part. I believe that networking and communicating is all the act of volunteering yourself. The adult world is not going to be handed to us, we must go out to seek it and take action. We can not sit in silence and wait for the teacher to make things happen. The business world is a fast pace industry and doing the minimum will not cut it.
    My parents encouraged me to get an internship and guided me, but it was my job to apply, interview and speak for myself. Here I am now, working 20 hours a week.

  12. Bernardo Guillamon says:

    This article outlines the importance of volunteering first. I like this article a lot because many people do not volunteer to go first but volunteering to go first says a lot about a person. It displays courage, that someone is willing to step up and be the first to go, not fear what others think and say about them. I agree that in class, when the first person volunteers, everyone is rehearsing their lines of what they are gonna say and building off what the first person said. No one gives the first volunteer much criticism because everyone in the room is unsure of the task at hand and it takes enough courage to volunteer first, so it definitely has its benefits. A benefit of volunteering first in the workplace is that it shows your boss and peers that you care and are driven. A boss likes someone who will step-up to a challenge, someone willing to do what has to be done and not have to ask and assign. Volunteering helps yourself grow. It teaches one to learn how to be independent. Sitting back and letting things come to you won’t happen for very long, once you go into the real world you have to go out and find things on your own, volunteering to go first is a good way for one to learn to become independent and do things on their own.

  13. Zachery Tashjy says:

    Being the first to do something always comes with its advantages; however, there are many risks. In my MGT 475 class last semester, taught by Professor Smith, we went over the possible strengths and weaknesses of first mover advantages. The obvious first advantage is being able to be the first to market, and drowning out competition by possibly buying out suppliers to move your products, and only your products. Thus, you will have a sustained competitive advantage. However, say you are the first mover, and your product tanks. Then you are stuck under contract with suppliers, supplying you a bad product, which is costing you even more money than the product just tanking alone. Comparing this to volunteering, volunteering always comes with its advantages. You are helping people, and you are doing it usually for a good cause; therefore, it’s a win-win right? Unfortunately, this can be wrong.

    In the article it states, “The standard for acceptable performance is low. No one can be critical of the early speakers…”. This is the problem with volunteering. People won’t bat an eye for the person saying he/she volunteers time every day to the local food bank. You follow that person to the food bank one day, inspired by his/her volunteer work; however, you are disappointed to find out that his/her “volunteering” consists of sitting in the kitchen surfing the web on his/her phone. I am in no way saying that volunteering is a bad thing, in fact it is a great thing! However, while I feel that one should always volunteer whenever they can, it is paramount that the individual does a satisfactory job. Otherwise, it would probably be best if the individual did not volunteer at all.

  14. Morgan Druce says:

    Volunteering is extremely important as it exhibits initiative, especially as a first impression. By being the first person to contribute your own ideas to a discussion, you set the tone for the entire conversation – creating precedent for not only yourself, but also your peers. In this regard, it often does not even matter if you are right or wrong, because the act of volunteering to go first automatically sets you apart from everyone else in the room. This is especially important when you are trying to establish your personal character among a large group of people.

    This article reminded me that volunteering is not just about performing a service without pay, but also being comfortable enough to put myself out there and step out of my comfort zone. As my internship begins tomorrow and the planned agenda includes icebreaker type of games, I plan to benefit from the “First Mover Advantage.” I think that in doing so; this will help to set the tone for the rest of my internship experience. As I will be in a setting with 30 other interns, I think that by setting myself out from the beginning, it will allow me to build a strong reputation with those superior to me.

  15. Gregory Holodak says:

    I love the idea that the first volunteer is never actually heard by the students around them. Volunteering first seems like such a big deal in the moment, but your insight is spot on. I always end up thinking of something to say rather than listening to the first volunteer. If students are able to keep this message in mind and volunteer for things, not only will their grades improve, but the class discussion will as well. This will lead to an all around better class experience and an increase in the education that students receive from the class. Such a simple idea can create a snowball effect like that and have a large and lasting impact. The message is important to understand and motivating for future instances. As someone who does not like going out of their way to be the first to raise their hand in class, the message really hits home and gives me motivation to be a more eager student in the future. I will certainly be sure to volunteer much more often.

  16. Anna Lucius says:

    Volunteering has always been a passion of mine, just not necessarily in the classroom. Through my years in high school I would often find myself donating my time to those who were in need. This form of volunteering came natural to me and I was comfortable with it. However, if you were to ask me if I like to volunteer in the classroom, specially be the first to speak up, I would say no. Like so many, I am intimidated by the crowd to be the first to speak up. Fear of being wrong or looking stupid, crosses my mind so I back away from volunteering. But is there a clear difference between volunteering inside and outside of the classroom?
    Examining it more clearly, no, there should not be a difference. Either way, one is putting them self out on a line, being a ‘heroic’ one by offering up something. Because, as you have pointed out, for the first volunteer in the classroom, no one will remember them since they are rehearsing their lines. All in all, I think that it is important to keep in mind that volunteering is a good thing. It improves confidence, it shows the teacher that you are engaged and that you care and it is a good way to practice for a job one day. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be the first one if you may or may not receive an A. Always volunteer, always be the next man up to take the challenge.

  17. Dan Cannon says:

    It is impossible for someone to find themselves in a position to lead if they never volunteer and take action themselves. After all a leader is most often looked to as a person who steps up and does something which often inconveniences their personal lives.
    I think having the motto of always volunteer is something that could help a person get further in life than they otherwise could. Pending extreme circumstances, you really have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there. I enjoyed your example of how being the first one to step up in a classroom introduction can go a long way with making a strong impression. I believe it is the first people who step up and do something that really get the credit for doing so, even if 30 other people stand up behind them and do the exact same thing. This is because doing something first takes courage, you don’t have previous performances to base your actions off of, so what you do truly requires bravery and some original thought. I think this is why people who go on to become very successful have a past history of being the first to volunteer. This is because they have made a habit of being brave and thinking on their feet, so when they come across a situation which requires such skills in life, they are able to rise to the challenge which ultimately leads to their success.

  18. Jack Murphy says:

    Growing up playing sports all of my life, I was always encouraged to volunteer and be the first one by my coaches. Being the first volunteer taught me a couple of things. First, it taught me that it shows bravery and dedication to your coaches and teachers. Showing them that you are eager to volunteer and even if you fail you are willing to learn. Second, it showed me that this is how you become a leader and get better. If you’re always volunteering, your peers around you look up to you as a leader and as someone who knows what they’re doing. Volunteering made me want to look like I knew what I was doing which translated into making me better at the sport. You have to put yourself out there to get noticed and even if you look stupid – at least you’re showing everyone that you had the courage to at least try. Being that I’ve taken two of Professor Yoest’s classes in the past, it is in fact true that he loves volunteers and does make the whole class wait until someone volunteers. At the time, I thought it was kind of a ridiculous practice, although over the semester I saw myself and others volunteering more than I or they would have if Professor Yoest didn’t implement this method.

  19. Andrew Wade says:

    Volunteering is such a simple concept. However, finding someone to volunteer is typically a difficult task. When a person volunteers in front of their peers, it speaks to the integrity and character of the individual. I say this because it displays leadership and a willingness to learn. These two qualities are rare to find and very appealing to professors and potential employers. It shows that the individual is not afraid to fail as long as they learn from the situation. An individual willing to volunteer is an individual who will take chances within your organization. They will likely seek to set themselves apart from their peers in terms of leadership and forward minded ideas.

  20. Nicole LaRusso says:

    The most important part of any structured class or event, really, is participating. If you stay at lengths of time just keeping to yourself and not speaking out loud to what is being discussed, you will learn half of what you should be. You are able to process what is being discussed to the highest extent when you participate. Volunteering is always a difficult thing for individuals to do, but it should be the easiest. You don’t need to do anything but speak your mind. Half of the time, your input doesn’t even need to be correct. It is OK to not always be right. The most important thing to do is speak your mind and let it be known that you are thinking through what is being discussed. You should want to be the first one to participate because it shows your eagerness and leadership. In addition to this, participating may cause another individual to want to participate after you. And that is just as important. You all must work together as a group and go off of one anothers thoughts.

    Volunteering in a work type environment is most important. This has a lot to do with internships. A lot of the time (atleast I experienced this) you finish the work that has been asked of you and you think that there’s nothing left. However, something so important that I learned is that sometimes, you must make work for yourself. And being able to realize this and do this on your own is something that is difficult, but important to carry with you through your professional career. Someone cannot always be telling you what to do. You must take action on your own and figure out something else to do. There is always something that must be done. If you can realize this early on in your career, it will take you lengths.

  21. It seems as if the most difficult task for any individual is to volunteer. However, volunteering should be (and is ) the easiest task that an individual can do in any class/group activity in general. Staying in the shadows and not speaking up is not effective at all. When you are learning and thinking about the things being spoken about, the most effective way to learn and retain that information is by speaking about them out loud. If you only sit and keep those thoughts in your head, you are only going to learn half of that information. What is important to know is that volunteering and speaking your mind is always a beneficial thing. Even if what you are saying isn’t always the “correct answer”. The important thing is getting out your train of thought and speaking your mind. Not only that, but volunteering may alter the thinking of other individuals thinking as well and make them volunteer afterwards. All conversation is interconnected and you all must work together to reach the ultimate goal at the end, which is to retain that information. Staying back and low is never going to be the solution. Individuals must stand out and take leadership roles in order to make a difference in the world, wether that be in the classroom or out in the real world.

    In addition to this, it is so important to participate and volunteer in a work environment (like an internship). What happens often is that individuals may finish the task that they were assigned and think they have nothing left to do. This is never the case. There is always work that must be done. What good business people must realize is that sometimes you must make work for yourself. There is always something else to be done and if individuals finish the task that were assigned, they must make work for themselves to do. This is a very difficult skill to attain but once attained, it will take a person to great lengths, both individually and professionally.

  22. Jamie Regan says:

    I love this article and agree with it a hundred percent. Growing up my parents always told me to volunteer, not because I am going to get rewarded for doing it right away but in the long run if I keep on volunteering good things will happen to me. If my grade needs to be rounded up at the end of semester and my name comes across the teachers mind they are going to think about all the times I volunteered and will most likely round up my grade. Volunteering is also a great way to show that you are confident in yourself and like you said it makes for great leaders. If you volunteer a lot people are going to notice and are going to wan to be like you and volunteer for themselves

  23. Robert J Bonasia says:

    I think the basis of this old army truism is true. If you lay low and do the bare minimum to get by no undue burdens will come your way. This applies to a lot of things, if I do not leave my home for anything beyond basic necessities, I am less at risk for anything bad happening. However, where the logic breaks down is although you will bring nothing bad upon yourself, you will not bring any good upon yourself either. You will impress no one and will not be remembered. In any given firm or organization hundreds if not thousands of people will come through and just do their job. They will come out with the basic ability to do that job and in the future, will probably do the exact same thing for the same compensation. They will not be remembered and will not learn to do much else. Those who go the extra step will learn other jobs that they can also do and their superiors will take note. They will be remembered and when its needed they will be able to do a multitude of jobs for more compensation. When deciding whether to volunteer, there is one question to ask yourself. Do you want more to expand on what you already have? If the answer is yes then do not hesitate.

  24. Michael Marn says:

    This article did not accomplish what it set out to achieve. To explain, I will expand upon the four bullet points:

    According to the first bullet point, the benefit of volunteering first is that no one will pay attention to what you have to say. In this example, the point of the exercise is for the students in the class to become more familiar with the other students so that participating later on in the course is more comfortable and less intimidating. If no one is listening to you, your fellow classmates still do not know you, and no one is better off because you have decided to speak first. According to this article, by volunteering first, what you say essentially doesn’t matter.

    In the second, by volunteering to speak first, you can get away with an unimpressive performance. By simply going first, you can receive an A for saying something that will ‘likely be forgotten.’

    For the third, you completely avoid having to come up with a creative answer and put in a bit of effort. You can say anything and it will be the first time anyone in the class had made that contribution. You said it first so you are the cleverest—you didn’t simply repeat what someone else had already said because no one had said anything at all before you. Again, you can put in minimal effort and be compensated as if you had thought about your answer deeply and sincerely.

    Lastly, rather than receiving an A because you worked the hardest or improved the most, the professor will give you an A because you were the quickest to steal from your fellow classmates the most mediocre of answers.

    I see no benefit here other than, by speaking early, you no longer have to face the fear of speaking later. ‘Simply get it over with’ is what this article says. If this is the approach, why have the exercise at all? This seems like speaking first for the sake of speaking first. Your classmates will forget you, and you’ll get an A for it.

    This article takes the approach that whomever speaks first will be rewarded the most. Following this logic, let’s make a race out of turning in homework assignments and completing exams. The first to submit them will receive an A—regardless of quality and without the professor even looking over the work—and the last receive an F for exactly the same reason. Your answers don’t matter—the professor isn’t going to read it anyways, and you’ll get an A. The professor can make things like that happen. He’s the boss.

    With that being said, you should volunteer. However, you should do it because, regardless of how frightened you are to speak aloud, you have conquered that fear and overcome your anxiety of public speaking. Rather than waiting to speak against your will because you are forced to in order for class to be dismissed, conquer your fear and overcome your weakness. This intrinsic motivation will be much more beneficial than some superficial benefit of receiving more points for having contributed less and avoiding the true hindrance to your success and genuine personal growth.

  25. Stephen Terenzio says:

    “Always volunteer” can sound like a thought straight out of a boss’s head designed to get workers to do more work. However, especially for an intern it’s very important. It’s hard to find someone willing to volunteer, which is why as an intern when you do volunteer it can turn heads in your company. The person who volunteers will see an increase in expectation as well. Not only is it important to volunteer, but to deliver on the quality of work. When you volunteer and don’t deliver on your work, it can create problems with your boss. Another part of volunteering is that it displays that you are confident in yourself to put yourself out there. Having confidence in the workplace can be a key to getting noticed and promoted. Additionally, being extraverted can make volunteering easier. As someone who is naturally outgoing, it would not be hard for me to put my name out there for something, versus someone who isn’t as comfortable being that outgoing, it can be tough. Volunteering also shows that you can be a leader in the workplace. Showing your bosses that you are willing to lead is a sure way to be considered for promotion.

  26. Patrick Ridings says:

    If you don’t step up or stand how can you make change in your life and others. I was told as a kid “If you get a feeling of satisfaction or importance in your chest then it’s the right thing to do.” Someone needs an extra hand and you see someone struggling you don’t stay low and bury your head you step up and go help. Doesn’t matter what’s going on in your personal life, if you had a long day or just don’t want to be bothered you do it because it feels right. Stepping up to volunteer has nothing to do with personal gain. It is all to benefit for the greater good. You want to be a leader, you want to show that you have what it takes to get things done you stand up and volunteer. When I volunteer for something I do not think of what I can eventually get out of it, if it could be a move up the cooperate ladder, a reward or anything to benefit me. I think of the team and how can we all be better. if I have to step up and volunteer so my team can rise then that’s what I will do. Offensive line mentality “lead the way” you get no credit, you make everyone look good, but all you care about is helping your team. Volunteers are not weak they are the strongest, most prepared and intelginte people because they know what it takes to win and be successful.

  27. Casey Stoyell-Mulholland says:

    The concept of always volunteering first is a great idea. Never volunteer may keep you under the radar and out of trouble or give you less work to do, but flying under the radar isn’t the way to be successful or feel fulfilled. Everyone has a passion and is designed to thrive. Following your passion makes it easier to be the first volunteer or want to rise beyond expectations, despite perhaps not being compensated or outright recognized for it. Staying silent or never volunteering may keep one in their comfort zone and enable them a cheap sense of accomplishment since they aren’t getting reprimanded. However, risk is a necessary part of a fulfilling and successful life. Without putting yourself out there you may never fall down but you also will never reach your full potential. Being frightened to stand apart from the crowd is certainly more than understandable. Fear cannot be allowed to run your life, because if it does you won’t be able to accomplish all that you want to and all that you’re meant to. Volunteering first may seem like a big risk with the potential to fail and be ridiculed, but if it pays off it could be oh so sweet.

  28. Chelsi Marcellana says:

    As a Navy intern for almost 2 years now, I have heard of this very popular “truism.” In fact, when I volunteered to lead the Intern council on base at my hometown, my supervisor (who was a former Army soldier), told me to not to volunteer. This saying is very popular among all branches of the military. However, since I volunteered to lead the Intern council, it has linked me to important connections and set me apart from the other interns. Since I took on this leadership role (even when my supervisor told me not to, because it will be extra work with no reward), I was able to use my connections to score an internship at the Navy Yard during the school year. So I say, forget the saying of “never volunteer!” I was able to prove this “truism” wrong directly and have reaped the rewards of stepping up. Especially as an intern, students must do whatever necessary to set them apart from the rest. Bosses are always impressed with interns that are proactive. Volunteering often leads to networking which leads to great opportunities, which it did for me. That being said, I will always take the military saying of “never volunteer” head on.

  29. Julia Barakat says:

    This article makes some really good points on why people should volunteer first. It listed some relatable advantages. It really is true that no one is paying attention to the first person who volunteers because they are too busy thinking about what they are going to say. Whenever I think back to the situations in class where everyone in the class had to speak, I don’t remember ever actually listening to the person who volunteered to go first.
    I used to think that staying under the radar was the best way to get through my classes. Just do your work, keep quiet, and pay attention. It wasn’t until my sophomore/Junior year that I realized volunteering is actually very important. Volunteering allows you to make an impression and set the tone of the discussion/conversation. Professors really do remember the students who consistently volunteer and speak up during class. It makes a good impression on them and they will remember that later. Making a good impression on a professor can lead to an internship or even a job. Making a good impression on your professor isn’t the only reason a student should volunteer though; volunteering should be made into a habit that can be carried on into one’s career. It can lead to multiple good things in a work setting as it does in a University setting

  30. Sean Holleran says:

    This an interesting perspective for a student. To learn the boss’s and or teachers view on volunteering, gives more insight to how important it is to volunteer. Whether it be in school, your community or your job; taking action and being the first person forward shows initiative and courage. Often times others will end up following suit and volunteering after you, they may not remember how much success one had, because like the article says, “no one notices the first person anyways.” That is true, until others start following and then the first person will be credited with being a trailblazer. After reading this article it makes me more inclined to leave my comfort zone in the class and with my personal life, and to start taking initiative to put myself forward and volunteer more and speak up more in class.

  31. John Finbar Kantor says:

    I am not too convinced by the author’s arguments in favor of volunteering. Should one really volunteer because the standards are low and no one is paying attention. That is exactly the same argument that was made in the example of the Army, not to stand out not to be noticed. Volunteers should do so because they have confidence in themselves and their ability to accomplish the task at hand. Most of the time, I find that the first volunteer isn’t motivated by courage or a desire to blaze a trail, but a heightened awareness of their own abilities and the desire to have those abilities recognized.
    On the other hand, you cannot develop that awareness without first practicing by volunteering blindly and taking risks. Those are the types of volunteers that are desired by leaders, because they are motivated by growth not glory. Those are also the type of volunteers who benefit most from the experience.

  32. eleni haberis says:

    I think this article illustrates the benefits of volunteering very well. The main message of the article is to demonstrate the importance of being a leader, and how sometimes the smallest actions are the ones that indicate leadership. I enjoy the example that he gives about when he asks people to volunteer to do a task, where people do a short self-introduction, first. Even if it is mandatory, most people are hesitant to volunteer. It is natural for people to be nervous, and that is why the people who work past this fear are the ones who appear as leaders. He is exactly right in the fact that it does not even matter what you end up saying because people will not remember what you said, but they will remember that you went first. Some people think it is better to just skate by and remain under the radar because with less open participation, there is also less chance of getting noticed and getting in trouble. But, while not getting noticed and staying out of trouble, they are also blocking themselves off from further positive opportunities. It is interesting and important to see a professor notice this trait in students, because it reveals the true essence of the student beyond their test grades.

  33. Emily McGuire says:

    I have never heard the Army truism “Never volunteer”, before. It seems logical. I mean why volunteer for something dangerous, or exhausting, for no return? But then, I think of the great heroes in history who courageously volunteered and changed the course of history. For example, I just watched the movie, “Hacksaw Ridge”, about Desmond Doss. Doss was an American medic in Japan during World War II. After an extremely fatal attack on Okinawa, the Allied troops retreated, but Doss remained in enemy territory to help the wounded men. No one asked Doss to do this, but he voluntarily went above and beyond his duty to make a difference. So maybe if you “keep a low profile”, you will do your duty, but you might not make a significant difference.

    I think volunteering is an act of courage, and a leap of faith. Whether it be in the military, in the classroom, or in the workplace, volunteering displays confidence, leadership and a will to succeed. The most admired men and women of history were the men and women who went out of their comfort zones to make a difference.

    It is definitely easier said than done. When I am in class, I am not always the first one to raise my hand to answer a question. I can completely relate to the classes where is at least 5 minutes of silence after a professor asks a question. That being said, I will definitely go out of my comfort zone to show my professors that I DO care and I am excited and eager to learn.

  34. Steven Neville says:

    When I first began reading this I had to go back and make sure my eyes weren’t fooling me, as I felt volunteering was always the positive, and better, thing to do. Growing up in my household I was always taught that volunteering acts as a form of emotional and mental healing. A pure work ethic reasonably results with a pureness of heart. However, I must admit that I often times — especially in class — find myself unwilling to take that first step ahead of anyone else when it comes to speaking my mind or offering my assistance freely without a promise of recompense. I don’t find myself to be selfish, just reserved. Yet I still find myself sitting here questioning how I can call myself a true Christian if I am unwilling to give without the promise of receiving. After reading this article I am positive that I will be a more active student, citizen and friend. Through volunteering I would not only be helping those around me but I will grow as a Christian soul. Never again will I sit by quietly as others take a step of action.

  35. Mary Delaney says:

    Outside of the classroom, I have always been very involved in extracurricular activities and would appear as someone who “volunteers” to do many things. But inside the classroom, I’ve always shied away from being the first to raise my hand or to participate. I remember the first day of class when my business professor conducted this exercise. As I read the same points today, they are still just as relevant (and true) as the first time I heard them.
    After hearing these points made by someone in an authoritative position, it seemed so blatantly obvious that you should always try to go first, especially as a student. Taking this concept and applying it to a work environment, it is clear that your supervisors would rather see employees who are willing to volunteer – especially when everyone else is reluctant. This is what distinguishes the driven leaders from those who will eventually begin to slack off. It is a time for you to stand out, and to separate yourself, in a positive way, from those around you.

  36. Alec Abbate says:

    This article resonates strongly with me. Everyone in class is almost always to coy to raise their hand to volunteer. Why? Who really knows…maybe it is fear of failure, embarrassment, or whatever worry it may be. It never turns out poorly when someone steps up and volunteers. More often than not, the majority of students sigh in relief as their courageous classmate stands up and volunteers. This article sheds a light on the very importance of volunteering and how it can actually propel you into a realm above the rest. From an in-the-office, work mentality, volunteering is definitely subjective to your bosses managerial style. For example, some bosses would love for you to get out of your comfort zone and learn about something outside of your specialty; however, some bosses may see it as a threat or a connotation that you do not like the work you’re given, or that you do not have enough work. This can end very poorly unless communicated well between you and your superiors.

  37. Anna Lucius says:

    I have never heard of the Army saying, “Never Volunteer.” Thinking about it longer, it makes more and more sense. Volunteering doesn’t always mean that you are going to get anything in return and in fact, it most often means nothing will ever come your way. Even though I will never receive anything from volunteering it still provides me with something else. I have always loved to volunteer, the feeling of helping people makes me happy, and that is what volunteering gives me. Similarly, with my acts of volunteering, I get rich in the heart but never I the pocket, and that is satisfying enough for me. The same idea applies in the classroom example.
    I think that in the world like ours today, volunteering is quite important. So many places and organizations would not operate without volunteers. Moreover, volunteering does good for the soul, just like being the first one to volunteer in the classroom. It improves confidence, it shows the teacher that you are engaged and that you care and it is a good way to practice for a job one day The most simple acts can me so much and that is why I think volunteering matters the most.

  38. Robert Strissel says:

    I really think this article has shown me a lot about how the business world works, and it really shows how important it is to volunteer in an everyday atmosphere. Whenever you are able to volunteer you should try and attempt to do it because it is able to get you noticed by the teacher or boss. We are all always worried about volunteering because we are nervous of what our peers might think of us, but they are not the ones who matter it is the people we are trying to impress that matter. It is the million-dollar question why people chose to not volunteer for things rather than the fact that they are just nervous, but that is not a good enough excuse. You need to be bold in whatever you are doing in life because if you are not bold and do not want to stand out then you will never be able to get what you want. I have learned this a lot throughout life, and it has really struck me how important it is to stand out in the business world. If you do not stand out in the business world no one will want to hire you because you are nothing special, volunteering to do things is the start of people that want to make themselves stand out.

  39. Emma Flanagan says:

    As the daughter of an entrepreneur, who established a local establishment for 33 years running, I have been taught this similar trait at a very young age. This article truly resonated with me, as I believe that one must always stand up and volunteer for additional opportunities to be noticed and further oneself. While the appreciation and promotion may not be met immediately, over time small acts of leadership and volunteerism go a long way with superiors. My dad will always be a role model to me, as he instilled in me the value of perseverance. While I grew up and attended various fundraisers, community events, etc held at Flanagan’s Pub, I oftentimes introduced myself to those hosting the event as you never know where a simple introduction may lead you to. Many times I would meet local politicians, non-profit chairs, and television stars from the news.
    Through being raised with a go-getter attitude, it has, in turn, impacted how I live my life today. I strive to make the most out of every day and opportunity that is presented to me. While outcomes of events may not always turn out as planned, I acknowledge that “you never know until you try.” When I began my Freshman year at CUA in the Fall of 2016, I hit the ground running to become as active on campus as possible and to network with various professors and faculty on campus. While most students prefer to ease their way into the college lifestyle, I enjoy jumping straight into situations and volunteering my time and efforts to make an impact on others.
    I really enjoyed reading this article, and believe that it reiterates the importance of always volunteering and taking a chance on any opportunities that may arise as life progresses.

  40. Emily Messina says:

    I really enjoyed the perspective of this article. I actually am always one to volunteer to go first, especially when I am giving a presentation which I tend to do a lot for my major. I figure the professor has no one to compare me to plus I would rather just be done and relax. But I also think volunteering to go first emits a confidence in yourself and your work. In my experience it is best to volunteer yourself in any setting. Yes, the work can be overwhelming and it is a risk. But, it also shows what kind of person you are. Volunteering to do extra work, be a leader, or even just speak first says that you make sacrifices and care about the greater good. And, I think it can lead to great benefits. People learn to take you seriously and to trust you. Where is the harm in that? There is even an opportunity to be promoted if you strive to achieve excellence. I don’t even think this is an option if you always stay inside the lines and don’t try to push for more. I do understand what the article is saying about making a mistake that wouldn’t have otherwise have been spotted if you didn’t draw attention to yourself. But what is a risk without a possibility of reward?

  41. Grant Dickerson says:

    This advice about always volunteering is applicable advice when taking internships. Internships tend to be a person’s first experience in the field they are interning in. This experience can cause many to be cautious or hesitant. Instead of asking for tasks from your boss or just doing things you know will be tasks from your superior, people tend to wait to receive tasks from their boss. This awkward experience can cause people to not go over and beyond in their internship. This scene that I talk about can be easily overcome by pushing yourself to volunteering. As the article states, your fellow interns may think nothing of you taking the initiative but your employer will. Employers or anyone may seem like they are not paying attention but people are always taking mental notes. With these mental notes, people are determining if you are a worker who goes above and beyond or if you are just doing the bare minimum. Always remember you are selling yourself. Thus, anything you can do to set yourself apart from others will help to differentiate you from others. This will put you ahead compared to other people and once you volunteer enough it will become second nature. Thus, the feelings of hesitation will become suppressed. So always volunteer.

  42. Tom Dougherty says:

    It seems like I’ve always been just another one of the people who waits to volunteer. Thinking that the advantage could come from seeing how others do and try to build off that, which I suppose can be true in some cases, but not always. Growing up my parents always told me that I should always be a leader and not a follower and being a leader definitely means being first to step up to the plate. The article made a valid point in regards to the advantages of the first volunteer and no one paying attention to them. I can easily relate because I’ve always practiced for my own presentations when the first person or group presented. The importance of volunteering goes far and beyond the classroom in today’s world because many organizations are run by volunteers, including the US Military. Volunteering is something that can bring out the best in people and allow them to build confidence and express other traits that they may not even know that they had. People also take notice to people who step up and volunteer because it is a special quality that employers look for in people that they hire. So people should take the time and try more to volunteer in order to make themselves noticeable to employers and set themselves apart from others.

  43. George says:

    The main idea of the writing that I think is summed up greatly at the end is “Volunteers are natural leaders. Always volunteer.” All throughout high school you are encouraged to volunteer and do community service to look better for colleges, so you will stand out. This doesn’t just apply there, but also in college, and in life. Volunteering is important in that it makes you brave, makes you stand out but also I think it is a high reward-low risk type of thing. As stated, “the first person to volunteer will most likely to be forgotten by his other peers/students, except me, he will get an ‘A’ in the class…” That is something great that everyone should take in mind, that its okay if you mess up, but it will most likely greatly benefit you. Volunteering is also a selfless activity to do and being selfless is one of the best traits to have as an opinion. But once people recognize that you are volunteering, they look at you at a higher standard. This will hopefully set you up for other job opportunities, meeting different people and networking.

    • George says:

      *added on* If you assume that volunteering does help you in the long run for job opportunities to either help your career, existing job, short term than this yet another avenue for us business students to have in achieving our dream job

  44. Eva Leo says:

    This article is just what I needed in terms of realizing how important it is to volunteer. It has always been a challenge for me to speak up and take initiative for myself whether that be in class or outside. I think in most cases, those who are hesitant to volunteer are concerned with sounding dumb or just speaking in front of others in general, but in reality they are not listening as intently as imagined and the person (the teacher in this case) is the only one that matters. Volunteering can never be wrong and only good can come from it, it shows passion, motivation, and initiative to create a profile for oneself to help build upon. I liked the quote about seeing how students acting in school, that is where leaders are formed if they take it upon themselves to go out of the way to volunteer and speak up. School has been like training in terms of volunteering because after graduation when a real job lies ahead, speaking up and becoming noticed for effort and skill will be the reason for thriving.

  45. Molly Delorey says:

    This article makes a short yet to the point argument of why you should always volunteer, because it makes you stand out. In a world with so many people trying to do similar things, you have to stand out and show why you are the best. The point that stuck out to me most was when the author, also a professor, said how the class may not remember who went first but he will. This supports the idea the first impressions do matter, and being the first person to volunteer sets yourself apart from others in not just a classroom setting but in a business setting also. He also makes a great point of how volunteers are natural leaders. People who volunteer themselves to go first show that they are not afraid, and they are willing to be a leader rather than a follower. All those who wait and do not volunteer are followers, instead of being the one to set the standard they follow the standard someone else set. There is a lesson to be learned from this, and that is that people actually do pay attention to when you volunteer to go first. If you want to be the person to stand out, be the one to volunteer. In the business world, you have to be able to contribute and the more you volunteer the better the impression you will make on people. This article has made me think about all the times I sat back and let someone else be first instead, but know I will think more about the great impression volunteering first will make.

  46. Molly Delorey says:

    This article makes a short yet to the point argument of why you should always volunteer, because it makes you stand out. In a world with so many people trying to do similar things, you have to stand out and show why you are the best. The point that stuck out to me most was when the author, also a professor, said how the class may not remember who went first but he will. This supports the idea the first impressions do matter, and being the first person to volunteer sets yourself apart from others in not just a classroom setting but in a business setting also. He also makes a great point of how volunteers are natural leaders. People who volunteer themselves to go first show that they are not afraid, and they are willing to be a leader rather than a follower. All those who wait and do not volunteer are followers, instead of being the one to set the standard they follow the standard someone else set.

  47. Maria Arias says:

    Volunteering is sort of embedded into our human nature. We tend to want to do things for our own best interest, not just because we are told it is beneficial, but because we know that we will stand out. When we are the first to raise our hands and volunteer, we actually do it to be seen as a star student in the eyes of the teacher. Case in point, it is sort of a selfishly driven decision to volunteer because it makes us look good. Making good first impressions and being socially driven do help your image when looking for potential internships. I can relate to the author’s main point about being outspoken since I did get my current internship by being persistent and speaking my mind about how much I wanted this opportunity.

  48. Michael Alberto says:

    Volunteering in all aspects of my life is something that I hold with high importance. Volunteering in the community is important to me because I think it is very important to give back to communities that have given so much to me and shaped who I am today. In the classroom, I try to volunteer as much as possible as well. It is so easy in classes to sit behind a computer the entire time and take nothing from the class. While getting an A in class is important I believe it is more important to listen and take life lessons from class and apply to them to your own life. This is easy to do when you are engaged and volunteer often. I disagree with the Army Truism idea to never volunteer because I feel like this is not the type of experienced leaders I want to associate with. I want to be the leader that is on the front-line volunteering and making mistakes because it makes others more willing to volunteer and mess up. Also, making mistakes is part of life and I would rather be the person volunteering and making mistakes so I can learn from them rather then being afraid to make a mistake.

  49. Timothy Joseph Holland says:

    Volunteering will always take up a large part of my life, as it should in everyone else’s lives. I find it very intriguing that the army passes on the saying of “never volunteer.” While it does make sense in the sense that they will not be rewarded for going the extra mile, I feel that that is even more reason for people to volunteer. “Volunteer” in the word, I feel, presents itself with the notion that you are doing something because you want to do it, you are not doing it for the recognition or the “A” in this case. A person should volunteer not expecting to receive anything except experience from throwing themselves on the line. In this day in age I think it is more difficult for people to volunteer for certain things in front of a group of their peers due to the ever-changing norms and stigma that come with being the ‘first’ at something. Yes, while there are a lot of benefits to being an example to the rest of your peers, sometimes that example could be one that might not shine in the best light. Ultimately, it comes down the individual and their comfort level with reaching out. Some people are naturally driven to volunteer while others might not have the same inclination. No matter what you tell people to do or not to do, their instincts will also kick in and they will do what they know they are good at and comfortable with.

  50. Kallie Farley says:

    This article was well written and very insightful. I really enjoyed the perspective of this article and the connections I was able to make from reading the article. I am often one to volunteer when it comes to going first, taking on a project, or helping out with things. I like to volunteer because I feel like I am bing helpful and assert a certain confidence that is looked at positively from the person asking for the volunteer. In my experience it is best to volunteer yourself in any setting because of the confidence it coveys. Althought it can be a risk and sometimes scary it shows leadership qualities. Volunteering to do extra work, be a leader, or even just speak first says that you make care to be involved, respect the person asking, and about what is going on. I have seen reat results from volunteering and I think it has given me advantages and helped me to build strong connections. As I have said, volunteering shows confidence, but it also pushes a person internally to sometimes go beyond the box and step outside the boundries they create for themselves. Overall, I think the positives out weigh the negatives in the topic of volunteering.

  51. Joshua Baldera says:

    The reward of volunteering to me has always been that there isn’t a reward for you but for the others affected by the brave individual. In a classroom setting, it helps the other students gather their thoughts while in an office setting it can help get work done sooner. The Army truism doesn’t make sense in a standard organizational setting where volunteering ideas could be the difference between a promotion or the same office you had last year. I can understand the Army incorporating it because some soldiers are perceived less as individuals but instead considered cogs in a unit. My good family friend, Col. Adam Rocke, was an Army Ranger and impressed upon me the importance of the unit as a cohesive team, you don’t want multiple people running out left and right trying to do different things. You want a single team, a team that will follow orders as directed for the good of the unit. However, in life as well as in business leaders volunteer. From this volunteering we learn who has the courage to do what needs to be done and who is comfortable hiding in shadows, needing to be forced into action. This internal character trait can’t be taught in a classroom like biology but can be developed over time.

    A think an advantage given to the person volunteering that may not be recognized by others is the asset of experience. When volunteering, you get to experience the subject matter in its most raw form giving you the most benefit from the experience. This may also give you large ranges of flexibility as maybe a teacher grades less strict on the first presenter than the last presenter (First Mover Advantage). Also with leadership, you make the standard as the initial volunteer. For a student presentation, everyone that follows will adjust their presentations whether small or large based on your material. This type of influence is power but more importantly leadership as now everyone is following your example whether directly or subconsciously. I think volunteering in most settings is beneficial, and the workplace could use more of it.

  52. Andre Mitchell says:

    I thought that this was a very good article. I will be a senior in the fall at Catholic U. I have taken my fair share of Professor Yoest led classes. Each one offers a new perspective on the real world, but all of the classes manage to overlap when it comes to certain topics. One of the overlapping topics is definitely the aspect of volunteering. When I took my first Yoest class first semester of my freshman year I was always one of the last people to present. As the years have gone on I have learned to volunteer first. There are multiple reasons for this. The first is that everyone has to present majority of the time. So presenting first allows for me to get it over and done with. Also, there is a known saying when it comes to presentations. Most of the time the audience you are presenting to will remember the first and the last presentations. When you volunteer to do something that maybe other people are hesitant to do, it gives them the confidence to volunteer as well.

  53. Brooke says:

    Although my recruiter always warned me not to volunteer, I made boot camp a living hell for myself because I always wanted to be the first. One instance in particular that I will never forget: my Drill Sergeant asked for a volunteer, and off course I wanted to be first. But little did I know that he would ask me to stick myself with an epipen filled with saline. I was insanely scared of needles, but he let me know that if I refused to do it they would kick me out of basic training. I nearly passed out going to jab myself with the epipen, just to find out that it was a training dud. From that day forward I kept volunteering for just about everything I could, because I knew that if I could overcome one of my biggest fears that I would be able to conquer anything else in my way. I kept that mentality through my entire time in service, and boy did it pay off. I still continue to keep the same mentality in the civilian world, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I have. It’s important to take risk and to be seen.

  54. Aaron Boyle says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Volunteering can show a lot about someone’s character, and just like Dr. Henry Mintzberg, I believe it can spot a true leader. My characteristics of a leader would be someone who has confidence, creativity, and commitment. When volunteering for something, these characteristics are very necessary, and can be seen in the example of sharing about yourself on the first day of class. On the first day, you may see many unfamiliar faces that you may not feel comfortable with, and for this reason it may shy you away from volunteering to present, but if you do volunteer, others will see that you have confidence and leader characteristics, earning the classes and most importantly the teacher’s respect. Volunteering I would say is not an easy thing to do, but once you do volunteer and do realize it’s not bad, and can actual be rewarding, other’s will look to you as a leader. People who volunteer show tremendous commitment, and in the teacher’s eyes, this is one of the things you are most looking for in your student, such as when you said “He will get an ‘A’ in the class and he doesn’t know it yet.”

  55. Alice P says:

    I am a person who tends to observe others and analyze their actions before taking my own, which is why the line “The followers will take the early cues and add and expand on previous speakers” stuck out to me; that is what I do. In certain situations this method of action can be a hindrance. For example, my internship this semester is working at a startup where I am the only employee working alongside the CEO/Founder. My boss is not always immediately available in the office to solve problems that come up. (She often works on the road and has appointments all day.) This leaves me alone to solve new problems everyday and I have no one to observe before acting.

    On slow days, when I am alone in the office, the principle “Always Volunteer” is really put to the test. When no problems are presented to me to solve, I have learned to voluntarily search for them before they create bigger issues. I will comb through our website and look for grammatical mistakes that need to be corrected or formats that should be fixed. Social media engagement should be kept high so I will like and comment on posts on Instagram. Our blog needs to be active so I brainstorm and draft new post ideas. Behind the scenes needs to be organized so I will make sure all files and documents are being kept neat and stored in the correct folders.

    I applaud the message “Volunteer More.” I especially think it is important to note that you should volunteer more, even when a need for a volunteer is not immediately apparent.

  56. Erin Elward says:

    I have grown up going to private Catholic schools, and so volunteering has always been an integral aspect of my education. In grade school, students were required to complete 50 service hours as a graduation requirement, and in high school the obligation doubled to 100 hours. Unfortunately, I think that by making service obligatory, many students, including myself, began to see volunteering as more of a hassle than an opportunity. In college, however, my experience has been completely different. I have come to understand that being a volunteer involves more than a devotion of time; it is a devotion of self. Volunteering means standing up and making an effort to reach out to those around you and to try and make a difference, regardless of how much is expected of you. I agree that volunteering is a key feature of a leader because leaders know when to take action and how to inspire. Leaders who are volunteers are not daunted by tasks or people that are unfamiliar because they are able to embrace new challenges and change. Volunteering requires that an individual look outside of themselves and take in the bigger picture. Volunteers are not interested in the short-term, but in the long-term benefits of their actions, and success in the long-term is far more important than any discomfort in the present

  57. Abigail Sullivan says:

    One thing I have come to realize through my years at CUA is that volunteering first truly is as advantageous as the article suggests. Rather than sitting in an awkward silence waiting for someone to speak up, going first gets your participation done with and out of the way. Participating in a classroom environment full of unfamiliar faces has always been a struggle for me. While I generally can form an answer to a question, I grow unweary and nervous about actually giving it. My constant thought is that I do not want to be incorrect nor do I want to draw attention upon myself. Once I become familiar with my classmates and the professor I feel more at ease and will be more willing to raise my hand and participate, but I have learned this isn’t how I should continue along.
    Waiting for someone else to go first doesn’t necessarily ease the tension. You may be disappointed as you aren’t recognized as the brave soul to go first. You may find that after classmates begin to participate, when it finally becomes your turn you may not have anything new to say and will simply be reiterating what someone else has already said. Although going first may be uncomfortable, getting it done with means you don’t have to stress for the rest of the class period.

  58. James Mundy says:

    I believe that the ancient Army truism of “Never volunteer” is in no way a bad way to live one’s life. If you do not have any aspirations for advancement or any desire to take on more responsibility, then the mantra of “keep low and keep quiet” is a perfect way to conduct yourself. But, if you have aspirations to be a leader, advance in your career, or better yourself in general then volunteering and going the extra mile is the only way to do so. At my internship, there is a very clear distinction between the interns who volunteer to do extra work and those who keep their head down and only do what they are assigned. Those of us who have volunteered to take on extra projects, filled in for full time employees who have quit, and made the time to help managers update processes are rewarded in one way or another. Whether that be a raise for the next summer, an award at the end of the month, or choice of assignment; the upper management of Hendrick Automotive group make sure to recognize interns who go the extra mile. I have even noticed the differences in how professors have treated me in classes where I volunteer to answer questions and the classes where I choose to be quieter and more reserved. The classes where I participate more tend to be the classes where I have a better relationship with the professor, understand the material more, and get the better grades. While the classes where I choose to sit in the back with friends and not participate are the same classes I usually struggle in.

  59. Samantha Cowan says:

    Volunteering to act first for something can be very intimidating and nerve-wracking for many people. People may be scared they will mess up or do poorly but just as this article has said, everyone else is so focused on their performance that they will not even notice. I personally have a hard time volunteering to go first in some situations because I would rather see how other people do before me. However, in the instances that I do go first, I feel so much better about myself because I had stepped up and got it over with. Volunteering to go first for something also shows how much of a true leader you are and it can inspire other people too. Taking initiative and serving as a leader will go a long way in your future career, so it’s best to create a habit of this as soon as possible. Even just volunteering in class to go first for a presentation will make you feel more comfortable to continue to do so in the future. Many bosses and managers will appreciate this out of a staff and it can be very rewarding to show yourself as a good leader to those around you.

  60. Matthew Brennan says:

    What struck me most about this article, especially when I reflect on my internship, is the reasoning for never volunteering: “you won’t get paid more.” However, that simply is not true. Most managers, whether they are CEO’s or simply shift managers at a restaurant, did not get their job by laying back and only ever doing what they were told. The best managers, and subsequently the ones who get paid the most, are the ones who are never satisfied and are constantly standing up and “volunteering” to make decisions and try new things for their company. No million-dollar company was made by a room full of people who were too afraid to stand up and make a decision. The best companies are made of exactly those kinds of people who do volunteer. Unless your boss is extremely selfish, every boss wants to see initiative from their employees and will often reward it. Whether this comes in the form of a bonus or even a promotion, the people with initiative are always rewarded, even if that reward is not immediate. My boss at my internship commented to me saying “You wouldn’t stay doing this lower level accounting work long.” When I asked what she meant, she said that I asked too many good questions to simply be doing the grunt work the rest of my life. This is not me just bragging, but it shows an example of how asking questions, seeking to go above and beyond what is asked, and other such “volunteering” activities in business are often rewarded and are always noticed in a positive light.

  61. Brandon Johnston says:

    Being the person that I am, volunteering was something that was harder for me because of my shy tendencies. I have had experiences where I have volunteered to go first, while trying to stay quiet so that I can go towards the end. Throughout all of my experience with this, the bullet points listed are very true, as I can personally relate, as well as others.
    However, I do believe that volunteering is very important and says a lot about the person who is willing to volunteer first. It shows that the person is willing to take a risk and initiate something, instead of sitting back and waiting for somebody to take charge. This is one sign of a leader, which is a skill that is greatly admired in people, and can take you far in life.
    Related to the article, the point is true that people do not pay attention to the first, as they are worried about how to prepare themselves for when it is their turn to go. People also tend to add things onto their own presentation or segment of speaking when they hear an idea that they like and want to incorporate into their own work. The biggest takeaway is that by doing this, you push your own limits and show not only what you are capable of doing, but that you are willing to go above and beyond to accomplish your goals.

  62. Jack Vispoli says:

    I was always told when growing up to volunteer for everything. I remember you mentioning this army statement in your class, about “never volunteer” and I was generally confused as to why they would abide by that. Being the first to acknowledge a problem and wanting to fix it is what gets your name out there. It lets whoever it is know that you are the man or women who is always there and can always get the job done. One shouldn’t be looking for an immediate promotion of some sorts, they should be volunteering because they believe in the cause or business plan and want to help the effort. If you are always there to help and get the job done, down the line when a spot opens up you will be the first to mind because you always put yourself out there.

  63. Andrew Wade says:

    The concept of volunteering can appear intimidating to an individual. However, leaders separate themselves from the rest of the pack when they offer themselves forward. When a person volunteers in front of their peers, it speaks to the confidence and character of the individual. I say this because it displays leadership and a willingness to learn through experience. These qualities are appealing to professors and potential employers seeking hires. It shows that the individual is not afraid to fail as long as they learn from the opportunity. An individual willing to volunteer is an individual who will take calculated chances within your organization. They will further seek to set themselves apart from their peers in terms of leadership and forward minded ideas. This is the kind of person your organization would love to hire.

  64. Hannah Herron says:

    Volunteering is a simple task that requires the ability to get stuff done. I agree with the article that people who participate in sports, school clubs and volunteer in the community are more active later in life. I believe this is because of two reasons. The first is by being involved and knowing people outside of class you get to know them as people not just some random person. When it comes time to speak in front of a large group of people, you will feel more secure because you know a lot of the people from outside of class and have had time to foster a positive relationship with them. A reason why it is so hard to introduce yourself on the first day of school is because many times you do not know the people in your class or if you do know them it has been a long time since you interacted with them. This will make people feel uneasy and not want to speak because they feel they do not know anyone. As the semester goes on people typically begin to talk more as they get to know people. The second reason is after years of being the first one to speak up or volunteer in your school, you have developed the confidence and practiced it so many times that people don’t think twice. It’s like riding a bike, at first you don’t feel confident or comfortable, but after practice you develop the skills to ride a bike no problem.

  65. Hannah Herron says:

    Volunteering is a simple task that requires the ability to get stuff done. I agree with the article that people who participate in sports, school clubs and volunteer in the community are more active later in life. I believe this is because of two reasons. The first is by being involved and knowing people outside of class you get to know them as people not just some random person. When it comes time to speak in front of a large group of people, you will feel more secure because you know a lot of the people from outside of class and have had time to foster a positive relationship with them. A reason why it is so hard to introduce yourself on the first day of school is because many times you do not know the people in your class or if you do know them it has been a long time since you interacted with them. This will make people feel uneasy and not want to speak because they feel they do not know anyone. As the semester goes on people typically begin to talk more as they get to know people. The second reason is after years of being the first one to speak up or volunteer in your school, you have developed the confidence and practiced it so many times that people don’t think twice. It’s like riding a bike, at first you don’t feel confident or comfortable, but after practice you develop the skills to ride a bike without a problem.

  66. Arthur Dedoulis says:

    This passage contains some of the best advice that a young business student can receive. Volunteering is what will get you noticed in the work place and in the classroom. As the old cliché goes the squeaking wheel will always get the oil, that is why it is important to get yourself noticed by your boss and by your teachers. It may be intimidating to be the first one to speak up, but volunteering can show your superiors that you are truly capable of greatness. In this article you mention, “the First Mover Advantage.” Although it might seem like the other students in the class are not paying attention to their initial comments, the entire room is surely recognizing the first mover’s bravery. It is important to be the first one to raise a hand and volunteer because it takes a lot of stress off the students who will soon follow. When I had my first professional job working as an office assistant my first boss constantly told me that she was very impressed by my willingness to find new projects and offer help. There is always something to do in an office, and what I have found from person experience is that the intern who volunteers and actively seeks more work will be the one who receives the best reviews from their bosses. This is a very accurate article, I couldn’t agree more with the message.

  67. Kyle Korona says:

    Over my career as a student, I’ve found volunteering to answer, whether right or wrong, moves the class along for everyone. It could be in 6th grade or in junior year of college, volunteering to answer keeps the flow of the class and can bring a better understanding of the subject. Instead of sitting in silence and painfully waiting for someone to answer, there is a constant flow that can keep your attention. I feel in college volunteering is especially important, even if there isn’t a participation grade. At the end of the day, professors recognize who are engaged and show effort to understand the subject. This recognition may turn into a small boost in grade to get that A in the class.
    I also feel going first is recognized by peers, not just professors or bosses. A person that volunteers are seen as outgoing and get things done. It’s a very simple act of just going first, but can create a strong impression. Yes, no one pays attention to the first and standards might be low, but I believe if they go first every time it will be noticed. That person takes the initiative.
    Lastly, it is easy to volunteer in classes or jobs that are enjoyable. I feel the real challenge is keeping this volunteering attitude in the class you may dislike. You have to complete the class, so might as well be engaged and take initiative.

  68. Maura Beatson says:

    I believe that volunteering is important because it encourages leadership and selflessness. The military saying asserts that one should never volunteer because it will lead to more work and no promotion or benefits, however this saying is incorrect because volunteering builds character and leadership skills. I agree with the author, Professor Yoest, because I have personally benefited from volunteer work rebuilding homes in New Orleans after the effects of Hurricane Katrina and I know that volunteering can be difficult at times, but the payoff is amazing. The skills an individual develops from volunteering are invaluable and used throughout one’s life.
    I agree completely with the quote from Henry Mitzberg cited in the article about being active because the more an individual is involved in school or in his or her community, the more skills he or she will develop. Skills are crucial for success in the workplace and life in general. As business students, it is important to be active volunteers in our communities and at University in order to get us into the good habit of being a leader so that we can later play an active role in our careers and seize all opportunities that come our way.

  69. Darby Grant says:

    Growing up as an introvert, I have never been a fan of being the first one to speak up in a crowded room, but I knew that it was a fear and attribute that I needed to overcome. I have discovered that if I want to move up in the world and learn then I have to do so from stepping forward and volunteering myself.
    Recently, I had a conversation with a Partner from KPMG, one of the Big 4 Accounting firms, and he revealed to me that like me, he was also an introvert. Which was hard for me to believe because he seemed so eloquent with his words and opened up rather quickly after meeting me for the first time. He shared his story with me about how he got to where he was today and how it was hard for him because it always had to do with volunteering and being the first to step up. He exaggerated that by volunteering you are constantly learning. You are learning from your mistakes, and now know that you should never repeat the same mistake again. He also emphasized that the more you volunteer, the more people will know you and it will be easier for you in the long run when it comes to promotions or performance reports.
    As I previously stated, I do not like being the first to speak up but at my current internship, I constantly swallow my pride and always offer my services to any project that I can get my hands on because I am there to learn and become better in my profession.
    Ultimately, I disagree with the Army’s belief to “never volunteer,” the corporate world is so competitive that keeping low and quiet will not get you anywhere.

  70. Kathryn Tamaro says:

    Sometimes volunteering is hard, it can be intimidating and scary. But what I have learned is, it is better to volunteer first than to sit there until you have gained the courage to say something or do something. In my experiences, it has shown that volunteering and stepping up before anyone else has always resulted in something good. Whether you are at work or in the classroom it shows that you are willing to speak your mind and are ready to be a leader. As an intern or student, this is important, it exemplifies to your boss/teacher that you are someone ready to get the job done, and aren’t afraid to share your ideas even if they may not be perfect. Another positive about volunteering is it usually helps you stick in someone’s mind. For example, on the first day of class, when you are the first person to volunteer, your teacher will probably remember your name. This may not seem like a big deal but it helps you get off on the right foot for the rest of the semester. For an internship, it may help you get ahead, your boss may be more inclined to give you projects or work because, on the first day, you volunteered to do something and showed you were ready to get the job done and learn. In the workforce, you should always offer to volunteer, especially if none of your coworkers are willing to. It shows your dedication, and though you may not think anyone is noticing, they probably are. Volunteering, though it may not seem extremely important will help you be successful in the long run. It shows you have the courage to put your best foot forward, and do what others are not willing and that is a great quality to have in a student, intern or employee.

  71. Molly Delorey says:

    This article makes a great argument for the importance of volunteering. I remember hearing the advice of volunteering to go first before because people are more focused on what they will say when it’s their turn to speak rather than the person speaking. I had never thought about the fact that the first person to speak is setting the standard for the rest of the group, and therefore they have an advantage. Although people seem to feel like there is more pressure on going first, they really get to set the tone for the rest of the group speakers. It is also important to recognize that those who volunteer first are often those who are natural leaders. By being the one to set the tone for the group, people are likely to be emulating the structure of what they said. It also makes a great first impression to anyone in the room to be the first to volunteer, regardless of whether or not they listen to them, they will still remember them. I am glad to have revisited this article and read it a second time because I think it offers a valuable perspective to students and what their ability to volunteer can lead to.

  72. Andrew Keleher says:

    Volunteering is something that I think is very important. Whether it be at school, work or in your community, I think that everyone should volunteer in one way or another. This article and the story told is a perfect example of how good things can come from volunteering. You may not always gain something from volunteering but it does not go unnoticed. If you are volunteering at your local food pantry the people there truly appreciate your help. I believe that it is our job to help people that are in need of help. Volunteering at school and work can also have its benefits. At school and work it shows your boss and teachers that you are willing to go above and beyond what is required. It also shows them that you are willing to do what other people do not want to. This will allow you to stick out and be remember. Going first or doing something that no one else wants to do sets the tone for everyone around you as well. Even though your actions may be small, they effect more people then you think. This article really helped me realize the importance of volunteering, even though you might not want to do it.

  73. Jackie Markisz says:

    I thought this article was interesting because I never knew that the ancient army truism is to “never volunteer.” However, if you think about it, people who are in the Army are taught not to speak out, so that might be part of the reasoning why they are less inclined to volunteer. Similarly, in the workplace, people are less likely to volunteer for tasks unless they have a financial incentive behind volunteering. You won’t get paid more if you come to work on a Saturday or go to an event that your company is in charge of the outside of normal working hours.
    I do agree with the article that it does not benefit you to keep a low profile at work by not doing more outside of your assigned duties. As an employee, you can make yourself stand out from your peers by doing more than what is asked of you and going above and beyond the work assigned. Through my internship, I learned that I should step out of my comfort zone and stand out to my employers by showcasing my creativity. I can showcase my skills and work ethic by doing more than is expected of me and by offering new ideas. As a student, we are less inclined to volunteer when a professor asks the class since we are often afraid to stand out from the class. Also, there is the fear factor of being wrong when offering our opinions. I agree with the article that “volunteers are natural leaders.” People who tend to volunteer in class are more likely to be the natural born leaders in class activities and outside of class. By actively participating in class, it allows students to build confidence, which will help them in the workplace. By developing this confidence, it is much easier as you get older to assert your opinions actively and participate in the workplace.
    In addition, I agree with the article that by being involved in sports, volunteering and other extracurriculars, students are more likely to volunteer in class and as a server as leaders. Participating in sports and extracurricular activities force students to put themselves out there and step outside of their comfort zone. Often such activities bring different people together, share ideas and allow others to be more comfortable with talking to different kinds of people.

  74. Daniel Corr says:

    If we think of a world where if no one had ever volunteered, then we would not have much of really anything today. With volunteering comes an entrepreneurial mind set and sets a tone and get things done. There always needs someone to be first and to step and take on a challenge. Life is full of challenges and you might not always get something out of it but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Our history is full of those who put in that extra work and time that leaves their name in history for those to look up to and hopefully follow their big steps in life. We are all busy with our lives, school, and jobs but that doesn’t mean we only have to volunteer in those sectors, there is many more things to get involved in to make a difference in your life and others. Then there is charity, Something at we do to help others that are in much worse situations than ourselves. The amount of programs and charities that are always in need of anything people can provide, weather it be money or labor. With all these opportunities in the wide definition of volunteering, it mostly sums up to, as the this article mentioned is to be the first one to step out of the comfort zone and set an example that others may follow. This was a great article to highlight this important concept that seems to not be followed by enough people.

  75. Daniel Corr says:

    Adding to my previous comment… It is important to volunteer in your work place no matter your position. You always want to try to keep a positive status and pushing your self forward. In my internship, I try to use every opportunity to make a name for my self and volunteer on new projects as well as putting in the extra work to make sure i am doing everything 100%. I don’t need to do these things but I do so I will learn and build new skills and push my limits to always becoming better. As this article puts, “No one will be critical…” That is very true, you are the pace setter.

  76. Meagan Kennedy says:

    By being in Professor Yoest’s class almost every year I have been at Catholic University, I have become very familiar with this methodology. The first person who volunteers is always recognized, especially by Professor Yoest. Professor Yoest is always extra eager to hear what the first person has to say and this gives a sense of encouragement to the students. The most interesting aspect of how Professor Yoest goes about this, is that he patiently waits for someone to volunteer first, or ask a question and will not move on until someone does so. Being the first person to volunteer is never easy. It is something that takes a lot of courage and a little practice to be comfortable with. In the end, it’s worth it because it will boost your confidence and next time, it will feel like second nature to go first. What intrigues me the most about this article is the first advantage that is written: “No one pays attention to the First Person.” I agree with this because as Professor Yoest mentioned, everyone else is nervous and is only paying attention to what they will ultimately end up saying. With this being said, the person who is asking for a volunteer, whether it be your manager or your professor, is still paying attention and is completely acknowledging that you took the first stance and that will be remembered.

  77. Andrea Perez-Hickman says:

    This article was an interesting read, I was a little surprised that the army had an ancient truism that was not to volunteer. The reasoning behind the ancient truism being that volunteering would not lead to promotions, but in my experience that is not true. I believe that people do not like to volunteer first in class because they are afraid to say something incorrect and embarrass themselves in front of their peers (I am guilty of thinking this way) or sometimes they are just shy people, but I usually notice that the people who do speak first in class are usually the ones who are the better performing students, the ones who care more about the class.
    Employers look for people who are willing to go above and beyond, people who are leaders. They do not want to hire someone that is going to meet the bare minimum requirements. Those people who volunteer to do something even though it is not very convenient, or it is an extra assignment on their plate are the ones who get recognized the most by their superiors and are the ones who do get promoted quicker. After analyzing the article and taking into consideration my past experiences I would say that the ancient army truism is precisely the opposite, it should be “volunteer,” and the reasoning behind it is because people do recognize and look up to people who do things beyond their requirement and even doing things selflessly and not necessarily looking for something out of it. Volunteering is not only important in the workplace but also in life.

  78. Anna Baffone says:

    When reflecting on this article, especially in relation to my internship, the quote “you won’t get paid more” caught my attention. My internship, along with many others, is unpaid; yet, we do these unpaid internships for a reason, they are rewarding. Rewarding in the way that it leads to a future job or networking opportunities. In order to further your career, no matter what your career may be, you have to put yourself out there. Just like the example of voluntarily speaking first in the classroom shows the reward of the student getting an A in the class, you have to be willing to go above and beyond in order to stand out and in turn, be successful. Being a student athlete at the college level has also given me that extra level of involvement and leadership like the article says in the quote from Jonathan Gosling, “participating in sports, school clubs and volunteering in the community are all strongly correlated with activism in later life.” Volunteering develops leadership, hard work, and induces mental and physical growth. This promotes leadership and success later in life. The main point of the article is “volunteers are natural leaders. Always volunteer,” after all. The example in the scripture, Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me.” is an example of a servant of the Lord, Isaiah, volunteering to do the service of the Lord in whatever way possible.

  79. Caterina Greco says:

    The ancient army truism “never volunteer” does in fact have some truth to it. It is true, you will not get paid more and you will only end up working more if you volunteer. However, the truism fails to recognize that you do get something out of volunteering. While the physical aspect of additional money is not a benefit, volunteering provides you with experience that money will never be able to provide. From volunteering, in my experience, you grow as a person and learn so much about yourself. Also, you are able to do something that typically benefits someone else. There is no greater reward than helping someone that is in need.
    When I think of volunteering, I think of spending time at homeless shelters, organizing canned food drives, working with misspent youth, and providing assistance to those in need. These are all things I have done, starting from a young age. When I was younger we were always encouraged to volunteer whether that encouragement come from my family, school, or extracurriculars like Girl Scouts. This encouragement continued when I came to Catholic as a big part of the University’s mission is helping others and dedicating time to volunteering. The University provides countless opportunities for students and faculty to serve and volunteer.
    In addition to volunteering in its normal context, the article also discusses volunteering in a class setting. I think this is an important point to be raised, as sometimes it is very difficult to have someone volunteer in class similar to how it may be difficult to get people to volunteer and serve their community. The points that the article discusses about being the first to volunteer are very interesting and true, hinting that the first to volunteer is a leader and if they are not already, they will become one. Overall, the article brings up an important point about the importance of volunteering, and how you essentially will not get anywhere if you don’t volunteer. “Volunteers are natural leaders, always volunteer.”

  80. Hannah Cundey says:

    I personally felt that this article addressed a lot of the issues that are attributed to when people are fearful of being the first to volunteer for things. It brought to light how the people in the classroom or seminar may not remember who that first person to volunteer was, however the boss or teacher will, which is ultimately the most important person to notice you. I have however been there in a class on the first day when the teacher asks for introductions and there is just dead silence, it’s awkward, however, my parents have also always encouraged me to be the one to volunteer.

    I thought this article brought out an important note that even though you may be the first one to volunteer after the awkward silence, it is still even better to volunteer before this silence occurs, first impressions do matter. However, I think interrupting in these volunteer moments to create “teachable moments” may be intimidating and possibly discourage students from volunteering in the future.

    I think in the world of business it is especially important to “always volunteer” and that this is a good motto to live by. However, I think to always volunteer with good reason is also an important notion to live by. I think that if you have no idea what the answer is at all it is better to sit in silence, than to embarrass yourself by trying to answer a question that you do not know the answer to in the least bit.

  81. Lyla Denning says:

    Volunteering is a way for students to stand out and show that they are willing to become leaders. Many students may not be eager to be the first to speak or present simply because they lack confidence or want to make sure that their response is similar to their peers. It’s interesting to read about the “don’t volunteer” attitude in the army. While it may seem like little comes from volunteering to go first, it is what makes the individual stand out and become a leader. Even if it seems like this small action goes unnoticed, it is setting you apart from the crowd.
    I get nervous about speaking in class and rarely ever volunteer to go first. The article pointed out something that I have never realised. No one is paying attention to the first speaker because they are preparing to speak themselves. It is easier to get it over with if you do not like to speak in front of a class than to sit there being nervous until you present. If you have to speak in class no matter what, it is better to just volunteer and get it over with. You can make yourself stand out and become someone that leads their peers by example. Volunteering in all aspects is important because it shows a willingness to lead and help others.

  82. William O'Neill says:

    Volunteering can be something that is such a small and minute action but, as said in the article, can be a great way to tell how active someone will be in their community once they get older. To volunteer means to contemplate it first, build the courage to act, and then take action. Be the first to take action and not just speak because you are next in line. This is a good way of promoting confidence in students to speak up when they otherwise would have chosen not to. Many times, going through the motions of school can become very repetitive and boring, you go to class, listen to a teacher preach a certain subject, get up, go to the next class and so on and so forth. Over time this can become a habit of just sitting and pretending to listen. Students, every now and then, need to be forced back into being engaged with the class, teacher, and material so that they aren’t just going through the motions. Breaking that cycle of bad habits can pull the student back into being a productive student instead of a passive student.

  83. Kevin Holmes says:

    This article makes a great case for how important it is to put yourself out there for the world. You’ve never heard of highly successful people that just do what they need to get by, the bear minimum. If you want to become the best you possible, you need to go above and beyond the call of duty. People are always nervous of putting themselves for the world to see because they are afraid of being judged or making a mistake. This article makes a great point about how the first person to volunteer for the class is a perfect example of being fearless. Fearlessness is great quality in successful people, you need to take risks and not be afraid of making a mistake, because the people who are afraid to make a mistake will never surpass their own convictions of themselves. People who volunteer show great commitment and is is one of the things you are most looking for in your student. The fact that you will give the person an A for being the first to volunteer tells us how important it truly is to volunteer. Even if the person is wrong or makes a mistake, volunteering itself shows great character and is a must in the leading a fulfilled life.

  84. Corbin Brailsford says:

    This article was a great read and had many true points to it. Volunteering in class is something that I have always been hesitant to do. Putting myself out there is an aspect that I have tried to work on ever since I began my college career. I have definitely gotten better in that field and I have seen the benefits. Especially in the job searching time of college, volunteering and challenging yourself needs to happen in order to get the job that you want. Since there are so many different forms of volunteering, it serves a wide variety of purposes. Staying silent or never volunteering may keep one in their comfort zone and enable them a cheap sense of accomplishment since they aren’t getting reprimanded. However, risk is a necessary part of a fulfilling and successful life. The part of the article that resonated with me the most came at the end. The first part when it states “No one is paying any attention to the First Person. The rest of the class is rehearsing their lines that they now know they will have to give.” It reminded me of a time when I volunteered to go first for a presentation. The feeling of being done first and not stressing about when I’ll finally have to present is worth it. Volunteering helps you grow as a person and there are many benefits to doing it. Once you’re passed the reasons for not doing it, volunteering becomes a habit.

  85. Corbin Brailsford says:

    This article was a great read and had many true points to it. Volunteering in class is something that I have always been hesitant to do. Putting myself out there is an aspect that I have tried to work on ever since I began my college career. I have definitely gotten better in that field and I have seen the benefits. Especially in the job searching time of college, volunteering and challenging yourself needs to happen in order to get the job that you want. Since there are so many different forms of volunteering, it serves a wide variety of purposes. The part of the article that resonated with me the most came at the end. The first part when it states “No one is paying any attention to the First Person. The rest of the class is rehearsing their lines that they now know they will have to give.” It reminded me of a time when I volunteered to go first for a presentation. The feeling of being done first and not stressing about when I’ll finally have to present is worth it. Volunteering helps you grow as a person and there are many benefits to doing it. Once you’re passed the reasons for not doing it, volunteering becomes a habit.

  86. Emily Sullivan says:

    I find this article to be intriguing, I have never heard before that never volunteering will never let you advance. I do however get the point of this Army Truism of never volunteering in the army because that is a life or death situation. I think however in the army it is used to see who is there to help ant not only participate. I think it is a test for the survival of the fittest. In my own personal experience, you should always volunteer, it’s the only way you get places in life or in business. I think people do not realize that. I have noticed that when working harder or always asking what someone needs you to do, people take notice and they think highly of you. They also will compare you to others so if a person is never doing more than expected, the person doing more will be highly thought of in comparison. We all get stuck or too comfortable in life. People are stuck in a head space that this is enough. You can be comfortable, but you should always want to better yourself. It should never be this it, it should always be what is next.

  87. Jack Oman says:

    I find this article very interesting because it connects volunteering in a professional manner to a less serious place such as the classroom, while at the same time showing the importance of the idea of being the first to volunteer. I really enjoyed this article because of how relatable the classroom setting example is. Personally, I never enjoy being the first one to volunteer to go in front of the class for a presentation because just how you mentioned it is always nerve racking. However, reading the article I now realize it probably makes more sense to be the first one to volunteer because of the expectations are much lower than the peers that are going to follow you with their presentations. I think that this article gives more importance for later in life when it comes to volunteering. In my opinion, I believe that this article relates volunteering to taking initiative in a professional setting, which is one of the overlapping characteristics of successful business men and women. Although this sounds cliché, the most successful CEO’s and business creators are ones that went outside their comfort zone or went out of their way to create a product or business out of an idea they had. This article is great because it shows how switching habits now such as volunteering in the classroom, can help better prepare for being successful in a business environment.

  88. Maryclare Warren says:

    Volunteering has many benefits both for you and those around you. Every time you take on a new task you are either refining what you already know, or challenging yourself to something new. Coasting through a class or a job might yield adequate results, but extending yourself and putting effort into trying new things brings personal growth. Even if the skill seems minute or superfluous it may come in handy one day and there’s no harm in acquiring extra knowledge. Those around you benefit when you volunteer because it fosters a more open environment that encourages other to volunteer too. When you are constantly asking others if they need help or trying to lessen the workload for them, you can be confident that when you are in that position, many of your cohorts will offer help too. It is also a trait that will be recognized by management and taken into consideration for promotions, raises, and the like. However, it is equally as important to know when to say no and recognize when you have reached your bandwidth so that the quality of your work doesn’t suffer and you are not too drained where you cannot wake up the next day and do it all again.

  89. Jillian Sudo says:

    Reading this article about volunteering is interesting when looking at it as a perspective as a student. After reading this, I realized how important it is to volunteer. As a student I don’t think about how a teacher or boss looks at someone differently depending on if they volunteer or wait to be called on. In my mind it never mattered. No matter where you are if you are in school, at work, or anywhere else being the first one to volunteer shows initiative. Everyone loves someone that shows initiative because it shows that person has courage and cares about what is going on. Volunteering also shows the importance of being a leader. As a leader often the littlest things make a difference and pull you apart from others. Overall, I really enjoyed this article because it really opened up my eyes on how important it volunteering really is. Starting in school is important so that when you enter the real world you are comfortable to volunteer and your boss will notice those who volunteer and those who just fly under the radar and just do the job they are assigned.

  90. Bradley Pierro says:

    I loved this article for many reasons. I thought the example at the beginning was very true about how some people think and operate. I have worked with people who either like to sit back and observe what is happening and then I have worked with the people who are always looking to do more and go outside of the box. From experience, I have noticed that the “go-getters” always seem to draw the attention because they show interest and willing to learn which is essential in your work. Volunteering in class or at work is a sure way to get noticed and recognized. I also believe that it isn’t the end of the world if you get an answer incorrect because it shows either the professor or your boss that you are trying your best to understand and contribute your knowledge to the lesson. Throughout my internship I have learned to always be ready to ask questions and listen intently when someone is speaking to me. I have also learned that carrying a notepad around is very beneficial because I am able to take notes which show my boss that I am trying my best to retain his information.

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