EP – 85 Volunteering and Mentoring

Our conversation with Ben Manny

Ben Manny is an engaged grandpa, AND he is an engaged volunteer. This week, I discuss how grandfathers can support their community but mainly the children and young adults in their community.

We start our conversation with Ben discussing how he is an engaged and supportive grandfather. Ben shares with us how he doesn’t let being a long way away from his grandchildren stop him from being the mentor and coach they need but always leaves plenty of room for fun and games.

Ben has been an active volunteer with youth and his community for years now. He has been a board member of SAGE (link below) since 2020. He has also taken advantage of his engineering background to be a state judge for a national youth robotics competition and then coach a neighborhood LEGO robotics team. We talk about how important it is that older men find ways to coach or mentor youth in different settings.

Check out the links below to the different groups that we discussed. You might find that one of these organizations would be a good fit for you to volunteer with.

Remember to like and subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. I would especially be honored if you would share this episode with a friend. Sharing the podcast is the best way to get the good word out about how we can build stronger relationships with our grandchildren and our community.

Links

Click HERE to learn more about First LEGO League.

Click HERE to explore all the cool things Encore.org does to bring generations together.

Click HERE to learn more about SAGE and how you might get involved with this organization.

Click HERE to check out Kerry Bryne’s Long Distance Grandparent website

Click on this link to learn more about Peekabond.

Click on this link to learn and sign up for Readeo.

EP – 50 New roles

Our Monthly One on One

“I’m in a place in my life where I get offered parts that I didn’t get offered before – fathers and uncles and grandfathers and so on. And it took me a long time to get to that place, but I’m glad because it opens up new territory.” – Christopher Walken

The episode is a one on one conversation with me and you. In this conversation, I discuss how we are taking on new roles even at our age, and this is a good thing. Men heading into their “grandpa years” should be looking to take on new roles.

Regardless of your age, when taking on a new role, we should all be looking to do the following:

Seek Support

Talk to other experts and those who have held the position longer than you have. Seeking out support is a two-part exercise. We want to get ahold of experts who can tell and show us how this new role should or can function. Two, we need our network to beware of what we are doing and what new roles we are taking on to support us and, most importantly, encourage us as we grow through learning our new role.

Get More Education

Just because we have seen a lot and experienced a lot to this point in our lives does not mean that we should stop learning. When you hit your middle-age years, some would say that learning is something you only do on an “as needed” basis. I say, though, that learning should be part of your everyday life. The Cool Grandpas that I know are always learning. Indeed, education is critical for new roles, like Scout Master, Assistant Baseball Coach, or even the lead shift supervisor at the local food pantry. For example, you may never have had to work with non-paid volunteers. How do you keep non-paid people engaged and showing up every time with their “A game”? I bet there is a book, a podcast, or course on leading volunteers.

Rebrand Yourself

We all have a brand. It is what people think about you, how they have labeled you. To be fair as well, it is what we also think of ourselves. When we take on new roles, we have a great chance to “rebrand” ourselves. If you have not been very outgoing in the past but you volunteer to run intake processing functions of the local food pantry, you will need to stretch yourself to become more outgoing. Taking on a new role is a great chance to educate your family and friends about your new role and help them start to think of you differently. YOU can help them see the shift in yourself and the growth you are undertaking and, as a result, change your brand.

What new roles are you taking on? Where are some areas where you are growing and increasing your knowledge through formal or informal education? How are you changing your brand? Are you directing that brand change, or are circumstances creating a defacto brand?

Please shoot me an email and tell me what roles you are taking on and what changes you are making in your life. You can reach me at greg@cool-grandpa.com

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