The Naked Community Manager

I’ve been building teams of community managers for years.  One consistent theme that is required is to ensure that we provide them with the tools, the structure, support and empowerment they need to flourish.  Much of my leadership in communities is spent ensuring that they aren’t left as, ‘naked community managers’.  I’m constantly advocating that they aren’t tethered to the phone so that their brains aren’t oatmeal, am expression that Melyssa Nelson, a colleague of mine uses in community management  to describe a treadmill of being tethered in community life to something that isn’t allowing the deeper time to think, to pause, to reflect and evolve in our community management roles. 

A few insights that I’ve gained over the years is that we need to ensure that we challenge organizational structures and cultures that limit community managers abilities to be transparent in their conversations.  Cultures that restrict community managers desire to advocate community member’s feedback, innovations and ideas.  This is a critical part of our eco-system and should be embraced as foundational in the central activities of what we do as community managers. . 

Our nature as social community managers is to translate what we hear, see and experience through the eyes of our members.  In doing this critical activity, we have a deep sense of what our sponsoring organization could do to thrive and realize a mission or business imperative.  David Brooks calls this “MindSight” our ability to download what members are seeking.   This is why I’m an advocate for empowering, training and supporting this critical part of the fiber of networks, communities or groups.  Listen to this great conversation with David Brooks around ‘The Social Animal’

We as culture and community advocates need to continue to advocate for valuing these skills within organizations.  Ensure that we leave for errors in our employees, groups, networks, communities and ourselves.  We need to continue to make room for space and flow and most importantly, we must create a culture that recognizes and values everyone.   These social artists are some of the most gifted people that I’ve met in my career and I’m honored to create an environment that provides them with warmth, support, encouragement and apparel.

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