Born Leadership Legacy

Nothing more fulfilling than reading about how universities, organizations and community leaders are seeking out key qualities that resonate with those of us who learned as toddlers, that we MUST share.  It’s no longer just about the test scores, but rather a candidate or talent’s ability to demonstrate:

Passion   Creativity   Accountability   Flexibility   Focus   Resilience Gratitude

In fact, as the first born of two university professors, these were mandatory skills that I had to demonstrate consistently throughout my youth.  Our family structure valued rigor in an approach to education, peppered with the freedom to fail.  All the while, emphasis on re-invention and repetition.

Now several decades later, I’ve found that this foundation was the basis for my career success in that I learned to value active listening, collaborating, risk taking, and persistence.  In fact, I’ve found that through sharing, I personally have more to gain than loose.  Which is what brings me to the following question?  Why are we still talking about embracing business models which encourage enterprise mentoring, collaboration and connections to talent and learning development programs?

Leadership, it boils down to this simple word.  Whether you talk about leadership on the scale of a billion dollar company, or via deep and lasting impacts a home maker / leader has on their brood or a tribal leader.  We in leadership every single day are putting into motion these ‘systems’ through our actions and words.  Which is why we often see much ado about: Amazon, Zappos, Mary McNevin healthcare as the industry sweethearts who are daring to lead, making laudable investments in people, or is charging forward with drastic strategy pivots?

At a cursory level, you can read about handfuls of leaders who have a burning imperative for being performance enablers.  These individuals have clarity of vision and ensure their teams collaborate and have what they need to deliver results.

So don’t be the ‘tractor in the swamp’.  Be bold and take on the wide-ranging malaise surrounding organizational design structures and performance management systems through your born leadership legacy.

Courage, Compassion & Connection – The 3 C’s of Community

Most extraordinary community weavers that I’ve met over the years have the three C’s.

1.)     Courage.  They are courageous people that are living wholeheartedly, authentic, vulnerable and comfortable with their own imperfections.  These are individuals that understand the power of owning your personal journey or story and take on new business imperatives with great commitment and passion.  They don’t fear the unknown as much they fear the mundane and they have the courage to highlight the distinctions.  They are also individuals that know what is best for the community on a visceral level and don’t allow the major things that get in the way to destroy the need to tend, nurture and cultivate the communities.

2.)    Compassion.  Community Weavers are warm in demeanor, they have a deep understanding toward others circumstances.  For example, they are able to relate to their sufferings, failures, and feelings.  They are mindful individuals that are balanced in their approach to the their communities.  They are able to relate community members situation in a manner that doesn’t exaggerate and/or involve judgment, rather just fact.

3.)    Connection.  These individuals thrive when they are in communities and networks because they are problem solvers, they desire the knitting together of people to people, people to information or people to other entities.  It’s just in their DNA, their bones as the saying goes.  It is what motivates them to get up and move every single day.

In this sharing economy the role of the three C’s has become even more important to organizational cultures, creativity and growth.  It’s central with the big C for this stage in our human and organizational evolution.

Numbers and Community: Reflections on 10-10-10

How much time do you spend thinking about numbers, impressions, connections and impact?  Do you have analytics, scorecards and reports?    If you answered yes to any of these, I would encourage you to also spend time to think about individual purpose, identity and engagement.

From advertising agencies to call centers, many businesses seem to focus on the numbers.  But can that get us into trouble?   Well of course it can – especially when we take our eye off the ball and think about things over people.  We tend to get lost in the numbers game.  But what do the numbers really measure, what do they really tell us about engagement?

Today being 10-10-10, I thought only appropriate to reflect on the role of number crunching in our communities.  What we should make time to reflect upon understands why people are really joining communities?  Is there a personal purpose?    In addition to this information, it would be really helpful to understand individual members preferred interaction style.  If you are using a communication or social technology platforms, I’m certain they offer some type of analytics.  These analytics can be useful to report on some interactions with content or advertising impressions.  But do they really allow us to determine if someone is engaged with the community?  Also, have you built out the definition of what ‘engagement’ means for your different community personas?  In developing a scorecard for the health of your community and if you are developing community cultivation plans, this question in my opinion is central to members and community managers better understand their communities and in turn can measure more effectively.

Community Steering Committees and Wild Horses

Community Steering Committees, this name sounds too formal sometimes, yet other times it can be a fitting term for a group of wild mustangs, oops, I mean individuals that are committed to a community’s purpose. 

No, in all seriousness, I was walking this morning and thinking about the calm nature, yet focus of these animals grazing on the grasses near the creek in Northern Nevada and it occurred to me they are a great deal similar to the steering committees that are busy across the world focused on their sustenance, their existence and their future.  

Wild Horses akin to Community Core Teams

At one client environment, we have spent a lot of time hand picking individuals based on a perceived level of engagement and/or their being vocal about where they want to see the community evolve, twist and turn.    I’ve been hanging around the water holes long enough to know that these can be a great source of inspiration and heavy lifting for the community during the identification and cultivation stages.  These are often your nay sayers, your champions and if you are lucky, you can even convert a lurker into a participant.  It takes much focus and willpower, but taking the time, whether it’s through the use of social network analysis tools or through conversations, but uncovering invitees to join this as you forge ahead in your community is critical.  Equally important is to be thinking about risk management, succession and new demographics.  Personally, I find the most impressive steering committees are those that have contention and diversity in their makeup.

Good luck in “steering” your committee or NOT!  I would just propose you consider setting up a core team of members that are a critical part of the community ecosystem.