July 23, 2012
Liz published this at 7:12 am
The Power of Community Focused in the Same Direction
Whether you count yourself in huge corporation, a small team, or feel you’re the only member of an entirely unique group. If we hope to move forward, we all could use a more strategic view. We can chase our dreams. We can hire an evangelist. We can put our noses to the grindstone. Still the truth of the matter is we’re social beings and we build better things together than we’ll ever build alone.
The best dreams are built with insight from a variety of viewpoints. The best ideas and innovations are fleshed out with minds and voices that approach a problem from differing points of view. The best communities come together around participation and personal investment. And we’ve all seen the power of a community focused in the same direction.
Leaders want to build something we can’t build alone.
How to Build Something You Can’t Build Alone
When we think of social business, the tools may have changed, but the people haven’t. We’d still like our lives to be easier, simpler, and more meaningful than just getting up each day to go to work. Invitations attract us. Aspirations move us forward. Focus brings us to a clear path. Relationships well-chosen lighten our load. Quality raises our investment. True collaboration brings out our better selves.
Great leaders who build great things understand that human nature and engage it to fuel their goals. If you want to be that kind of leader — one who attracts, inspires, guides, focuses, connects, and unites — here’s how to build something you can’t build alone.
- Be a Magnet, not a Missionary. Quit converting and start attracting. Understand and respect our different, yet symbiotic purposes. The community needs the goods, services, and economic contributions of growing businesses. Growing business need the support and patronage of loyal communities.
- Have and Share a Vision. To make a thriving business, start with a long-term loyal, internal community of employees. They will build and protect a healthy innovative culture, promote the values of the business, stay with the company, develop expertise with coworkers, and live to serve customers.
In any community, itâ€™s not the how or what of work that builds connection and loyalty. Itâ€™s vision and mission. The underlying vision that unites us toward building something that we canâ€™t build alone. A community needs leadership to set and invest that vision and so that they can feel smart, safe, and powerful in investing too.
- Know How to Choose the Easiest, Fastest, Most Meaningful Next Move Strategy is a realistic plan to advance a position over time by leveraging your unique opportunity. Recognizing opportunity and getting where you want to go is impossible if you don’t know where you are now. Position is informational — It’s part part property and packaging, part size, scope, and systems. Position is relational — it’s part values and relationships, part mission, vision, and perception. The most advantageous next positions look only slightly different than the place we already are. Deeply study your position and you understand the true value proposition of your brand.
- Lead with Relationships Choose the people around you — employees, vendors, partners, customers — wisely with deliberation and intention. They are the people who will build your business with you. Likewise, choose your sponsors and the businesses you support with equal thought to how they build your community and your life.
- Even Cheap Is Expensive When the Model Is Doesn’t Work Start a new business and you’ll soon see, that numbers reflect history. Without history, questions are what we use to generate the numbers we use. Numbers are important and useful, but they are as deep as the questions we ask. When we aggregate the numbers into a graphic they become shallow and flat. What I just saw will forgotten in an hour. What I just bought won’t win you my next dollar. Haven’t we figured out yet that impressions, circulation, and hits in general are short-terms goals and NEVER have been attributable?
- Understand the Power of Collaboration If communities and corporations, align our goals and head in the same direction the results could be amazing. But first we each have to know where we’re going and negotiate from the SAME SIDE of the table, recognizing that we’re stronger together.
Leaders make work and life easier, simpler, and more meaningful. Sometimes we do that simply by letting folks see what they see, know what they know, and do what they do … because other people see, know, and do valuable things that we can’t see, know, or do.
Leaders who need no one, lead no one. Don’t hire a staff, engage people who contribute. Don’t build a coliseum, raise a barn.
It’s irresistibly attractive to build something you can’t build alone.
How will you be a leader this week?
Be a leader.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!