What distinguishes a leader from a community leader? An entire philosophy.
In this article, I introduce the mentality of the community-builder. It will transform how you do business, how you connect with others, and how you view community-building. Prepare for a paradigm shift.
I often tell people — community-building has been a spiritual experience. I tell them this because I want to emphasize the difference between community-leadership and executive leadership. It’s a different attitude. It’s a different method.
Operating VYVE, my entrepreneur’s association for human connection professionals, gave me the chance to practice the community mentality. After 6 months of trial and error, the mentality has forever changed how I view leadership.
The community mentality….
It’s behind-the-scenes, altruistic, empowering, opportunity-creating, and generous. It relies on patience, selflessness, and trustfulness.
In one sentence: an attitude characterized by a sincere desire and excitement to elevate others and set them up for success.
Organically, I have adopted the mentality. I think it is because I have experienced the intense fulfillment and connection that accompanies making others feel good, proud, and fearless. I have helped countless community leaders face their fears, try new things, and prevail.
What is the method by which the mentality drives people forward? Instilling self-belief in others and creating fertile environments for progress.
I tell people everyday that they are more capable than they know. I remind them of their past achievements. I tell them how important their work is. I acknowledge the progress people are making. All of this does one thing. It cultivates belief in oneself.
If I try for long enough, I can and will succeed.
When we adopt the mentality of a community-builder, we are reminding people to believe in themselves. We remind them the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Practically, those who’ve adopted the community mentality share the spotlight. They bring people into the spotlight. They build platforms and show off the work of others. For a great example, you can check out my newsletter, where I feature 4 human connection professionals every week and mention countless.
Not only do they feature and spotlight others’ work, they build platforms for people to do their work. They introduce potential collaborators to each other. They send out personalized resources.
The common theme is that they are an ambassador for the person’s initiative. They are serving with no expectation of return, merely for the joy of giving.
How do you adopt the community mentality? The community mentality makes life more fulfilling. It gets you high off empowering others. It gives you the kindness bliss. So, here is a checklist for adopting the mindset.
Ask yourself how you can help others first — the community mentality is based on service. It’s about amplifying the work of others by cultivating fertile environments and self-belief. When you help others, they will trust you and naturally want to reciprocate. What goes around comes around.
Give credit away — when you succeed, tell everyone who helped you succeed. Others are much more responsible for our achievements than we think. Every time you hit a milestone or get attention, use it as an opportunity to acknowledge the values and character of your community members. Here’s an example: every time I recap a community event, I recognize the participants who contributed to the event.
Focus on community success — individual success is often prioritized over the success of the community. This mentality encompasses different metrics for success. Instead of your own wealth and status points, look to the collective wealth and status of the community. When we cooperate, everybody wins and we end up with more well-being and wealth than if we just focused on ourselves.
Ask people how you can serve them better —open the channel of constructive feedback between the community leader and the community members. This reminds them that it’s safe to be candid and that your purpose is to serve them. Do what you want to do by all means, but don’t ignore the problems your community members face.
Seek to interconnect — the more interconnections within a network, the stronger the social glue becomes. As a community leader, I introduce people to one another all the time. I am always asking myself at the end of my interactions with others: Who do I know who could play a part in this person’s success?
My greatest guidance for adopting the community mentality is to shift your self-talk from ME to WE. Catch yourself when you’re thinking about WIIFM — What’s In It For Me. Instead, ask yourself how you can conveniently amplify the work of the person in front of you without falling into a helper’s complex.
So go out into the world, and during your next interaction, try out the mentality. It will take time to integrate so be patient.
I write a personal newsletter serving 903 human connection professionals in becoming world-class facilitators, entrepreneurs, and community-builders.
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