Community = Acceptance + Connection + Responsibility
And finding community, our people, is a key part of life and leadership.
As I unpack my order and understanding of the GiANT Peace Index the next part of the puzzle is People. My community.
To recap, my order is:
- Purpose – Knowing what I am doing matters and makes a difference
- Provision – Being responsible to support my family, invest confidently and give generously.
- People – Maintaining and deepening the memories with my family, friends, and tribe.
- Physical – Keeping my body, mind and soul fit for purpose for as long as possible.
- Place – Where I live, what I see and of course several good local coffee shops 🙂
Knowing my deep, resonant and empowering why, really matters and also being a responsible provider to my family, the dreams we have and the contribution we want to make to the world.
Add to that the deep human need to be accepted, valued and loved, and you have the power of your people. I define real community as the people that know everything about you and love you anyway. I accept that’s a deep definition and we can lean into community at different levels and layers.
Community is Acceptance + Connection + Responsibility.
Here’s what that looks like in practice.
ONE – Acceptance.
I can be in my community without denigrating yours.
We live in an era that walks the fine line of polarising tribalism and digital outrage. What I’m not talking about is legitimate matters of ethical or legal violations. Or upending practices that are unjust, immoral, illegal or simply outdated.
I’m talking about the speed at which we forget when we speak about people or people groups online, we forget that we are speaking about real people, with parents, and a family, and a brand. We believe that a keyboard democratises opinions, clarifies context, and justifies a calling out culture that can deeply and negatively impact people in ways we perhaps ought to consider BEFORE we take to the world wide web to name and shame.
Community is about finding your people though acceptance and acceptance is the foundation for belonging. If there is little or no acceptance then perhaps you’re best finding a new community.
Several years ago I applied to join a small group of leaders on a journey of development and formation. As it turns out I wasn’t what they were looking for and was therefore not offered a place. For whatever reason, I was not accepted. No acceptance + No common – No unity. All good, they are good people, still doing good things. It wasn’t to be for me.
Contra that with my Thought Leaders Community. Acceptance overdrive. Enthusiasm to succeed and a passion for one another’s success. For more than a decade I’ve been part of an inspiring group of people and seen so many incredible things happen in the Community and for the participants. Being accepted is the foundation for the community you belong to. Denigrating those different to you is not.
TWO – Connection
Community is about wanting the same thing, not being the same.
This is a critical distinction.
Community is about wanting the same thing. Community is not about being the same.
Consider an elite sporting team. I favour the Rugby codes and before the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, each game has their National Anthem played, as the players sing with all the expectations of a nation on them the camera usually follows along the lineup of the team. Starting with the captain and following along the players, usually by position, the heights change, the widths change, the neck sizes vary and on some level, they couldn’t be more different.
But they all want the same thing.
Look for and find the people that want the same things you do and get behind that with all your heart, mind and soul.
THREE – Responsibility
Community is a place to receive and give.
One of my favourite studies is the one often cited in the context of people healing and improving by actually contributing. We heal by giving, not just by getting. Community rightly has social expectations of one another. We play a part in a greater whole and with a larger sense of purpose.
The best way of understanding the give/receive paradox in Community is the human body. Each part does its job in the context of a whole. When each part is whole, strong and functioning in a rhythm, the overall ‘body’ functions with a sense of momentum and consistency that helps you go further faster.
On a recent riding adventure with my kids, I taught them what it felt like to be caught in the back of my slipstream. My son was tiring and I tucked him in behind me and had him call out how far behind me he was. The goal was to stay within one metre of my back wheel. We worked together, me in front, him being dragged along getting his breath.
Some days you’re in front, doing extra work. Breaking the void and creating space for others. Other times your being swept along, carried by the passion, effort and dedication of others. You give. You receive. It’s a beautiful picture of community.
In my prioritising it matters that my why is compelling and clear, my financial responsibilities are attended to and who I do life and leadership with are ‘my people.’
Community = Acceptance + Connection + Responsibility.
We get all three. We give all three. That is a beautiful thing to experience.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.