This is my eighth article in this newsletter in which I am sharing the elements of building a sustainable community. Today I am sharing the wealth that can build within a community when servant leadership is evident and the ‘citizens’ know that their social capital is an asset for life. I want to emphasise, wealth for both the leaders and the citizens, this is a win-win strategy.

But first, let’s define ‘wealth’

I believe in emotional and financial wealth, who doesn’t! I also believe that we all have our own definition of each and how important they are. The balance we seek is our personal choice. How many financially rich people do you know, that are emotionally unhappy? How many emotionally rich people do you know that are financially struggling. This is a fine balance, and I guess we all seek to achieve both.

My last newsletter ended with these words…

To complete, and to tease in my next thoughts. Next time I am going to share the ways that a community grows in wealth by the following definition of ‘Social Capital’.

Social Capital is …. a concept in social science that involves the potential of individuals to secure benefits and invent solutions to problems through membership in social networks.

The hint for the point of my article is in the words, ‘invent solutions’.

I am going to use our own Community, BIP100, as a Case Study, a working model that you can relate to. So far, I have shared that the leadership style for true community in terms of its values and culture is ‘Servant Leadership’. To lead by serving, rather than lead to personally gain. By serving others, this type of leader achieves the values, purpose and mission that stimulates them and provides the rewards they seek. Other types of leadership can be more focused on the ‘leader’ being served, that the people they lead should work to an agenda that serves them, that aids their own success. I am not knocking those that tend toward that style, it can ensure focus and a result, very directed, where everyone is seeking to achieve the leaders’ goals. Community leadership, as I am going to explain now, is about the ‘citizens’ and their desires, their goals, their intelligence, and their imagination, the ability for them to ‘invent solutions’.

In the quote above, I shared the dictionary definition of Social Capital. I want to repeat this again here.

Social Capital is …. a concept in social science that involves the potential of individuals to secure benefits and invent solutions to problems through membership in social networks.

I use the word ‘citizens’ when I write, here in this definition, they say ‘individuals’, they use the word ‘social networks’, I use the term ‘community’. So, let’s restate this, in the language you are seeing me use.

Social Capital is …. a concept in social science that involves the potential citizens to secure benefits and invent solutions to problems through membership in communities.

The critical element of these words is the focus on the ‘citizens’ not the ‘leader’. It is the wisdom of the crowd that ensures a powerful community and the gift to the ‘citizens’ of social capital, that is one of the primary gains. With ‘social capital’ we can solve problems, for ourselves and for the wider society.

So now, with this in mind, let me share the BIP100 case study.

BIP100, is a virtual, international community of business owners. Chosen through a selection process to join our ‘Business Is Personal’ (BIP) Community. We will never exceed 100 Members of this international community. We seek a diverse set of experts, all with the commonality of kindness, openness and a desire of citizenship and togetherness, and to seek to solve their own challenges and opportunities, and the challenges and opportunities those of others.

The term ‘citizenship’ is also interesting, here is its definition

… Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection.

And.. what is allegiance?

…. loyalty or commitment to a superior or to a group or cause.

In the case of our cause, the cause is to assist and support the personal challenges of building a business, because ‘business is personal’. Permission is explicitly given to have the term ‘personal’ in our business lives. To be ‘allowed’ to have emotion, vulnerability, and desires, and to also seek personal balance and a lifestyle that is defined by your own personal definition of success.

This comes back to the balance of ‘emotional and financial wealth’ and our deep belief that ‘emotional wealth will lead to financial wealth’.

With that cause in mind and the respect of the genius and wisdom of our members, our role, (Thomas Power and myself) as the ‘leaders’ is as follows.

1.    Create a virtual town called BIP100

2.    Curate amazing citizens to live within that ‘town’ and share the values we declare and the mission we believe in

3.    Run events to bring them together.

4.    Build and sustain a culture that is open, random, and supportive and encourages a growth mindset and kindness throughout. Also, always ensuring that they feel psychologically safe.

5.    Support the wishes of the community, while ensuring they are aligned to the mission and values

6.    Listen out for ideas

7.    Encourage confidence

8.    Respect the wisdom and expertise of each

9.    Ensure the ‘community’ is financially sustainable for longevity

10. Encourage financial and emotional growth of all, through love, positive energy, belief in self and others, grow skills and the growth of connections.

Our role is NOT to

1.    Ask them to serve us and make us successful

2.    Control the agenda

3.    Be the inventors

4.    Be the innovators

5.    Be the experts

How does this all manifest and come together?

To begin, the community must be formed with its mission, values, purpose and impact clearly understood by the leaders. Once defined, it is the ‘leaders’ responsibility to find great people who will become great citizens, through this process the culture is established. Everyone within the community will then find their feet and their unique place within the community. Systems are set up to ensure they can connect within one another to have 121 meetings. Events are created for us to bring everyone together, in our case the events are organised in order to grow wellbeing, grow skills, to have fun and to highlight the experts within the community. Skills are then shared, connections deepen, and growth begins for all.

A few months in, and ideas start to emerge, ideas from within the crowd. I mentioned ‘the wisdom of the crowds before’, and you may have read Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowiecki– his belief that “many are smarter than few’. What we witness once we have established the ‘crowd’, is the problem solving and the innovation that takes place when no one is controlling an agenda, where everyone is ORS™ (see last newsletter about Open, Random and Supportive™ mindsets), and through ORS behaviour, the unseen is seen and gaps are filled, and exciting opportunities arise, chosen, desired and delivered by the leaders that now emerge from within the community.

Within BIP100, so far, these ‘gaps’ or ‘ideas’ are the

1.    The ‘collaboration on two books, whereby 23 BIPPers have come together to share their wisdom on Entrepreneurship and Wellbeing, led by Book and Thought Leader Coach, Mindy Gibbins.

2.    The planning of a 3-day BIP100 Virtual Summit, with BIPPers presenting their expertise and the impact they seek to have.

3.    Business Coach, Jeff Gosling, providing BIPPers with Group Quarterly Planning Coaching, and a plan to create a ‘Collaboration’ of BIPPers to joint tender to projects.

The emergence of these ideas, innovations and business building projects are the result of the freedom the BIPPers have to confidently bring ideas up and encourage the participation in them.

*BIPPers is the term now adopted by the Members of BIP100 as a ‘brand name’ for their membership to BIP100

Now that you have read 8 Newsletters, you will get a sense that community is a powerful force for your wellbeing, the subject of wellbeing is on the tip of everyone’s tongues, next time, I will share more about why I believe that ‘community’ is a ‘mental wellbeing’ strategy within a company, and how in a hybrid world it could be the solution to many organisational issues, especially since the pandemic and the change in workforce dynamics.


*This article first appeared on my LinkedIn newsletter

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@2024 POWERnomads | All rights reserved | Designed by POWERnomads. | Privacy Policy

@2024 POWERnomads | All rights reserved
Designed by POWERnomads
Privacy Policy