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Penny Power Ponders the Power of Citizenship Within a Community

This week I have been pondering the role of Community Leader and the role the ‘Citizen’ takes. In today’s hyper-connected world, the opportunities to join various communities are greater than ever. Yet, the real value of these communities is not just in membership, but in active participation—or what I like to call “citizenship.” This week, I have been pondering what it means to be a good citizen within these communities and how it can enhance both personal and professional growth.

I am a great believer in action and responsibility, I was once told that when you coach, train or lead people, only about 20% of people take deep responsibility for the outcomes of their learnings and the environment they join. I guess my mission is to make sure everyone benefits from belonging to a community.

This pondering is to inspire action from citizens and perhaps to support all the community leaders out there who work so hard to create something special and wonder why engagement isn’t as high as they would like.

Leadership and citizenship are both essential for a community’s success, and finding the right balance between them can significantly impact our engagement and the benefits we derive from community involvement. As leaders of the BIP100 community, Thomas and I have strived to create an environment that fosters close relationships and personal growth by curating a diverse group of experts who are eager to both give and receive.

Community as a Village

We often describe our community as a village where everyone is a neighbour. This metaphor helps illustrate our culture of support and mutual respect. From online “pubs” for casual interactions to more formal “village hall” meetings and both online and offline events, our approach is to treat business as a deeply personal aspect of our lives.

The Role of a Citizen

A great example of an exemplary community citizen is Andrew Smith, a market researcher and business owner who has leveraged the BIP100 community to enhance both his personal and professional development. His journey illustrates the transformative power of diving into new environments and embracing the community’s diverse opportunities.

Before joining BIP100, Andrew was sceptical about the benefits of networking, often finding it uninspiring. However, the personalised approach of BIP100, which started with an intimate dinner, opened new doors for him. It wasn’t just about expanding his professional network; it was about developing as a person ad enjoying life as a Business Owner.

From Networking to Deep Connections

Our gatherings, whether they are casual lunches or structured sessions like Hannah’s FLOW and TJ’s DOSE, are designed to foster deep personal and professional connections. Andrew’s experiences, from collaborating on new projects to engaging in social activities like playing padel tennis or attending concerts, underscore the community’s impact on his life.

The Social and Professional ROI of Community

The return on investment in a community like BIP100 can be seen in the confidence boost members experience, the new business opportunities that arise, and the rich social interactions that enhance their lives. This ROI is deeply personal and extends beyond simple metrics. ‘Belonging’ is an emotional experience and the impact of this on our performance in life is powerful.

Call to Action

This week, perhaps reflect on your own community involvement.

  1. Are you just a member?
  2. Or are you a contributing citizen?
  3. Do you feel significant and supported?
  4. Are you making the most of the opportunities to connect on a deeper level?

If you find yourself acting as a lone wolf, consider the benefits of deeper engagement. After all, the strength of a community lies in the active participation of its citizens, this is how a true sense of belonging is achieved, and belonging is a deep human need.

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