Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing my views of community. I was preaching to the choir, as my audience was 55 or so fellow members of the National Speaker’s Association. My peeps. Where I “belong.”
When I think of community, I think of them. My Mayberry. My Whoville. My Cheers. Everyone knows my name. And they’re always glad I came. Not for numbers sake. Genuinely happy that I (everyone) in particular came. Gaggles like this are somewhat rare.
The reason true communities are few and far between is they take time. A lot of time . . . together. There are no shortcuts.
Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, was almost right when he said, “I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.” Whether it’s coffee, cocoa or cherry Kool-Aid, power is not in the drink; the impact is time purposely spent together. No matter the fare or activity.
Caveat: Deeply rooted community won’t sprout solely within a group’s formal meetings. Dedicated time together outside of those gatherings is imperative.
So long as you’re fully present, the ways you invest time together are countless. A sampling of times with my peeps include:
- Group shooting at the gun range;
- Herding 50+ head of Black Angus cattle;
- Savoring single malt scotch with the pack;
- Ladies’ wine summits;
- Shopping sprees (I sit this one out);
- Top Golf;
- Afternoon boating / sailing;
- Parties in homes; and
- Grilling outdoors.
Whatever your chosen wingding, be a catalyst of community within your circle of influence. Foster family. Make memories. Relish relationships.
When people unequivocally know they are far more important than the programs, agendas, projects, etc., energy builds. Bonds meld. Hearts grow three sizes.
© 2015 Russ Riddle. All rights reserved.