The Power of Community
When I started OnStage Leadership in Dallas in 2009, I hardly knew anyone. We had moved there two years before and I hadn’t really “plugged in”. At the time I was traveling a lot for work, so other than spending time with our wonderful neighbors, I felt pretty isolated. 2009 was a watershed year for me. It taught me the power of community.
OnStage has found its way to the marketplace slowly. It has definitely been a grass roots effort. The first year we had 100 people graduate from the program. Many of those people have since become dear friends. From the very beginning, I had a sense that I wanted to create a community – to make it bigger than me – because what I was seeing was extraordinary. I was watching people fully experience, appreciate, and realize the power of who they really are – an awesome thing to behold. I suspected that community could make that stick.
So after that first year, in March 2010, I threw a big party – our first OnStage Leadership Graduate Reunion – and it was magical. We had 100 graduates at that time, and 80 of them showed up with their friends and significant others in tow. Who could imagine?! Our community was born.
What bonds our community is different. We’re not joined by faith, politics, race, title, industry, or even geography. Yes, many have connected through shared experience, having gone through OnStage Leadership, but we have many people in our “community” that have never been through the session. Because what OnStage stands for is not a program. We have a program, but we’re more than a program, we’re a belief.
We believe that our best is in being more of who we really are, not less. We believe that everyone has the ability to make a positive impact. We believe that we are all far more powerful than we know and that true “power” comes from within, not from title or position. We believe that mindful, constructive action is a worthy pursuit. We believe that compassion and empathy matter – that embracing our humanity is crucial. We believe that we can always be better – that there is always something to learn and ways to grow. We believe that real connection – as a leader, a presenter, a colleague, a friend – is the ultimate goal. And we believe that extraordinary results are a simply a bi-product of us showing up as authentically and powerfully as we can.
And we also realize that sometimes we don’t do these things. In fact sometimes we suck at them. And we are willing to risk owning that and doing it again. Hopefully better.
That’s the OnStage Community- for me it’s worth fighting for.
But what about your community? Today’s world needs so much more than products or services to buy – we need something to believe in. One of my favorite books about this is Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
So what do you believe in? What kind of community do you want to create? What do you think is worth fighting for?
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
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