I seek alignment with others who are serious about promoting effective and authentic leadership practices.
The communities which seem to best do this share some combination of these traits:
1) Strong leadership is clear at the top …
The Bell Curve concept holds true, even when you collect only the best and brightest into a group. In any group, a general distribution will occur. The majority clump into the middle and some folks fall at either end of the continuum.
This is not an indictment of those who rank lower, but just an observation. After all, even the lowest ranking graduate from medical school has still earned the title “Doctor“.
Strong leadership is clearly in place, through strong and clearly articulated visions, innovative practices, commitment to inclusion, and consistent focus on doing it better next time.
2) Strong leadership also exists throughout the group …
Any group can have strong leadership at the top, but truly effective groups have strong leaders throughout and little, if any, evidence of hierarchical struggles, ego clashes, or turf wars.
I look for proof that a true community of folks exists, all of whom feel engaged and invested enough to provide leadership in a thousand small ways regularly, as well as distinctive leadership around occasions, events, and issues.
3) Sharing with others in the spirit of continual professional growth and learning is core …
Online communities must give value to attract members and supporters.
One of the best ways is when each member feels comfortable (or better, urgently must) sharing their knowledge freely with others, whether those others are members of the community or not.
We learn well when we learn together and strong groups have systems in place to ensure professional learning is at the core of what they are about.
Bonus Point: A sense of mutual respect and good humor permeates the online atmosphere …
Nothing really to expand on here, other than I consider this one a deal-breaker for who I associate with professionally and personally.
That said, you are probably wondering about the point of all this …
The Lead With Giants Group is one of my models for much of the above list, which I use to test the value of a leadership development group for my purposes. As I noted earlier, many exist but few are chosen:)
The monthly Best of Lead With Giants post represents some of the best recent reading available from a group that includes some of the most respected names in our field. It’s not a contest, but a contribution by the members to other members and anyone interested in these topics. Click the title above to reach this list.
Of course, LWG provides much more than a monthly collection of good posts …
The Lead With Giants Group is a solid source of “uplifting leadership” and change advocacy thinking. Dan Forbes, LWG founder and the man responsible for much of the value, has grown it into one of the most valuable professional development communities online today, with strong presences through their website, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Dan attracts dynamic folks to his side, and provides them with support, encouragement, and wisdom, while instilling and maintaining high standards for all.
Full disclosure and Minor Brag Point: I am a proud member and one of the contributors to the monthly post. When you see the caliber of the other contributors, you will know why I brag. As someone has said, “We are who we hang out with“. I am tickled pink to be associated with this strong and helpful community.
Happy to share this strong community resource in the Heartland ….