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4 People Your Community Needs

Every community needs role players. No, I’m not talking about LARP-ing. I’m talking about people who each fill a niche or two. Without these people your community will struggle. This is not an all inclusive list but these are four essential roles in your community. It’s also important to keep in mind that individuals can and do fill different roles at different times.

  1. Leader(s): every community needs a leader or a couple people who lead. These people should guide your community toward its mission while consistently appraising the state of it. Great leaders serve first and with creativity.
  2. Mentors: as community changes and more people are added it’s easy to lose sight of the foundation. Mentors should be proven members of community who can help guide other members toward the mission. These individuals will turn your community from exclusive to inclusive when they bring their A game because their goal is investing in the people working in the community.
  3. Stewards: someone in your community has to be willing to put rubber to the road. In other words, stewards focus on serving the group through action. When volunteers are needed they step up and get the job done.
  4. Principles: much like the president his a cabinet a leader needs a group of advisors. Principles serve the role of keeping the leaders of a community focused on the mission. They should also be the first to step in when a member of the community is in need.

These roles don’t necessarily need to be defined in your community. In naturally occurring communities these roles should reflect the informality of the situation. Organizations that function as communities usually already have these set roles in one way or another. If your community is struggling maybe it’s because one of these roles isn’t being filled well.

  • Who defines these roles in your community? How do you praise them for the role they serve?
  • What role do you play in your community?

We want YOU!

Did you hear that? (pause for dramatic suspense…)

Your future community is calling your name.

I can’t tell you who. I can’t tell you where. But I can hear them calling.

They want to share life with you.

They want to serve with you.

There are communities everywhere that want need you to join their mission.

What’s stopping you from pursuing a mission and joining your new community?

The first step to joining your new community is committing with a group to a mission and identifying the roll you will fill. This is sometimes difficult, but always worth it.

3 questions to help find your mission and your community:

1. What are you passionate about?
How do you enjoy spending your time? What keeps you up at night? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Start with that.

2. Where are you needed?
Look around you. What role do people desperately need you to fill? Go do that.

3. What is right in front of you?
Sometimes the right answer is the only door that isn’t being slammed shut in your face. Just walk through it.


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Lessons from Photography Class


photo via flickr by CubaGallery

I remember sitting in the classroom. I’m guessing I looked like a deer in the headlights. I was not an art student. I didn’t really “fit in” with the other students in the class, most of which were art majors. Our professor sat at the desk in the corner and asked a simple question, “What makes something art?” That question spurred quite the discussion that set the tone for a semester in Beginning Photography.

That discussion was heated but constructive. People were challenged and forced to think about their views and feelings. One discussion established healthy community.

For the next 4 months we critiqued each other’s work. If someone’s work wasn’t good they heard about it. If it was great they heard about it. Constructive criticism from our peers made us better photographers and artists.

Isn’t that what our communities should be? Shouldn’t we constructively criticize others in our community when things aren’t what they should be? Shouldn’t we praise them when what they do is great or exceptional?

Perhaps for the sake of not rocking the boat we keep our thoughts to ourselves. Maybe we fear what our words could cost.

Perhaps rocking the boat is exactly what your community needs. Maybe your words could buy change that leaves a positive imprint on your community for ever.

  • Why do you fear constructive criticism?
  • How could your words change the life of your community?

#ManlyMonday | Jimmy V.

photo from: thearmchairelite.com

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Jim Valvano 


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