So, You Want to Join a Community, Huh?

Thanks to our networking economy, there are more communities looking for more potential members than ever before. They all want members for the right reasons: a particular skill, connections, a recognizable name, influence, experience or access. These are all valid and right reasons to join.

However, there are communities that are looking for potential members for the wrong reasons: a particular skill, connections, a recognizable name, influence, or access. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? It’s really not. Joining any community has one requirement that’s no different than what’s required to find the right job, the right family, the right faith, the right partner; in short, the right anything.

That requirement is alignment. There are only two questions a potential member has to ask; (1) Does the purpose for which this community exists align with my purpose? (2) Do the core values this community believes in align with my core values? If the answer to those two questions is ‘yes’, then chances are you will have the opportunity to learn, build capacity for yourself and that community, and have an impact that you wouldn’t ordinarily have by yourself.

Groucho Marx once said, ‘I don’t want to be a member of any club that would have me.’

The message here is that if a community wants you, be sure it’s for the right reasons.

Published by The Leadership Consortium

Maxie Carpenter was formerly Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Wal-Mart Stores. After a 27-year career, he began to pursue a number of other interests, which included alternative education, nonprofits, consulting, writing and public speaking.

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