Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.
This weeks newsletter is written by Carrie Melissa Jones, author of the newly released book Building Brand Communities.
We've weighed down the word leader. Leadership conveys everything from heroism to unmatched bravery to endless charisma. Because of that weight, it can be difficult to see the hundreds of tiny opportunities for leadership each day.
Now is the time for leadership. Our kind of leadership. Community leadership.
Community leadership is about inspiring, bonding, connecting, caring, trusting, and stewarding. All of that can be done just as easily online as offline. Leadership is a dynamic, rewarding, sorely-needed skillset in most organizations. And many avoid stepping into it.
Here's the thing: you are a leader, even if you don't have or want a formal title. People come to be seen as leaders because they make a concerted commitment and effort in a particular direction that matters. If you build online communities, you do that every day you show up, as long as you do so with intention and purpose.
So whether your title is "Community Manager" or "Developer Advocate" or something unique, if you help run a community, you are a de facto leader too.
This week, I bring four simple tools to help you step into leadership. Let's do this, friends.
You can't be all things to all people. Nor can you be the leader that everyone needs. Instead, it is important to understand and evaluate how you want to lead and who else you can work with to get the job done. This ecosystem map from Deepa Iyer helps leaders evaluate their place in the ecosystem. Iyer created it for social movements but it works for those leading online communities as well.
Charles Vogl and I just published a book we hope will guide you in your community leadership journey. We write about the roles of community leaders and how best to identify and train future leaders. The book went on sale on June 9. You can find it on Amazon, Bookshop.org, or your local bookstore.
Let's redefine self-care practices as self-leadership. Caring for self, community, family, and friends makes it possible for us to do everything else creatively.
Leaders build trust by knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Harvard professor Francis Frei, co-author of the book Begin with Trust, created the leadership trust triangle as a framework for identifying those strengths and weaknesses. Trust requires authenticity, empathy, and logic. If you are weak in one area, it is your "wobble" and needs correcting. But with a few minor adjustments, you will see astounding results. Read more via hbr.org.
TODAY at 5pm EST - Virtual Community Manager Networking. RSVP here
July 2nd, 3pm EST - Ask-Me-Anything with Holly Firestone. RSVP here
July 9th, 3pm EST - Ask-Me-Anything with Brian Oblinger. RSVP here
There's a new community podcast in town 🏘
Is your community resilient?
Moderation is more than meets the eye.
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
This post walks through things that Holly Firestone, XXX has done wrong when it comes to work-life balance, how she has struggle deeply with putting herself first (a common issue for community professionals), and what it took for her to get to a proper balance and self-care. This is not my typical community strategy post, but rather a set of very personal and honest stories focused on work-life balance from the perspective of a community professional.
New book alert! Nadia Eghbal writes about her new book, Working in Public, all about online communities, told through the lens of open source developers.