Every summer Marshall Goldsmith hosts his annual MG100 Community weekend in Nashville. Last year, I flew down just for 24 hours because I was heading off to Africa the next day. But this year, I got to stay the entire weekend. My husband texted asked me how it was, and my response was amazing and overwhelming. And that’s coming from an extrovert!
There were amazing speakers and entertainment, but the most powerful thing was meeting people in the community. It was reunions with people that I felt I knew well but yet had never met in person, and stumbling upon new people since our community has definitely exceeded the MG 100 title.
Marshall always asks the question, “Have your lives been made better by this community?” And overwhelmingly, hands go up. We have known, especially in the last few years, the importance of connection and community. But hearing how social isolation and loneliness has led to an increase in suicide and mental health crises reinforced it. I am part of several communities, the MG 100, the Authoress’s and just my local community of friends that I met when my kids were in preschool and when they entered the public school system.
Community is critical. Because whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish, it takes a village. That is the entirety of what I’m trying to communicate in my latest book, The Connectors Advantage. And I truly feel that being part of multiple communities gives us all such advantages; the ability to help others. He had everybody stand up and say how has this community helped you? Or what value do you get? And although I didn’t get called on, had I been able to answer that question beyond just the connections, I would have said it has given me access to help others and to increase my impact. And that is a gift being able to help others.
Think about the communities that you’re in, how you’re participating in them and how you are showing up. Think about communities where you’re not getting involved, but that could really add value to you and to the other members. Remember, I know those big events can feel overwhelming, and yes, even for extroverts, but know they will give you more than they drain so keep connecting.