Tips From the AWI Desk! What Is Community (or A Tribe) Anyway?

I admit it! I’m somewhat of a loner. Not a recluse mind you, but someone who has become comfortable with being alone. After my husband died and the girls went away to school, I was alone a lot and I got comfortable with the quiet and peace that solitude can bring. After all, the only person in the house I had to satisfy was “me”!

On the other side of my personal coin is the enjoyment that great (and true) friends bring to my life. I delight in spending time with them; even if it’s online or the cell phone. You know, those conversations which steer away from business or the serious stuff of life and focus on life’s lighter side. We all need that – a touch of life’s lighter side or we become boorish bears not even liked by ourselves!Community 06 16 2016

But the best thing in life, especially business, is having friends who share my passion for entrepreneurship and the desire to help others grow and succeed as much as I desire same for myself. It’s folks like that who make life – and business growth – worthwhile! And when there are more than just a few – we call that community!

Dictionary.com defines one aspect of “community” as: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the) i.e. the business community; the community of scholars.

Frankly, I don’t like that definition. It feels too ‘sterile’ for me – too scientific, without personality or feeling. Less than human; lacking warmth, depth and design. Here’s the definition of “community” according to Linda. . .

“Community is a group of folks who share common interests, goals, a sense of self direction and design, and desire to associate with others who feel the same way. A group of folks who are not just friends, but colleagues in the game of life and will help each other as the need arises!”  The community of which I speak is unique, special and of great benefit and value to self and others! SETH GODIN quote-a-tribe-is-a-group-of-people-connected-to-one-another-connected-to-a-leader-and-connected-seth-godin-47-79-18

But the best definition by far – at least in my book, is that by Seth Godin from his ground-breaking book “Tribes”: A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical. It’s our nature. 

In actuality, Godin and Fitzgerald’s definition carries within it the same essence of fellowship that goes deep in our souls as we get to know each other by connecting, engaging and embracing our likes as well as our differences. As we say in a warm welcome to our Facebook group, The Neighborhood – “Share your special richness!”. That’s what community is all about. Sharing our special, unique richness that others might benefit from what we offer!

Community is about locking arms in ways that binds us together without inhibiting others of the same persuasion from entering and joining us ~ adding to the daily richness from which we can all partake!

Well, enough of the poetic! Although there is definitely a poetic sense to true community. But in our day to day reality, poetry is not what we seek. What we seek when coming into community (or a “tribe”) is strong mature leadership and an openness to each other that permits me to be me – you to be you – and all of us to gain from our associating together!

In the Fitzgerald book of community and leadership, our association within a like-minded tribe leads to the following:

  1. A greater sense of self-worth without the entitlement that goes with self-importance.
  2. To greater confidence in what I can do and an honest acceptance of what I can’t; but others can do to help me.
  3. Community gives me an opportunity to inspire and be inspired – motivate and be motivated.
  4. I can permit myself to be educated and in turn educate others who hunger for what I already know.
  5. And I can inform as well as be informed when I am without the knowledge or information that will guide me on the path to my desired success! And the same is true for those who soak up the information I share!

In the age of social media, we may think we are in community when in reality we are not. The word is bandied about vicariously as if every Facebook, Linked In and Twitter group is a “community”. Truth is – they are not. At least not in the sense of which Godin (and Fitzgerald) speak. Not to criticize the value that belonging to such groups has for our personal and business life – but to say that a unique variety of associations is not only the “spice of life”; but the salt and savor of our desired life outcomes – including our desire to succeed in business!

So, how do you assess what I’ve shared about my sense of community – true community?

Does it make sense to you? Or is it so much unrealistic poetic license about something much more practical and earthy?

Those of us with Affiliated Women International and its Neighborhood Boutiques are eager to know your reaction and responses. Why?

Because community – true community as defined by Godin and co-opted by Fitzgerald, is who we are. And what we do. And what sets us apart in the vast world of social media.

It’s the unique flavor of something valuable that has many imitations; but only one “true” community of unique and very special women across the globe. Hum. . . very interesting.

Yes, it’s interesting. In fact, so much so that we’ll continue in the vein of talking about “community” again next week when we post “Tips from the AWI Desk!”

In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on the subject!

Warmly,

Linda

Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Enriching Ordinarily Extraordinary Women the World Over
Neighborhood Boutiques
Connecting Women in Business Worldwide
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]

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Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.

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