A beautiful old oak tree collapsed recently and fell into our driveway
Apart from the initial shock and drama and being kept awake until the early hours while Hampshire Highways came to the rescue, it brought with it a real example of the passing of time, of endings and perspective. I actually felt a sense of loss and sadness initially. That tree must have stood for hundreds of years and – like that – it was gone.
But there is hope and positivity in there too. Nothing is forever. We are a connected part of nature, and we have our set time here.
What do you want to do with that time?
Well, I want to make people feel good about the work they do.
TO their work, and AT their work.
This is about connecting with a sense of meaning and purpose and connecting to each other too.
It’s clear to me that community and creativity (and all that those broad notions mean to us) are THE reasons we need to think about how we intentionally find our tribe and come together. Adrienne Saunders and myself had a short chat about this earlier this week.
One of my proudest achievements is starting #ConnectUp. It’s a small way of creating a community and giving a creative / ideas space for people who are values-led and like supporting each other. I was a bit emotional this week as we came together for a Christmas event, looking back at all our achievements this year. This is what a community feels like.
Whether you are an employee, leader or solopreneur, connection matters.
These questions have been designed to help you think about where you are right now. Nilofer Merchant is an absolutely amazing thought leader in this space and has shaped my content below. I would encourage you to check her out.
- How connected do you feel?
- What relationships do you currently value and why?
- When do you come together with others currently?
- What have connections been like (old and new) during lockdown?
- What does this quote bring up for you?
“When we are really ourselves – when we really connect with who we are and what we care about, and we have the confidence and the support to be forthright and honest – we find each other”Peter Senge
Start with YOU
I talk a lot about being intentional.
So if we think about the sorts of community you need around you, let’s start with YOU.
Where are you?
Stand in the space in the world that only you stand in. Your unique place. The impact you want to make. Your purpose and passion. There is only one you.
That means that even if someone else looks on paper to be providing the same service as you – it won’t be the same because they are not YOU.
This is kind of connection to ‘yourself’ to allow you to look outwards at the connections you will most value from others.
Who do you Need?
Be intentional about your choice of supporters. What do you need from them?
What is already drawing people to you? Where are they?
Meaningfully connect with others. Reach out and ask them.
Those others could be people from your existing connections and communities (think school, college, all your workplaces, your sports team, knitting group, book club, pub).
You might not have met them yet.
They might already be active connections that you have.
Walk away from places you don’t fit in rather then trying to “squeeze into a too tight space”. Find ‘your people’. Nilofer Merchant called The Power of Onlyness
If a group or connection isn’t working for you, don’t do what we usually do and assume it’s you! It’s not – it’s probably them. And that’s ok.