[00:00:00] Welcome to Elements of Community podcast about discovering and exploring the Elements of Community. I am Lucas Root. And each week we talk with a community leader about what makes their community thrive and bring value to both the leaders and the members join me as we unpack the magic of the Elements of Community.
[00:00:39] All right, we’re going to make this a nice tight chat. I’ve had this opportunity to re-listen to the last three episodes. And I’m going to do a solo episode from now on every three or every fourth episode, so that we can talk about the really cool things that popped up. Obviously no video, you can see that.
[00:00:57] So we get to have some fun here, just like really going deep and thinking about. What it is that our last three guests were able to bring to the table. We’re able to share. To open our eyes and talk to us about what community means to them and what the community that they’re building and growing and shepherding along has really been able to do as a result of the work that they’re doing with it.
[00:01:25] So just a quick reminder and a shout out to the last three guests that we had Liana Ling. Amazing. She brought to us a really fresh perspective about not necessarily chasing after vanity numbers, not necessarily going after a community because, quote unquote, I have 30,000 members in my Facebook group and I really enjoyed talking to her about how valuable it can be to have an incredibly tight knit community that’s deeply supporting themselves and deeply supporting each other. And deeply engaged in the process of all of them together, being the best that they can be.
[00:02:07] And then we had Zach Hammer. And Zach has an incredible background of building communities first as a preacher and the training that he had there. And then he brought that training and his corporate experience to working with real estate agents. And he was able to share with us some really awesome perspective about what it’s like to build a community from scratch and why it is that he chose to move into community building. And specifically for real estate agents, and I’m going to share some of the really cool things that came up in that conversation.
[00:02:39] And then we talked to Giuseppe and Giuseppe has a really interesting approach. His community actually has no opportunity for co-location. Right. So there’s no Facebook group, there’s no group of any kind. They don’t share a message board. The only place that the community interacts as a community is through his Podcast, which is really exciting in that he’s got this seemingly one way communication tool a podcast, and he’s been able to build a very involved and engaged community, even though it’s a one-way communication tool to all the different people that are engaged in the community with him have found ways either by engaging with him to do so or other ways to, to build a community around that one way communication tool and the wisdom and value that they get via his own talking and his guests. So we have a really amazing three guests that we’re talking about. And some of the really cool things that they brought up.
[00:03:37] So first I’m going to talk about leaders and leadership and what we learn talking to the three of them Liana, Zach, and Giuseppe about leadership.
[00:03:48] So first, and this was very cool. Liana brought up this idea that the leader of a community is not necessarily the creator. Which is awesome. That’s amazing. It creates this new opportunity for us to look at leadership, right? Cause you don’t necessarily need to create the community in order for you to end up in leadership.
[00:04:10] And we kind of know this from the corporate world. A corporation is built around an idea and built around carrying out that idea or executing that idea in the world. And the leader of that corporation might change over time. In fact, often does change over time, particularly for these really powerful corporations that have found a way to continue to exist for decades.
[00:04:33] The same person is probably not going to be the right person to execute that idea for the world. And if you think about that from a community perspective, that probably makes sense a community doesn’t need to be built around an idea and a person. It could be just built around an idea. And then the person who has leadership for that idea for a certain period of time, as the leaders in the community during that time, and the leadership can then be seated, right.
[00:05:02] We see examples of this and like chamber of commerce. So chamber of commerce is a great example where the chamber of commerce, theoretically as an entity is a community leader. The chamber brings in a leader or a CEO, a president, somebody who is a leader for the chamber or through the chamber for the community and that leader changes.
[00:05:22] So it was very cool to hear Liana talk about how the leader of a community is not necessarily the same person as the creator of a community. She brought it up. She talked about it in a great way. I really enjoy if. If you want to hear that, go back to listen to that episode, we talk about that particular part about minute four. So it was really cool.
[00:05:40] And then, so not only is the leader, not necessarily the creator, but Liana actually came out and specifically said the job of the leader is to recognize and support the desired engagement for the community. And in order to do that, the leader will set the tone or the culture for that community.
[00:06:05] Now, this is interesting because it brings up this idea that culture and community are not the same thing. Something that I definitely agree with. I think they are not the same thing, they are related and very similar, but they’re definitely not the same. So I really enjoyed these two perspectives.
[00:06:23] You know that the leader will recognize and support the desired engagement. Now that could also mean as a community grows, there might actually be multiple leaders. And we probably even see this in successful communities out there. Think about some, not for profits that are significant, maybe the Susan G Komen foundation, right. Where they might actually have a regional leader for a branch of that foundation in the end. And that’s an example of how there might be more than one leader in a community, which is amazing.
[00:06:55] Zach said, I love the conversation that we had Zach. Zach came at the idea of community very much from the perspective of doing battle, which is awesome. It’s awesome. I love it. And I think there’s a lot to be learned by thinking about our engagement in the world, from the perspective of doing battle. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should carry around a broad sword on our back at all times important point, but there’s a lot to be learned about that perspective and about how we can interact in the world from that perspective.
[00:07:27] So Zack said the leader is the person who picks a fight for the community. Which is an amazing idea. And he and I actually spent a lot of time talking about that and that perspective. And I enjoy it very much. So go listen to the episode, get into the idea of picking a fight. And Zach goes much deeper into the idea of picking a fight.
[00:07:49] He said specifically, if you are capable of identifying the enemies of your community. And ultimately if you’re going to pick a fight, you have to be capable of that. If you’re capable of identifying the enemies of the people of your community and specifically throwing stones, now, he means this metaphorically of course.
[00:08:11] Zach runs an online community, throwing stones wouldn’t really help very much. Right. But metaphorically throwing stones on behalf of, or leading the battle charge with your community against the enemies. Right? So in Zack’s particular case, and it’s a really cool metaphor analogy to dig in on, in Zach’s particular case, he’s working with real estate agents and his community is designed around helping real estate agents continue to maintain their relevance. In today’s world, which is a great approach, right? Cause think about the tools that are available out there for people to sell their house. You can just list it right directly on to what remax.com or trulia.com or, those other sites. And now the real estate agents have to reconnect with the value that they bring to the market.
[00:09:03] You’re not just a transactor, you’re not the only path to transaction. Which sucks for those people who only thought of their business in that way. But it’s amazing for those people who found other ways to be unique, found other ways to bring value to that transaction found other ways to drive value for their clients and justify involvement and there’s fees alongside. Right?
[00:09:31] So when Zach talks about throwing a rock, he’s actually specifically talking about picking a fight with those big platforms on behalf of his real estate agents. Now he’s not necessarily actually picking a fight with those big platforms. They wouldn’t care. They wouldn’t even notice it would be an ant taking a bite out of a bear. Right. But what he means really is saying, look, these big platforms have a strength and they have a place in the world. They’ve earned their place in the world because they’ve been able to drive value and do it well and effectively and consistently.
[00:10:02] But they also have a weakness. And for you real estate agents playing in the world, the opportunity exists. For you to go execute in the weakness of these big platforms, which I love. I love the way he looks at that. I love the way he focuses on the fight. He focuses on driving the community into and through the fight and having a path to victory, having an actual approach that could result in success for his community in this case, real estate agents.
[00:10:38] And then Zach, he picks a fight. He also focuses very much on language, right. Because if you’re going to go pick up. You need to make sure that the thing that you’re picking a fight, the tools that you’re using to pick a fight, those are the same tools that your community is using.
[00:10:51] And that’s why language was very important because the real estate agents, they think about the world through the words that they use. We all do. It’s normal for humans. And so the language that the community uses Zach identified as being a very powerful tool to keep the community engaged and motivated in the fight.
[00:11:10] And then, Giuseppe. I really enjoyed. Giuseppe’s focus was bringing and receiving value. And remember that he has a one-way communication tool and he’s managed to build that and this is powerful. His podcast is a powerful tool in that he’s able to galvanize and engage a group of people through a one-way communication tool, his podcast to build a community, the message, and I’ve been engaged with Giuseppe for awhile who we’ve been online friends for a while, so I know him well, but the just based on what he’s done, the message must be a really powerful message.
[00:11:51] We can assume, even if you haven’t listened, the message must be a really powerful message. And the engagement that he creates, the opportunity for that engagement must be a really powerful invitation. So both a powerful message and a powerful invitation in order for a community to be built around this one way communication tool that the podcast.
[00:12:14] Because there isn’t an online platform. There’s no place for people to be chatting. Right. And those are things that continue to drive engagement for a lot of communities. And without that in place, he still has a motivated, powerfully, engaged community. So the way that he does that is by really focusing deeply on bringing value to the community and receiving value from the community.
[00:12:39] And he talks about both of them side by side, and I think it’s important to separate them out, but to keep them together, right. Separate them out in that bringing value is different from receiving value. And a lot of people focus very much on bringing value which is good. But remember that in order for a community to feel like they’re engaged, they have to bring something to the table as well.
[00:13:01] They have to contribute. We talk about this in our basic elements episode zero, go listen to it again. There needs to be a project. People need to be engaged in moving the ball forward. They need to sweat together. And that means that he needs to be able to receive value as well. And we talk about that specific.
[00:13:22] That each community member, including Giuseppe, including the leader, has to be able to receive value. It’s not just give, give, give, give, give, you need to have a give and a receive. And they’re separate, they’re parallel. They’re very similar, but they are separate. You have to make space for that. So I really enjoyed that.
[00:13:43] Now. So moving on from leader, let’s talk about the community itself. Liana started out by focusing on engagement, which I love. She has a very, very powerfully engaged community and the entire episode, she and I talk about engagement a lot because she’s been able to achieve near 100% engagement, not necessarily in terms of time, but in terms of community member involvement on a daily basis, daily basis, which is incredible.
[00:14:11] I’ve been a member of a number of communities. I rarely see daily engagement from every single person, even in-person communities. You know, when I was a child growing up, there are days, not days in a row, but days where my younger sister and my older sister might decide, she’s just going to stay in her room for the whole day and not be engaged in the community of my family.
[00:14:34] And that’s okay. And that’s normal. And I get that, the idea of having an online community and Liana is an online community that is a hundred percent daily engagement. That’s incredible. So listening to her, talk about the strategies that drive and create engagement. And the reason why people continue to show up day after day after day.
[00:14:56] And one of the most powerful tools that she uses and focused on is this pledge. She talks about her pledge and she and I had a chance to talk about that a lot in the green room. And I very much enjoyed that conversation. Part of that. And you know, I talk about this separately. I talk about this a lot in my own life.
[00:15:14] Part of that is creating sort of the container of the community, creating the sandbox let’s say of the community so that when people step into the community, they already know what to expect and what that’s going to feel like, what it’s going to look like. What what the community expects and what they can expect to receive in return. And so having that container defined and built is an amazingly powerful tool.
[00:15:42] Zach talks about this common purpose, actually, Zach and Giuseppe, both talk about the common purpose and they talk about different ways of building that purpose into the language of the community. So just Giuseppe talks about bringing up that purpose over and over and over again in his outreach, in his emails, in his lives, in his podcast recordings. Right? So he talks about bringing up that purpose and just reminding people of the purpose of the community and keeping them rallied around and focused on that purpose through repetition, which is a powerful tool.
[00:16:14] Zack again, he talks about fighting enemies and throwing stones, which I love. I mean, it’s a hilarious episode. If you listen to it like two or three times, you’d just kind of start laughing about how, like we keep going back to the battle metaphor and how powerful that is as a tool. Just thinking of approaching the community from the perspective of I’m going to fight your fights and I’m going to fight your enemies and that’s how we’re going to work together. We’re going to play together over a long term. And I think it makes a lot of sense and Zach did a phenomenal job.
[00:16:45] Now we talk about, CPOP, right? And I’m gonna, I’m gonna come back to this over and over again. Cause the C-PAP, the Community Point of Pleasure, the Community Point of Purpose, the CPOP, and you can use those two definitions, point of pleasure, point of purpose, point of pain. In fact, right. In Zach’s case, the community point of pain might make sense because we’re focused on fighting those enemies.
[00:17:09] The community point of pain might be Zillow. The big, bad guys Zillow, right? So the CPOP for Liana was, and we get to this right in the beginning. And it’s beautiful when it comes out, the CPOP was purpose aligned business owners who want freedom. It settles right in the community point of possibility for Liana purpose aligned online business owners who want freedom
[00:17:40] For Zack. It was real estate professionals seeking their zone of genius, real estate professionals seeking their zone of genius. And Zach you should see the look on his face. I mean, watch it, watch it again.
[00:17:54] You should see the look on his face when that finally came out and it was smooth. He probably had goosebumps on his arms. Just listening to that. Real estate professionals seeking their zone of genius.
[00:18:06] And Giuseppe. So Giuseppe actually had what he called a tagline. And he brought it up. But when I was relistening to this to prepare for talking to you right now I actually heard it differently and I really like what it came out.
[00:18:20] And I’m going to tell you guys right now. And I’m going to send this to Giuseppe and we’ll see what he has to say. So my CPOP my community point of possibility for Giuseppe. This is from me. And this comes up just from re-listening to the episode, corporate execs, connecting knowledge to action. Now I’ve been a corporate exec, you all know this corporate execs connecting knowledge to actually.
[00:18:48] And it’s so easy for me to look back at some of my past life experiences. Some of the, not previous life, but in this lifetime past experiences. And to look at this community point of possibility and say, yeah, okay. If he’s great at realigning that purpose, every time he shares a message, I could see myself in my previous life as a corporate exec, I could see myself subscribing to that.
[00:19:16] In fact, I’m going to go relisten to some of his episodes now, corporate execs connecting knowledge to action. What a powerful message.
[00:19:25] So go listen. Those are just some of the highlights, some of my favorite pieces that came up, but every single one of those episodes was jam packed with amazingness. Go listen again.
[00:19:36] Liana, Zach, Giuseppe. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing wisdom and your knowledge. I so look forward to talking to all three of you again. Cheers!
[00:19:51] Thank you for joining us this week on Elements of Community. Make sure to visit our website ElementsoOfCommunity.us, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or via RSS. So you’ll never miss a show. If you found value in the show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out too. If you like the show, you might want to check out our EoC inner circle, where we deep dive with each guest on the inner workings of their community. We cover things like community model, profitability and engagement strategies. You can join the inner circle at ElementsOf Community.us/inner circle. Be sure to tune in next week for our next episode.