I am not sure what it is about the timing of CRS. My three CRS events have come at two different times of the year. The first CRS I went to was in, I think it was in Vegas, and it was in the Summer. Is that correct?
How many of you were at that one? Okay. If you remember that one I had just come off a three week vacation with my family at my farm in West Virginia. All of the slides were photos that I took on my vacation. You know, from West Virginia, every analogy was tied to the photograph. If you also remember I was monitoring the Twitter stream the day before on my way and completely changed my presentation.
The last CRS I came off a week at a place called The Ranch in Malibu where I hiked for a ridiculous number of hours per day, ate a ridiculously low number of calories. I had no connectivity to the internet, which is my first love and passion amongst all things outside of my family. It changed my perspective on life, and it impacted my presentation at CRS. Pretty dramatically.
This year I am just coming off a 21 day trip to Kenya with my six kids. It’s had a profound impact on me. My wife’s been going for the last three and a half years. We don’t just support this orphanage. She doesn’t just raise money for this orphanage. The reason why this orphanage exists is a direct result of my wife and the volunteers at Mothers Fighting For Others who interceded in a situation that was ugly. So our children have considered the 35 girls at St. Monica’s children’s home their sisters without ever having the opportunity to see them.
As I’m preparing for this presentation… I’m sitting in Kenya. I’m reading this title [Own The Conversation, Own The Market] and I’m saying, “this is crap.” You know they make you choose your title and give your description like a decade in advance, right. You got to give your title and give a little description.
I guess for speakers who speak on the same thing all the time – you know they have these canned presentations that they give – that’s easy, that’s good. In fact they can probably give you a tape of the last time they gave it and it will be pretty much the same.
That’s not me, that’s not what I do. I don’t make my living speaking. This is something that I really do for fun. I tell people all the time – I speak for free, you pay me to leave my family.
This title doesn’t make sense for me. I mean it makes sense. If you do own the conversation in your market, if you do OWN the conversation, you will own the market. That’s a fact.
But, the title takes us down a road that puts us in a mindset that continues to perpetuate this notion that somehow I’ve constantly got to be in the mindset of, “what’s in it for me.” It sounds good, I mean it makes for a great title and you know it’s easy to read. It’s short, it’s tweetable.
Conversation Is Not The Goal
It’s just not very powerful. And part of the reason is that conversation is not the goal. Conversation is great; I mean conversation can be beautiful. Conversation is a part of a process, but conversation is not the goal.
There is no zero meaningful conversation outside of community. I’ve made, what I would say are significant mistakes in creating a linear connection in the conversation stream between actions that take place at the beginning of the relationship and actions that progress down through the to conversation that I’ve said in the past lead to community.
That’s wrong – because [pq align=right]nothing meaningful, nothing real, nothing true happens outside of community[/pq]. Community is not the goal either.
You’ve seen this before. This is a fairly common understanding of how you lead people from the point you become aware of them. Most of the time this is done in the online space to help people understand how to go from awareness to interaction to engagement to participation to conversation and ultimately the community. This linear movement, this notion that somehow community comes at the end of this process, that’s what’s wrong.
I’ve used this slide, I don’t know in every presentation I’ve given whether it was a conversation about listening, whether it was a conversation about marketing funnels, a conversation about how to be actually effective in the online space.
It’s nice and it’s pretty, it’s just wrong. All of these things take place in the context of community. Community envelops it all. In fact without it none of it exists.
Community Is Not The Goal
So community is not the goal. Deeply connecting with your community, that’s the goal. Deeply connecting with the people you interface with on a daily basis, that’s the goal.
We’ve got to word things correctly. If we’re going to have an impact, if you’re going to have an impact, if the rest of your time here at CSR today as you sit and listen to other speakers is to have an impact, then this has to connect with you. This statement has to connect with you.
What are you doing? All these efforts that you go to, to reach out, to find business, how are you doing it? What’s the context? I’ll submit to you this. If you’re not using the tools that you learn about here, if you’re not using the strategies that you learn about here in a way that also allows you to deeply connect with your community, you may make money but you will end up significantly unfulfilled in that process. Ultimately it won’t satisfy you.
Now, I tend to get preachy, I do and I apologize. I believe some things are just true. Some things transcend basic business practices, some things transcend making money. Some things transcend real estate, some things transcend all of that and impact every aspect of our life, and this is one of those truths.
For me community is everything. I was startled, I wrote that in an email to a friend, who had asked, “how’s the trip going.” We were staying with a couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Gatomi. We were staying in their home, and every night, every single night, there were lengthy conversations. It wasn’t just because we were there.
Mr. Gatomi would come and pull me out of the children’s home and he would take me with him in the afternoon to go out and run errands and do his business. There was, do you know what he uses his phone for? This is crazy. He makes phone calls, that’s it. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The only time it ever comes out of his pocket is to answer the phone or to make a phone call. Every single night and in every interaction that I saw, there were lengthy deep conversations where two people were undistracted from the task at hand, sitting and talking with each other.
In this email to a friend one of the things I said was, “these people are so focused and their character is so strong, it startles me.” I think that part of the reason why it startled me was how starkly contrasted it was to the interactions that I find myself with here the United States for the most part.
You know one of the things that happened last week at Inman, that I had to laugh about when I got back, looking through the tweet stream. I have a couple of a partners, my other business partner, I don’t think has ever heard me speak before, Steve Zehngut, sitting in the front row.
I have a couple business partners from Australia, who we were launching a project at Inman last week, I wasn’t even there. They had a launch dinner, a launch event. They took everyone’s cell phones and they said the first person to touch their cell phone buys dinner. Turns out it’s a trend, its called “phone stacking.” How does this become a trend?
How does it become a trend? Because we are so unbelievably NOT into the conversations that we are in at the moment. You have no idea how many times I’m out with a group of friends, especially with the RE.net, especially in the tech community, where the vast majority of the time there every single person in that room is staring down at their phones.
It startled me, it startled me because I was able to for the first time in a long time because my phone didn’t work in Kenya either. It’s not like I’m some great Saint here. I mean, my wife chastised me while I was in Kenya.
Everything’s not peaches in cream in a marriage. I’m stupid sometimes; in fact I’m stupid more times than I’m not stupid. She said something to me and I said “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She goes, “you know what? This is really getting old. Last night was the first night you pulled out your phone while you were here in Kenya, it was the first time online. I had this conversation with you last night and I should have known you had your phone in your hand, you were not paying attention to me.” She was 100 percent right.
In that context it startled me. We should be startling more people. We should be behaving in such a way that our actions surprise them. Community is everything and understanding the community is the key to harnessing the power of conversation.
Until you understand the power of community, until I understand the power of community, until we all get on board with this notion, community is everything. Community is not a goal; community is the only thing that makes any of this worth anything. It’s not until that moment that we can really truly harness the power of conversations.
The Gift Of Being Together
Let’s do a little bit of homework. I had no idea; you know Wikipedia is a powerful, powerful thing. I’m just thankful that when I did my research SOPA was behind us and I could actually get on to Wikipedia. Cum + munus with together a gift. The gift of being together. [pq align=right]The gift of being together. That’s what community is.[/pq]
That’s, I’m sorry, that in and of it itself… I could probably spend 20 minutes talking about how we do not appreciate this gift. Do we? If we did we wouldn’t take advantage of it so often.
This was a book written in 1887. Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, trust me I don’t speak German, I don’t get it either. It’s community versus association. It actually set off a revolution.
Gesellschaft became the word for company. You’ll get it in a second. Gemeinschaft is tighter . . . There were two descriptions of community, two kinds of community. Gemeinschaft is a tighter more cohesive social unity due to the presence of the unity of will.
If you’ve heard me speak before we’ve talked about shared values. There are certain kinds of interactions that only take place in the presence of shared values. In this kind of community, the unity of will that they are talking about, the unity of purpose, that’s a result of shared values. Shared visions, shared values. That’s one type of community.
This is the second, Gesellschaft. Where individuals are motivated to take part in the group purely by self-interest.
Most businesses are this. We’re coming, were working together, we have a sort of a common goal. I’m only here because you’re paying me. You’ve not connected me to a higher purpose. You have not given me another reason to be here. I’m just here to make money. Now, this I see take place all the time. I see it take place here.
Last night, and I’m going to offend this person. I’m not going to say their name but they are going to know who they are. I apologize, I apologize profusely, and I really do. I’m hoping that they will walk away from this and understand the perception in the moment and how they can change that to be something different.
You see, [pq align=right]we operate in the world of pseudo-community a lot[/pq]. I’m going to talk about that in a minute. It looks like were having real conversations, it looks like were really connecting. It has the facade of connection, but it’s not really.
A very nice lady comes up to me and introduces herself, say’s a couple of words, we banter back and forth, but it was clear that the only purpose she had in communicating with me was to hand me her business card. Then she moved on to the next one and had the exact same conversation.
I’m sorry, just come up and talk to me. Find out what our common purpose is, find out something that connects us. Sit and truly listen, stop being motivated by self-interest.
It’s not like people don’t feel it. It’s not like people can’t see it. Do you sense it? You can sense it, can’t you? How does it make you feel? Used. In the online space too.
Yesterday, Brian… I mean, massive round of applause for Brian’s intro yesterday. That was brilliant. What was interesting to me was when he was talking about these open, closed and secret groups on Facebook, in a few of the groups that he created and how the purpose of those groups was not to go out and get business and yet they were driving business.
There is a power, and I don’t know another way to describe it. [pq align=right]There is a power that comes from focusing your intent on the right things.[/pq] You can’t get it any other way because people can sense it, people can smell it.
The vast majority of the interactions that I see taking place on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, oh my goodness on Twitter -you can see it – it’s pseudo community, it’s not real. People are simply trying to get you to do something for their self-interest. That is not the kind of community that I am talking about. That is not the kind of community that brings us power.
Look at the last 25 years. There is a book called “Bowling Alone“. There are more people bowling in the United States than ever before and fewer bowling leagues than ever before. Right?
Now, the book’s critics lambasted the book because the author draws a causal relationship between what’s happening online with video games and television to the reason why community is breaking down. I don’t think that has anything to do with it and I agree with the critics, because 50 years ago the same causal relationship was made between radio and the decline of society.
Before that, believe it or not, writing was lambasted when letters came about. I’m serious you go back and look. Here’s another great book, “The Information“.
When you read the history of information from the time language developed, Plato, literally Plato lambasted writing because he thought that it would destroy the oral tradition of learning.
These attempts to say that technology is the reason the community is failing I think are wrong. He makes some really good points in the book. He shows some statistics that we all should be concerned about.
Attendance at club meetings over the last 25 years down 58 percent. Family dinners down 43 percent. Does that surprise you? No? Should it? It should shock us. Having friends over for dinner down 35 percent.
We are losing our connection to community. The perfect example of the best community, Gemeinschaft, the one where there is a sense of will is family, kinship. That should be the perfect example of that, and yet are families are breaking down as fast as bigger communities.
You have to make sacrifices to protect community to protect the sense of community. You have to want it first. That wanting comes from understanding its power, understanding how it can drive every aspect of your life.
We need less associations, less of that fake stuff, less of the what’s in it for me mentality. We need way, way more of that how can we help each other. How can we help each other?
How do we deeply connect with our community? How do you deeply connect with your community? I think there are three steps: Listen – Help – Nurture.
First, listen. We got to ask each other questions, right? We got to sit and talk to each other and really be connected.
It was funny, I saw John last night in the first time in a long time. I’m standing there looking at you and I’m thinking “holy crap he’s lost a lot of weight, he looks really good.”
Now there are a couple of things I can do, right? In that moment what can I do? Just go about, I mean we’ve had a nice conversation, it was pleasant, we just connected. You can’t, you’ve got to go deeper.
It’s as simple as “Did you lose weight? How did you do it, what is that about?” It’s just that simple act of recognizing and stopping for a minute and going one step further, because listening is more than just about hearing. Listening is about finding the opportunity to ask questions and to delve deeper and to learn.
The goal here in all of these communities is to find out as much as we can about someone, so we can get to know who they are and what they are about. You need to listen actively; actively seek out knowledge. actively seek out information about the people in your community. It happens often, most often on a one to one basis.
I don’t care whether that’s online or offline. I spend a long time talking about technology and Internet and our company is 100 percent firmly fixed into technology space. I said this before, I don’t care who you are in this room. If you want to have a conversation about technology, I’ll knock heads with you all day long.
I think technology misses the point.
The reason why technology companies are missing the point is because they don’t understand the connection that their software and the things that they build have to impact the people and the relationships and how that software has to be built in order to maximize these connections.
All of these things, all of this stuff, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all of the social technologies, our mobile phones and the applications, when those things get in the way of our ability to make the connection with an individual on a one on one basis, those things take us further and further away from the actual goal.
When you are evaluating your technologies and your evaluating your strategies, you need to be evaluating them in this context. Does this help me build my community? Does it help me listen more? Does it help me get to know someone better?
You need to listen and then you need to listen some more because it ain’t ever going to stop. Then you need to ask yourself the question “Now that I’ve listened, now that I’ve found out what this person is about, now that I know who they are. How can I help them?” Seek to serve not to be served.
Community doesn’t develop when you walk into a room with a mentality of; “I’ll only scratch your back after you have scratched mine.” That leads to acquaintances, that leads to surface level conversations. It’s not meaningful. There is no benefit to that.
The mentality and the attitude of the conversation. The mentality and the attitude of listening, we’ve talked about this before too. Those of you who heard me speak here. You know what’s interesting to me is that from my first presentation to my second presentation to this presentation there is a direct line.
You’re never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to connect deeply with your community unless you act out of abundance and not scarcity. Give out the information, give it up. No one is you; no one can do it like you.
So what, you’ve got a good idea? Great, share it. Ideas aren’t worth anything. Execution’s everything. [pq align=right]Share out of abundance not scarcity.[/pq] Then nurture it.
If you know someone, truly know them and you’ve helped them. You have the opportunity now to make a real decision. Can I work with this person or not? Can we do things together or not? If you can’t, you’ve learned all you need to learn and you move on.
If you can, you need to protect those relationships like you protect the relationships with your family. Those ones we find, those meaningful, those ones that were really truly connected to someone where we know we can help each other, where it’s real. You know what I’m talking about right? It’s real, you can sense it. Those are valuable. Those are the ones you want and the cycle begins again. Listen, help, nurture. Do it again, everyone you go to, every single thing you do.
All right, so this is where it gets tricky. [pq align=right]You’ve got to either add your voice to a community, or help give your community a real voice.[/pq] This is where the conversation comes to play. We’re going to try and tie this back to the original presentation title, the one I gave them a decade ago. The one I think is crap.
I’m not saying conversation is not important. I think conversation is critically important; it’s just not the goal. You need to add your voice to the community or you need to give your community a voice.
Steve and I talked two years ago about the WordPress community. You know a lot of the websites we build are on top of the WordPress content managements. How many of you familiar with WordPress and what it is? Raise your hand. It’s really not critical that you do understand what it is, but that’s.
We identified our community as the WordPress community. Now the WordPress community is not necessarily who are clients are, right? Some of them might be but the WordPress community is way bigger than the population of our clients.
Your local community is going to be bigger than the population of your clients. The other communities that you define are going to be bigger than the population of your clients. Your clients are going to be a very, very small subset of your community. Whatever that community is, whether it’s a community that’s defined by shared location or whether it’s a community defined by shared interest.
In this case ours was a community defined by shared interest. Shared interest in the WordPress platform. So what was the first thing we did?
One, we had to decide that was our community. So you have to figure out what your community is.
The second thing we had to do was, can we go join in the conversation somewhere? Is there already a place where we can go, where we can join in the conversation? Because if there is, it makes it a lot easier, right?
In our case there wasn’t. There was no WordPress community in Orange County. There wasn’t, I mean there was but it didn’t really have a voice. You knew there were people there and there had been a couple of meetings and stuff, but it doesn’t exist.
We used another website that Brian talked about yesterday in his opening, Meetup.com. We said here’s what we’re going to go create a place where this community can have a voice. We started a meet up and we hosted it at our offices. I think the first meeting, what’d we get, 20 people. We have 520 in the Orange County WordPress community today.
We made the decision about our new office space based on that community. We moved into a warehouse that gave us a big open space that sits completely unused 99 percent of the time. It’s a nice echo chamber and it’s a good place to go scream if you’re having a bad day. Its purpose, its sole purpose was to be a place where our community could come and have a voice.
I’ve said this a number of times. First time I said it I think it was five years ago on stage at Inman. One of the biggest mistakes that real estate companies make and they still make it, is that they organize their office spaces for their employees, not for their community.
Do you know how many community groups are aching for a place where they can come and meet and hold their meetings and talk to one another? They have to go search for spaces and pay for spaces. WordPress community does it pay us for our space. We benefit from that meeting as much as they do. We derive as much from that as they do.
I challenge each and every one of you. This is a challenge because I think that someone needs to step up and do it. The next time your office comes up for lease, rethink how you’ve organized your space. Find a different way to looking at it. Create a way for your community to come and gather and have conversations around topics of interest to them and place yourself smack dab in the middle of it.
Give people smaller offices. Get the egos out of the way. Instead of focusing on how do I kowtow to the egos of the real estate agents in my office and make them feel a certain way about you as the broker. Switch that around, how do I connect with my community? How do I provide a space for my community to have a voice? That is a winning solution.
You need to either find a community or you need to create a way for that community to have a voice. Once you have done that then conversation now becomes the key. [pq align=right]Conversation doesn’t become the key until you identify your community.[/pq] Conversation doesn’t become a key until you understand the power of community. Until you connect with a community in a way that makes it worth doing. What are the steps?
3 conversation keys to unlock the power of community.
First, love the one you’re with.
I don’t know how many times I have made this mistake in the last year and this is even after last year. You know giving some keys on how to make a difference even at how to sit at your dinner table. I don’t bring my phone to the dinner table. I haven’t in a long, long time. It is the one place where I have nailed this finally. When we are sitting there having dinner my phone is in my office. Okay.
That was a hard decision to make but I found it distracting, I found it getting in the way of conversation at the dinner table. Yet, I still can’t seem to turn it off in so many other situations where I should be turning it off.
Why do I need to be constantly checking my phone when I’m in a meeting? Why do I need to be constantly checking my phone if . . . I don’t. I don’t, I need to love the one I’m with. The greatest gift that you can give your community, and break community down to the smallest because when you and I are sitting down having a one on one conversation you and I are community at that moment. We are community.
[pq align=right]The greatest gift that I can give you is my undistracted attention.[/pq] The most amazing thing that happened in Kenya is being able to sit back and watch my children finally play with these girls. I’m going to lose it sorry.
There is a purity in that which just blows your mind. They don’t care about anything else. They are so in that moment. They are so right there; you know you watch them as they stare into each others eyes. It is literally beautiful.
It makes you cringe because you know you’re not that anymore, you know you’ve lost that. You know that for some reason, somehow you have lost the ability to make that kind of connection with someone because you’re so concerned with all of the other things.
Checking in on Foursquare, making certain you’ve updated a status on Facebook. All of the things that distract us and get in the way of us doing the one thing that matters in the moment and that’s giving you the greatest gift I can give you. I’m with you right now; I’m paying attention to you right now, you’re mine. I’m loving you; you’re the one I’m with.
All these other people that I got to make a connection with later that meeting I got, that phone call that I have to make, all the other stuff… that’s crap. You’re important nothing else is. How hard is that?
It must be ridiculously hard because I can’t do it most of the time and neither can you. We got to find a way to do that. [pq align=right]You want to own the conversation, give people your undistracted attention.[/pq] I’m preaching to myself right now.
Second, let other people talk.
I’m actually pretty good at this one. See you don’t have to be the center of conversation to own the conversation.
This clicked with me a couple years ago I went to a real estate bar camp in Pasadena. Someone I hadn’t seen in a long time said “are you leading a session, are you leading a session?” I said, “no I almost never lead a session at REBarcamp.”
She asks “why?” and I say, “I don’t know,” then I thought about it for a second and I said, “I like leading from behind.” I like leading from the crowd. I like listening to the conversation and finding a way to fit in.
I like letting the person who’s organizing that session take the role of leader and I like asking questions. I like being in the back of the room. I like being the one that’s listening and asking the question that makes everyone else goes, “hmm, that’s interesting, who is that guy?
I know what my motivation is. You don’t have to own the conversation to own the conversation. You need to let other people talk. Find a way to do that.
Third, you need to learn how to tell stories again.
This is one of the things that startled me too about Kenya. They know how to tell stories and they enjoy it. I literally had the best New Years Eve of my life. I’ve been on this earth 50 years, the New Year’s Eve at St. Monica’s was the most powerful thing I have ever been a part of and we didn’t do anything.
We sat around in a circle and we told stories. Mrs. Gatomi lead and some of the stories were New Year’s Resolutions, some of the stories were what were you most thankful for this past year. Every single person stood up and told their story. Forty some people sitting around in a circle over and over again all night long and we sang and we danced.
Why are we doing what we do? We have to give people a reason to listen to us. I go on to some people’s Twitter streams and 70 percent of what they’re doing is a checkin on Foursquare. How many of you know what Foursquare is, no how many of you don’t know what Foursquare is? You are so lucky.
Foursquare is a way to let people know that you just showed up some place. So I mean if we did a search on the words, “I just checked in at” on Twitter, there would be just hundreds of thousands of people and they don’t add context of why they are there. They don’t add a comment to it, they don’t tell a story of why they are there, they just push it out to Twitter. I’m at wherever.
It’s not just Foursquare, I mean I like picking on Foursquare. I like picking on lots of things. It’s not just Foursquare and I’ve checked in on Foursquare. One of the things I’ve changed recently. The only time that a Foursquare check-in gets forced to Twitter is if I got something to say about it. If I’m giving a people a reason to understand why I’m there. There needs to be a story behind it. Otherwise I’m just contributing to the noise.
If I don’t know how to tell a story, if I don’t know why I’m doing it, why should I do it? Why am I doing it?
We need to tell stories, the things were doing have to contribute to that story. Otherwise what value do they have? It’s just noise, it’s not conversation, and it’s a monologue. No one is listening, which is the saddest monologue of all.
There’s one more thing. I’m channeling Steve Jobs right now. Ira, I thought you would appreciate this one.
You know there is an interesting thing that happens in crisis. I mean you look at what happened in New Orleans, you look at Haiti. In a crisis there’s all of a sudden this palpable sense of community that arises. Look at what happened after 9/11. Right? There’s this overwhelming sense of community that doesn’t exist before and there’s a reason for it. It’s about vulnerability.
I was sitting on the airplane; it’s amazing how these things happen. I was sitting on an airplane and I’m in the exit row and there’s a lady across from me also in the exit row. She’s sitting next to a guy and their having conversations. It’s a pretty good conversation. He was a guy from Texas talking about his family. She was talking about her family. I mean they were having what really appeared to be a really nice conversation. They didn’t know each other. they were opening up to each other.
All right, so a stewardess comes along and she goes through this spiel on how you’re in an exit row and I need you to verbally commit to the fact that you are willing to help people, in case of emergency, exit the plane. I need you to verbally tell me yes, and so she turns to us on this side we all say yes. She gets to this lady and the lady says, “what it is again?” Are you willing to help the other passengers off the plan in the event of an emergency? She said, “absolutely not.”
I wish I were joking. So the stewardess said, “I’m going to have to ask you to move.” And the lady says, “so I can’t sit in this seat unless I’m willing to help everybody off this plane?” The stewardess says no. The lady says, “oh, well then I’ll stay here.” I’m not joking. I’m not joking.
Here’s the thing, you know because I’m in this mindset of what the heck am I going to say tomorrow. Right? I’m listening to this and I’m thinking to myself, it’s pseudo conversation right here. She’s having this conversation, there’s no value it, she’s not connected to that guy, she’s not thinking about him at all.
The moment that plane has trouble, the moment that plane went into crisis., something would happen to every single person on that plane wouldn’t it?
All of a sudden the facades would be gone. We’d move beyond that inauthenticy of pseudo community. That inauthenticity of conversation and we would expose ourselves.
We’d become vulnerable we’d realize it in that moment that were all broken, were all weak, well all need help. We’d lose our egos, in that moment and this is why in crisis this happens. In that moment, true community is allowed to come out. Where mutual respect at a level that is almost distinctive comes into play and people are able to help each other and put other people ahead of themselves and do things they never thought they were able to do. See that’s possible outside of crisis.
You have to make the decision to be vulnerable. You have to make the decision to set aside the facade, to let people see your shadow self. Let people see the real you. You have to be willing to accept other people’s vulnerability.
In that moment, in that moment when you let ego go and you realize that you are just as imperfect and you are just as broken as everyone else. There is no difference between us; that were all in the same boat together. We’re all here trying to accomplish the same purpose. At that moment, community has the ability to do something really special. If you’re not vulnerable, none of that happens.
So I want to end with this. There can be no vulnerability without risk.
It literally broke my heart watching my children leave. There is no community without vulnerability. There is none. There is going to be no peace, no life without community.
“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” – M. Scott Peck
Conversation, yeah that’s great. Own it, you’ll own the market that’s a fact. Go do your own research on that. All of that is for nothing without community.
I would like us to leave this space with a renewed focus on community. I like everyone single one in this room. CRS is a special group of people. Brian said it for me. I like coming back here and I’ve said it to him privately many times. This is a special group of people, I like being here. You guys are different.
You can prove that you’re different in many, many ways. One of those ways is to find a way to renew your commitment to community. In a way that makes you more powerful than you’ve ever been before by losing the facade, getting rid of it. Not allowing yourself to be distracted by the crap. Making certain that you let other people speak and here, and truly connecting with people.
That will be transformational.