What community building success tactics are you good at? Are these a secret? Maybe you should share them with others.

A few weeks ago I was catching up with a good friend of mine – Ben Ravilious from Leister – UK and during our catch up I was sharing the success we have had the last few years in standing up a new event called Raleigh Durham Startup Week.

He asked me a simple question – how did I bring this group together? Furthermore, how did I convince a group of people that did not all know each other to volunteer for a 500+ person annual event. Organizing community events is a basic leadership success tactic.

I have to be honest with you, I did not have my normal quick answer. So, I thought about it for a few weeks and then sent this email to him:

Thinking back and trying to uncover some truths/tactics/things that could be helpful to you:

  • I have been standing things up in Raleigh Durham for over 10 years.
  • I have met 1 on 1 with at least 3,000 people during this time.
  • I am always willing to help someone with something (an intro, some advice, etc.).
  • I am cheerful and energetic.
  • I smile a lot.
  • I say “yes” to just about every ask (panel, speaker, college, meeting, etc.).
  • I am not afraid to ask people for help.

I think people join me on my crusades because:

  • They like to be in my orbit.
  • They feel like they should give back as much as I do.
  • They were asked.

To be clear, I learned much of this from Brad Feld and his #givefirst mantra. But I also know that I have put in the work. 3,000 1 on 1 meetings is not an exaggeration. That is my estimate for just Raleigh Durham. The number is closer to 5,000 globally. I still do open-scheduled office hours (you can get 20 minutes right from my website).

Want to make an impact in your community? Start with putting in the work. Connect with as many people as possible and ask them what you can do to help them. The return is well worth the investment.