Clearing away confusion about being a member of a community.

I find my involvement in communities to be confusing. I show up with different concerns and expectations than others. I’m not sure what I can reveal and what I have to protect. I’m afraid to give my all, in case things don’t work out and I have all my eggs in one basket.

These concerns are at the core of why great communities are challenging to create and even more challenging to grow. Yet, communities are at the core of our humanity. For millennia, we needed communities in the form of tribal villages to survive. There were animals that wanted to eat us, and later other tribes that wanted to conquer us. As we evolved, we found communities to be a vital structure for agriculture and cultural development.

Most of the U.S. population lives in cities that bring out the challenges of living together in communities with modern concerns. There is an even greater lack of clarity about what it is to be a member of a community as many of us participate in them online.

Rather than let my uncertainty paralyze me, I sought help. Last year, as part of the Inside Out Radio program, I invited three guests who are leaders in developing successful communities.

My first interview, which is provided below was with Margaret Wheatley. I first encountered Meg when I read her book, A Simpler Way, where I received insights into seeing organizations as evolving systems. Since then, I have read each of her five additional books with great interest and gratitude.

Meg is the founder of the The Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation. Berkana works in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment.

I hope you find this conversation valuable. If you do, drop me a note.

Download MP3

Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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