In every community or ‘tribe’, people are looking for pillars in that community. What do I mean by ‘tribe’ and community? Well, a community could literally be a town, village or a city, but ‘tribes’ can also be things that people attach themselves to.
So, for example, it could be a sport like football, or it could even be a football club like West Ham. A ‘tribe’ could also be a musician or, if you wanted to go further, a guitarist is a ‘tribe’ within a ‘tribe’… did someone say Inception? People attach themselves to these things and they are constantly looking for pillars of support within that community or tribe which they have invested themselves in.
In order to become the authority within a community, you must first listen to what it is that its people are looking for. What is it they need from you? Take the current global issue of Covid-19, people are scared and have this fear and all of these questions that no one has the answer to, they just want to know that other people are experiencing the same problems and know what they are doing to combat those issues.
So, how are you going to give people the answers and support they need? Let people in. Spend time telling people how you are intending to overcome these issues. How you are handling problems, how it’s impacting your industry and, how it’s impacting you personally. Giving people a personal insight in to how you are coping provides a stronger trust within your community. Everyone is going to get impacted, we shouldn’t brush it under the carpet, we should actually be open and say this is what’s happened, this is what’s happening to the industry and this is what we are doing to combat it. Let’s start a conversation.
Because people are scared and they are frightened, and while you may not have all the answers, at least they can see that you are trying to tackle it, and you are putting yourself out there with the same issues and putting their mind at rest. So being the authority is not just about education, it’s also about the emotional aspect of it, of you going through the same situation with them and being there to help them and support them as best you can. If you’re in the education sector for example, then people will be looking to schools to give them the answers about the students, the teachers and other staff members, clubs, lessons, exams, etc, and how this could potentially spread and what you are doing to contain that virus and to make sure the community is looked after as a whole.
Being the authority is more important than ever at the moment, and your community or tribe will look to you for all future situations and their faith and loyalty to you will only deepen, as you will have shown that you remained strong during a time of uncertainty and managed to bring together a group of people in a time when isolation and loneliness is affecting us all.