The First Thing Leaders Need to Do

Jann FreedLeading Leave a Comment

Social isolation is a killer!  I am intrigued by how so many people feel lonely at a time when we are supposedly more “connected” than ever.  I am pleased to share my recent publication in Training Magazine.

One of my main leadership messages lately is this:  Leaders need to build community in the workplace as it is hard to trust people you don’t know.  And trust is critical for getting work done and goals accomplished.

Robert Putnam told us years ago in his book Bowling Alone that many people are lonely and there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  If it is true that people are lonely and social isolation is a leading cause of death, then leaders need to realize how investing time, money, and energy into building community will pay off now and in the future.  To learn more about this topic and how to build community, please read my recent publication in Training Magazine.

Since I blog about leading and sage-ing (and the most important person to lead is yourself), I found this story by Next Avenue fascinating.  As we gain in years of life experience, our circle of friends naturally shrinks (death, move away, retire, relationships change).  We have to work harder to increase our friend circle and it helps to have friends of various ages, but similar interests.

Have you heard of meetups?

Similar to online dating, people use an online service to connect with others with similar interests.  I know of a single woman in NYC, a couple in Michigan, and a few people in Italy whom have become great friends because of a meetup focused on skiing.  This group has been getting together annually for a ski trip in Italy because of the help of a meetup group.  Read here to learn more about how meetups work.  There is no reason to ski alone!

How could joining a meetup be helpful to you or to others you know?  

How well are you building community in the workplace?  

PS:  I took this photo of an eclectic group who gathers every Thursday in Bryant Park in NYC to have a tea party with real dishes and wonderful food.  How fun is that for building community!  They welcomed me, but I was too busy taking photos.  We had a great conversation.