At this moment, wherever we turn, we find reflections on the importance of community and coming together to share creative experiences, be it the pink-hat wearing women banding together to support equality, the burgeoning Hygge movement making its way from Denmark or stories about the positive health effects of creativity in our later years. What I believe this reveals is that we are rediscovering the value of coming together to create, to share and, most importantly, to better understand ourselves and the impact we have on others.
As I recently sat on a rainy Southern California afternoon in a group learning to crochet, I was reminded of important leadership lessons. It was an intergenerational group, coming together ostensibly for the joy of creating. Yet as the afternoon unfolded, it was clear we were there for something so much more. We were there to be in community, to share, to listen and to be seen—without judgment of others or ourselves.
When we authentically express ourselves in community we are taking the first and most important step as a leader: to be real and to share our talents with those around us. When leaders are rooted in what they uniquely have to offer the world, their power is intrinsic and unassailable. In creative community we also have the opportunity to easily share it and to revel in the gifts of others.
Leaders know who they are and what they have to contribute to the world, and it’s in the safe intellectual, emotional or creative space of community that we learn important lessons about ourselves. Therefore, it’s in communal spaces that we learn to live our leadership. Taking our leadership into the world to address issues can sometimes feel daunting and by expressing our leadership in our communities we strengthen these skills in a nurturing environment.
If you are interested in beginning to create change in the world, take an easy first step by finding opportunities within your existing communities. Whatever the setting or the activity, it can be a powerful start to becoming comfortable being who you are and freely sharing it with others.