One key component of true community involves pursing champion connections. Pursuing champion connections means investing intentionally in relationships that have the potential to become strong alliances of support and mission. On the inside of your organization, you’ll want to begin by selecting a couple of people on your leadership team that you know are loyal to you. Begin intentionally investing in those relationships, and then you can expand the size of the group from there.
For example, in my company, the way we began to transform our culture from rigid and internally unkind (even though we were doing great work for our clients) was through a powerful champion connection with a young leader on my team. Santiago wanted to win. Along with the rest of the team, he was frustrated with the lackluster performance of the company. He could see what I saw—that our company could be a great company.
I selected Santiago, my former partner Scott, and another young leader as my core leadership team to turn the company around. And turn it around they did. The company went from unprofitable to extremely profitable, and over time a strong sense of community and pride developed. Today, the company is like a happy, functional family. We have true community.