Pamela Slim

How to build your influence and build Communities?

How to build your influence and build Communities?

Pamela Slim

Author, community builder, small business strategist and a former corporate director

About Pamela

Pamela Slim is an author, community builder, consultant, and former Barclays Global Investors corporate director of training and development. Her first ten years in business were spent developing and delivering training programmes for major corporations including HP, Charles Schwab, 3Com, Chevron, and Cisco Systems.

Pam has coached thousands of entrepreneurs as well as small company service providers such as Infusionsoft, Progressive Insurance, and Prezi since 2005. Pam co-founded and launched the Quiet Revolution and the Quiet Leadership Institute with author Susan Cain.

Pam is well known for her books Escape from Cubicle Nation (called Best Small Business and Entrepreneur Book of 2009 by 800 CEO Read) and Body of Work (designated Best Small Business and Entrepreneur Book of 2010 by 800 CEO

Take home these learnings

1) Finding your deeper mission and life.
2) Partnering with the world to curate our transformation.
3) Building your influence in the world.
4) The concept of Maven, connector, and sales.

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Episode Transcript:

00:03 Hello, everyone, welcome back to our podcast, the x months drive, where we bring to you, leaders, entrepreneurs, coaches changemakers. from various walks of life, to share their wisdom, and experiences. This is your host, Gordon arola. And our today's guest is Pamela slim. Pamela is an author of your books, a community builder by heart, a connector, and a coach. She works with thought leaders to help them expand their influence and credibility. Yes, you've heard it right. She's the one for you. In case you would like to build your influence your credibility in today's world, she's a go to person. Let's take a dive and explore what it means to expand your influence, expand your credibility, identify your body of work, and whatnot. Pamela, thank you so much for accepting my invitation. And being a guest here. Thank you. 01:13 Thank you so much for having me, I'm really happy to be here. 01:16 Such a pleasure. And having read two of your books, one is body of work. And the second one is the widest net. I could not wait to get into a conversation with you. Where you're spoken about finding your roots, finding your mission. Identify your key strengths, what you call it ingredients, finding your audience and going for that. Let's take a deeper dive into that. Pamela, you've spoken about finding your mission at your roots. When you're talking about finding your mission and operating from that space, you know, I personally struggled to define that for myself. And I'm sure you would have come across several people who would give their fortune to identify what they care for. So what's your advice to those people like me, who have struggled to find their deeper mission? 02:24 I think part of what I find is troubling for people is that there is a bit of a myth that we only have one deep mission that we can identify our life's purpose, somehow the skies open and the birds start to sing louder. And we, we discovered this one thing that we are put here on earth for. And for some people, that is the experience that they have, or some people can describe from the time they were very little, they knew they were driven to pursue a particular goal or to contribute something for many other people who I've worked with throughout the years. There isn't a singular mission. I think what what the what the emotional desire is, and really what the spiritual desire is, is to spend our life doing things that have meaning and purpose for us where we feel like our contribution is something that is furthering something good in the world. So the creation of something or the change to something. I know I work with a lot of people that are really like creating the new future of maybe systems and structures that are more equitable for people. So when people want to feel that emotional, spiritual connection that my life matters, because my work is contributing to something positive. That's often what it is that we might describe as a mission. In body of work, I described it as roots, plural. And so that the place that I often start to work with people saying that throughout the course of your life, you can have many things that you feel deeply passionate about. That's really okay. You want to look for these places where you feel a sense of strong emotional connection. And strong emotional connection can be something that makes you very angry, where every time you see it, you can just say, this is wrong, something needs to be done about this. And or it's something where you just can't help yourself from being drawn into a particular story or some. I know for me, always from the time I was really little, I was always really drawn into both pursuits of like aspirations and dreaming and really thinking about, you know, how to have an imagination and how to really create things. And I also was really drawn to stories of connection, collaboration and community. And so either one of those emotions and really a whole range in between From being annoyed by something, how many software startup founders have really begun to create a particular product, because they have heard so many people and experienced themselves, that there was just something that was kind of annoying that wasn't being done well. And so, in your pursuit, the thing that's interesting about this, which always makes it a personal and spiritual journey, in addition to a business one is often the things that might disconnect you, from your deep emotional feelings is your personal work that you need to do. And what I found, especially in the early days, when I work with people in corporate who maybe had been in there for a long time, where they were kind of trained to just suppress their emotions, is they needed to do a little bit of what I call throwing out your soul, and allow yourself to feel allow yourself to express what you are really feeling, when you begin to do that in your personal life, then it really does bleed over into your professional life. And that's where you can begin to discover some of these things where you might say, I would really make me feel good if I could help people find work that's more meaningful, or it would really help me feel good if I could create a software to help people schedule meetings more effectively. That's where it begins. And it doesn't have to be some singular epic mission at your root. 06:19 Yeah, you don't one of the assumptions that you have actually made me question is that you don't need to have one cause that you stand for, it could be multi discipline, disciplinary, multi disciplinary perspectives that you can bring in, it could be multi potentialities that you can bring in. And that's where you can get into any one direction. Or you can actually paint the entire canvas for different shades and colors. It's, it has not, it should not be where that will make all the birds sing. And start to chop is my understanding, right? 06:59 That's right. And I understand how it how we can aspire for that. It's kind of like just, you know, wanting just true love and a perfect family situation. And just a perfect work situation, I understand how we have that aspiration. In my experience with all of those things, we're really in really in constant continual relationship with those things that we are creating. And it's about finding emotional resonance with with really feeling a connection of knowing this is something that I'm really curious about, and I could make an impact in. And then being in relationship with that. In the case of work, where when you are building your body of work, when you're contributing thoughts, ideas, tools, to really be addressing this issue, then that's where in that relationship with doing the work, that's where you get that emotional feeling of connection. And that to me is where you know, that you're really on that path where it's in the the rumbling, I think is one of the ways that Renee brown talks about it with the rumbling that you're doing with the work the way you feel deeply connected, the way you get just perplexed by how you can solve a particular problem. It keeps you up at three o'clock in the morning. It is it is a true authentic relationship that you have not just this glamorized, right at one moment you find what your purpose is, and then everything becomes really smooth after that. It is it is an ever improving experience, the more that you begin to tune in and notice what it is that you love to do, and know yourself and know what gifts you have to move that work forward. In my own experience. And with clients. It does get incrementally better each project that you do. But it's not a static thing, because we're not static and the world is not static. 08:48 It's consistently evolving and emerging. You know, I love it. When you're talking about that it's not a static thing that the moment you identify that the life will not be the same. Rather what I'm listening is that it's it's a continual process, the more you feed into that, the more it feeds into your purpose, the more you feed into this passion, the passion feeds into your purpose. You know, also Pamela Pamela, as I'm listening to you what I'm also realizing I think somewhere society and the context that we live in, has played a very vital role in helping us get this assumption that has to be one cause that you stand for, you know, because for as long as I've started to read about purpose, mission statement, intention statement, all the examples that people quote is Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Bill Gates Ratan Tata. And they talk about the mission that they have been living with, without realizing that they would have started from somewhere else. Of course, when Bill Gates was born, I'm sure he did not say that I would like to bring one computer in every house. I'm sure that was not the first statement that he would have made and as He would have started to feed into his talents, his gifts, all the interest in the hobbies that he was blessed with, and he imbibed in himself, that would have fed a lot of stuff like this. And then later on, he declared that purpose. 10:19 That's right. And it is rarely singular. If you look at his experience, anybody's experience that's ever done anything audacious. It always is in relationship to community peers, to the collective of people contributing ideas, and people sharing an interest and a passion for solving particular problems. I think the way we love to narrate the history of business, the history of our personal lives isn't that nice, neat package, right? There's just an individual who has an idea, solely uniquely, that individual with just their soul gifts and talents are the ones that brings it to life, I beg you to show me any significant company today where when you really looked into the history of what was happening, you didn't find a very deep circle of other people who were contributing critical perspectives and momentum ideas that helped maybe that leader to be in their role of being the spokesperson for the idea of having a deep passion and connection. It's not to negate the role of somebody who is a founder, I fundamentally believe that work happens in the collective. And that's part of why I'm really passionate about my latest book, because I think that there's been a lot of mythology that actually contributes to the suffering of folks because they think I need to be this person that has this singular mission, I myself have to be the one that brings it into the world, and understand how to do that, as opposed to having a deep curiosity for solving a particular problem, or connecting to an aspiration for creating something that seems like it's really interesting. 12:01 Thank you, Pamela. In fact, I was wondering, when should you When should I ask this question around influence because you do a lot of work with thought leaders and helping them build their influence and credibility. But having just heard your response, I would love to hear because you're talking about the collective team. Energy, you're talking about collective team consciousness. When that comes together, one idea further explodes, and the company experiences exponential growth. Why am I asking you this? Because several, on several occasions in your book, you've spoken about forming partnerships and protecting ecosystems. Let's take a double click on that. First question. Why is it important for us to form partnerships in today's world? And when you're talking about ecosystem? What is ecosystem? And how can we protect them? 12:58 So the partnerships I think, are when when you look at work that you want to do in the world, one of the perspectives that comes directly from body of work is that the way I define our body of work in our life is everything that we create, contribute, effect and impact throughout the course of our lives. So it's everything, how we are as a parent, what we create in work, how we show up in community, the emotional wake that we leave behind us, as we walk through rooms, and as we walk through buildings. And so with that, as a central focus, I always look at work and leadership and influence in the context of the work that's being created. So with that, when there's any kind of substantial thing that you want to change for those of us in the coaching industry, I think I can safe to say we share a deep belief in the power of transformation, we know and believe otherwise, we wouldn't do what we do, that people are capable of making change. People can absolutely transform their lives, their personal lives, their relationships, their their work lives, they can become better leaders, they can recover from disasters, and come up better and stronger. As that is an example of something if we believe in that deeper power of transformation, what it actually takes for people to make a significant change. There are so many things involved in that change that go far beyond the contributions that you and I could make, even if we were side by side every day working on that problem of how can we help more people transform? Look at all of the different elements that go into transformation? What are people's home environments, like what's going on in their mental state? Do they have supportive circles and peers? Are they moving in a direction where they really understand the opportunities available to them in any significant kind of work that we do, they're often are elements of that work that are essential for the transformation of our clients to get the full promise of what we want to promise to them as business owners or leaders especially, I think it's impossible to deliver all of that ourselves. And that would be for one company, or for one, you know, individual thought leader. So by definition, the way that I look at ecosystems is that we need to be identifying the very best people that we can imagine around the world, who are each contributing from their unique bodies of work. From their thought leadership, I define thought leadership is just your specific perspective on how it is that you think a problem, this problem should be solved. So as you're sharing that unique perspective, you are assembling the other wonderful people who are providing balancing supportive information, resources and support. And that can include companies that are including products that help people you know, people who make apps we know can help people change habits, that assistant transformation, people might attend events, and fly in for, you know, a large conference and get inspired by other people, people listen to podcasts. So I think that partnerships are essential for how it is that we look at the work getting done. And really to also give ourselves the opportunity to focus on that which we do the best, because the area where I find many people get stuck is with the weight of having to deliver the entire promise of the transformation for their client, if they're wanting to, you know, have them change completely into, you know, a much better leader, there are so many elements to that, that are outside of our control, let's say as an individual coach. So that's really the reason why I say we need to be looking at the collective, we need to be curating and helping our ideal customers to find the best resources to solve their problems. 16:56 Beautiful, so well articulated. Pamela, here's my question. Since you're talking about partnerships, I personally come across a lot of organizations where their mission statement is to raise consciousness. Hmm, different organizations talking about raising consciousness, they will talk about bringing teams together, align them, so that we can build something incredible for the world. At the same time, I find these companies competing with each other. What do you think, where's that coming from? two companies with the same mission statement to raise the consciousness However, when they come face to face, they get into the reactive mode, and they are competing with each other. 17:41 I think there are a few dimensions to this, because when you look at often the way in which we are shaped and we are vast, so we are you know, you and I are coming from different continents with different cultural perspectives. And in general, it is we look at the business community and some of the main ways in which we are shaped so that can be a university and Business School, the models that were taught, we look at, really these models of people who we aspire to be, there definitely is a lot of information in in business vernacular about being the top competitor, you know, positioning yourself as the sole expert. As I mentioned, the way we often tell the story of a company is the story of the singular founder, and very often not describing the team that was absolutely essential that was working with with those folks. And so I think from that perspective, there's a difference. In I don't know if you've had this experience in sport, and I used to do martial arts for many years, that was a big passion that I had in my 20s and then in my 40s. But you know, in sport, it could be an academics, where you can feel the difference between being excited to be amongst excellent peers, where you're competing, and you are pushing yourself, you're around people who are just pushing you to absolutely be your very best, and to push yourself way beyond limits that you ever thought possible. But there's a collegial way to do that, which is you really want you know, for everybody to be the best at what it is that they're doing, and understand maybe different journeys that you're on. The difference from that is then saying that it is a zero sum game. And the the ultimate outcome is to be the singular winner. Now I do find it humorous, I choose to look at it from a humorous perspective, when we begin to analyze it from an alignment perspective of a company if you look at some of these characteristics of for example, what it means to be enlightened how it works. Ultimately looking for a goal a promise a mission for a business or an organization to be delivering enlightenment or you know a transformed state of being. If you have, I think by definition, some of these very Competitive processes of saying there's only one right way, my way is the only way, there is no way it's ever going to be in alignment. If you really are defining transformation and enlightenment as being a state of freedom, being a state of connection with others, with other humans with other, you know, elements in the natural world, it doesn't resonate. And I often find it's not necessarily because people are setting out to be, you know, harmful or destructive or anything. But it's that they're using a framework from business that's more in what I call this empire culture that's more about it's all about me, I need to be the one who's at the top of the heap, and show that everybody else is inferior to me, if you're using that business model, while having a mission that's more aligned with connection, love, and freedom. It's, it's not going to feel resonant, it's not going to feel resonant, ultimately, for people who are inside that kind of environment. And in my experience, it's ultimately not going to feel resonant for the leaders who were there, because they're not truly leading from the perspective of the mission of what they're trying to create 21:12 cisely, right. This is so interesting, because you're talking about enlightenment, you're talking about liberation, but at the same time, you're also talking about competition, because from where I'm looking at, when that happens, whatever that that is, right, whether you call it enlightenment, or liberation, or awakening. in that space, there is no other. So you dissolve the concept of fathering. And when there's no concept of othering, there is no competition because for as long as you are winning, I'm happy because I know a part of me is winning, because you are an extension of who I am. But at the same time, but at the same time, the world that we are living in, we are talking about competition, even if the competition is all about raising consciousness. 21:59 Well, it's it's true. And there's a very pragmatic perspective, when you look at any business market, because this is a case where there are companies who have that at the core of their mission, when you are more looking at the work that you do as contributing something extremely valuable to solving the problem that you care passionately about for your customer. This could be delivering high speed internet, or, you know, delivering a better marketing experience. So more companies have visibility, whatever the focus is of your business, when you are in that state of recognizing other folks in your market as being capable people who also are aligned with values, with your values who are trying to contribute to that mission. And you notice, I noticed that you actually end up doing a much better job than I do. Yeah, I have two choices, I can try to take you down or just try to copy everything that you do so that I can eventually overcome you. Or I can say, Well, that was frustrating. Like, I thought I was the expert in that area. But clearly there's somebody who delivers better, what else needs to be done so that I can be contributing my unique speciality, or what are other markets in which if I'm having a hard time competing in this particular space in this market, Are there areas in other countries and other industry verticals, in other segments of the ecosystem, where I could actually take this work and begin to make a big difference in a new way, I think that ends up really pushing us to be in creating a better overall structure for the work that we're collectively contributing to. And I will say it when you look at, let's say, all of the people in the world that might have a similar interest or mission and solving a problem, a differentiator in terms of how you might identify the ecosystem in which you want to participate, that has to have the overlay of shared values. Because Yeah, these guys that that that I just wanted to say it's really important because it does make a difference. I know when I think about identifying other players, other companies, you know, certain coaches, consultants, etc, within within a space, when I am specifically looking to be sharing those resources with my customers, my customers are coming to me because we have a certain agreement that we are aligned and values about how it is that we do business together, and how it is we approach solving problems. So if there's not alignment, if I'm if I come from a particular perspective, and then I introduce a partner that's absolutely demonstrating that they operate from a business perspective, that's against those values. That's where it's going to create discord within my own community. So there I have a very particular perspective about how I like to do business and the kind of business I'd like to grow there. There are other people who operate from a different value set and that is perfectly okay. Because it's a very big marketplace, but that that's an important distinction, I think. 25:04 So when you're talking about that, people would like to operate in a different value system. And also, then you're talking about the people who would like to grow their own Empire. And they would like to do their business, the way they would look at that. And you have your own ways of working and doing business. So what do you think, Pamela? In the current business scenario, what do you think are the changes required for business leaders to strive, grow, and continue to contribute? 25:34 One of the one of the overall wishes that I have, and that I really try to share, especially with more of my clients that might come from, I work with a lot of clients that that run SAS company software as a service companies that serve small business customers. One of the biggest gifts that we've been given here at the Mainstreet learning lab where my husband and I have a really a Community Learning Lab where we're constantly like testing new ideas and meeting with all kinds of business owners. It's just in the power of listening, and reaching out to just connect and participate in places and communities where we might be interested in building relationships. And what I mean by that is, I hear all the time from leaders, you know, yes, we know here in the US, especially we know, we really want to be diversifying our workforce, we realize that we might have, you know, mainly white males that are in positions of leadership, we want to do things differently. So they might say things like that. So we just need to kind of change our messaging or our marketing, maybe show more pictures of, you know, diverse employees in order to attract people to come in the company. And what I always recommend is saying, before you do that, why don't you spend some time going in the communities and the places where maybe you are interested in attracting people from so maybe they're interested in bringing in more black software engineers. And so you might attend just as a quiet, respectful guest, a an association of black software engineers, where you can sit and listen. And notice the dynamic, what's the topic people are talking about? What are the kinds of things that are important, of course, you're going to be going to that event, if you're not from that group, with respect and with permission. But instead of going, for example, and standing on stage and pitching, saying, hey, would all of you come work at my company? What very often happens when you're really looking to build new markets and new connections, as people are saying, well, who are you? Why should I trust you? How could you guarantee that working in your company is going to be something that's going to be a safe emotional experience and a positive professional experience for me, because that's what a lot of research can say is, you know, that it overall environments need to change needs to be redesigned in order to be you know, more inclusive and equitable. So that's just an example. If, before just saying, Let me change my messaging, you spend time out listening to others, or I know it sounds so obvious, but very often people forget to really talk to and listen to their customers, spend time sitting inside the business and watching somebody as they're trying to, you know, set up something using your software. We had a project here with my good friend, Hodge Fleming's who is in Detroit, Michigan. And he does a has a project called rebrand cities. And it's a partnership with Microsoft with I'm sorry, with WordPress, I mentioned them in the in the widest net in the partnership chapter. One of the things that was so interesting as he started to do that project is that we're looking to be bringing more websites and WordPress into communities that hadn't historically had websites. And here in the US, it was something astounding of like 46% of businesses didn't even have a website, we just consider it to be just a standard. So as you had these WordPress developers that were participating with business owners, you know, barbers and graphic designers and people who had, you know, cooking companies, and they came together and they were literally watching them try to log in and use their software, it was so instructional when some of the things they might have taken for granted for people who had just grown up in more of a technical environment, or been in corporate, that had a whole different set of skills. So that I think is something just that it's the principle of listen first. If you're interested in building community and connection, it's going to take longer than you think where you're interested in going into new environments. That's often where this idea of partnerships can be so powerful, because where you might identify people who do have a strong connection with their own community. You can do a lot of learning with that person if they also are interested in connecting their community with other opportunities. But it's a way for you to really have that open, honest, vulnerable conversation with each other until you both feel comfortable and ready to begin to do you know Have more partnerships. And that's, I think that's the part. In general, we do not give enough time at all for recognizing what it takes to get to know somebody to understand their values, to see their values, their values and action. And to understand if it really is somebody, somebody that you want to partner with, I call it the I want to let let's put on the show, kind of like the 1940s, musical comedies that you can see where you and I meet in a conference, we have a great conversation. And then we say, let's, let's create a program together without really having the chance to get to know each other to have conversations to talk about what's your approach to intellectual property, what's my approach to intellectual property, right? That's the way that we actually begin to develop something interesting together, it starts with feeling that sense of connection. And then as you develop it through time is where you begin to really grow, and find out if something is going to be a viable partnership. 31:05 Thank you. So you've not only answered my first question, when I asked you what a leader could do, how a leader could approach the world, so that he or she can continue to strive, grow and expand the contribution do I think you've also addressed? And the question that I had, how can one build credibility and influence in the world and what you're talking about is extremely important to go reach out to your customers and listen, so that you understand what they are looking forward to, from your services from your products, so that you can further build communities, you can build connections? Pamela, you do a lot of work in helping leaders thought leaders build their influence. Just curious, how do you define influence? What is influence? 31:52 I'm so glad you asked, because I've just been dying to answer this particular question, because it's really very related to the perspective of centering both the work itself. So the body of work itself, what you are creating in order to solve a specific problem, or help your customer achieve an aspiration. That is the central focus of I think, what we do as professionals, one of the metaphors that I shared once with body of work, is there some people I know who I work with, who are a bit uncomfortable with saying, I'm really passionate about what I do, and I believe in my product or service, but I just don't want to be one of those people that's constantly out there, talking about how great I am. And in the spotlight. To which I said imagine that you have a mirror that strapped to your forehead, right. And if you could imagine when their eyes on you, let's say people were like shooting light through their eyes to you. To be a thought leader and to have influence those light beams, hit that mirror, and it turns right back around and shines on the body of work of what you are creating influence is simply your ability to make a substantial contribution to improving whatever it is that you care about building, you know, in your body of work. So that by definition, then yes, people might look at you people might you go to a conference where you're speaking about what you're doing, it's really not about you. That's usually the place where most people start to get very tripped up, it doesn't mean that your your contribution doesn't matter. It doesn't mean that you can't absolutely love yourself and appreciate the role that you take. But when you confuse that people are looking to me, Pam, as the influencer is the expert who has the answers, and not me, Pam, the creator, who is constantly looking for ways to contribute to my field. That's That's the difference. And for me, personally, I I do not work with people who are simply looking to increase their ranking to be featured at XYZ conference. And it's just because my work is the work itself. It has to be around the body of work that they're creating. That's when I get really excited when I say we have something here. This is such a valuable piece that we need in order to solve the kinds of bigger problems that we have. And then from that, as an individual leader, you can decide how could you use your unique gifts we all know people who are amazing on stage in roles of influence who are charismatic and there are some people like that who utilize their influence, to be sharing the message of what the work is there. Also are extremely powerful people who influence the work by the strategic way in which they help the work get done, in which they assemble really smart teams to get the word out, and it is not. It's really just not about you as an individual having influence. so profound, that's not what I care about. 35:22 So profound. so profound, Pamela. And what I heard is that creating an influence is all about operating from the essence, that you are without letting your own self come in your way. 35:39 That's it. It has to be about the work, it has to be about the work that will keep you aligned and keep you moving in a good way. If it's just about you and appearing to have all the answers. It's a quick path to suffering. 35:55 So here are my two questions. Let me just let me just first ask you the first one, let me ask you the first one. You know, on one hand, we have got the Donald Trump's of the world. On the other hand, we have Nelson Mandela. We have Elon Musk. We have Richard Branson. We have Steve Jobs. We have Ratan Tata. We have Presley's of the world, we have got Michael Jackson's of the world, we have got Madonna's of the world, we have got Roger Federer's of the world. All of all of them have got immense influence in the world. Here's my question. You can build your influence to satiate your own ego. Or you can build your influence to make a difference in the world. Just curious. Pamela, when you work with individuals, how do you understand ways the other person coming from and how do you handle these two different cases 37:04 I, I listened for it in conversation and to how it is that they often describe what they are trying to accomplish at a particular stage. So the kinds of words that I'll often listen for are where somebody might say, I have spent the last 20 years building this model, I've used it in so many organizations, I noticed that it makes a really big difference. I'm excited about the outcomes, I know that there is more opportunity for this work to go other places, but I'm not sure how it is, you know, to get it out there or I am very well known within a particular area. And I can do really good work and I can connect with customers because they know me within a particular area. But I'm really interested because I know this work could be so powerful in education or you know, in, in a b2b environment or with individuals. And when somebody is describing it that way, it's really using words about the work itself, and very importantly, about the transformation for the people who they're working with. Because if we take into consideration that what it means to influence, and what is the experience of the person being influenced. I am one of my top two values. The first is justice, the second is freedom. So you could probably hear already, as you know me that those we've very much into my worldview into the way that I do the work. I have met so many people who can be absolutely enamored with and inspired by certain people. When they describe what they've done, or what their body of work is, they can be just think it's amazing. When you ask them, how they feel about their own lives, or about how they're implementing the ideas. Very often, they're describing themselves as less than as right I want to I want to continually aspire to be this person. But this person is, you know, the only one that has the answer. And it's, it's so deep when we look at it across so many dimensions in business in spirituality and personal development. I think you and I both have seen there's been much harm by people who are positioning themselves as just being a singular person that has all the answers. To me, when you look at it from the perspective that somebody says, This person is so inspiring, like, I love to be inspired. I love to write love letters to people who I've never met where I say I watched your talk and it was so amazing and transformational, like great job to recognize that. But then to have the agency to say this is the way that I'm internalizing the, these ideas. This is the way that this is active, like useful work that I'm taking and I'm utilizing in my own life and I just have found in general that where you have people who are like very clear about like, this is the only way that you can deliver this, if you're thinking this thought you must just completely erase it, and you must come back around and become this completely different person and act in this way. Very often, it's really in this mode of saying, I am the person who you need to follow, like literally to say, these are my followers, as opposed to saying, This is my community, for home, my life's work, is to make their life easier. And in doing so to get great joy and satisfaction from knowing that I use my life in a way that was very useful. And that made a really positive contribution. And if people think that I'm that I'm a nice person, and they like me, then that's great, it feels so good. There's nothing wrong with getting that that good kind of recognition. But that is not actually what determines my overall well being and happiness, because it's fleeting. It can change, one can make amazing contributions over 40 or 50 years. And something can happen, right? Where all of a sudden, if people's, you know, opinion, might turn a view, then does that mean that your legacy is really not, you know, not real, if it's just about that admiration. So I just I think that's something to really watch, the language we use to describe the work we do and the people we work with, is very, very important. And when you hear things like followers, numbers, and a lot of just the very transactional businesses with an internet marketing, conversions, all of that, I mean, I love it as much as you do, I get fascinated by the back end of how commerce works online. But you can never forget that these are individual people with agency who are investing their hard earned money for some kind of a return with you. And you can't ever forget that they're human beings, they're not numbers. 41:59 So I'm gonna, you've picked up just a very important point. In fact, when you're, when you're talking about followership, and you're talking about number of likes and engagements, and that two special interactions that's happening happening on social media right? Now let's accept it in the world that we are we are living in, it is influenced by social media. And there are so many people who tend to get early success in terms of traction, credibility, reputation followership, number of likes, number of comments, and the status of being on the charts. At the same time. Some other people, they struggle, irrespective of the similar techniques and the platforms that they are present on, irrespective of the fact that the content that they produce, the intentions that they have, is much deeper and more transformative, and is primarily for the good of the overall society. What do you think? What's the difference? That makes all the difference? 43:05 I think it can be a couple of things. One is, it depends on your individual skills and strength. I ran a entrepreneur retreat for about three years with my colleague, Charlie Gilkey, who has a site called productive flourishing. And we refer to Malcolm Gladwell book, the tipping point. And the three types of folks he mentions, a connector, a Maven, and a salesperson as being examples of like strengths and profiles that people might have. That's really like a primary strength, when you look at how it is that you might get something done. So we would often use the example if we were to say, how would I get to the moon, a Maven might begin to do deep research to find out you know, every company who's doing space flights and you know, knowing the details about you know, what, how old you have to be in order to be able to make the trip to the moon, a connector might immediately say, like, Who do I know who works at NASA, where I could just speed up the process by connecting to another person, and a salesperson might think of it in the way of Okay, who would I need to influence in order to, you know, allow me to, to get to the moon. It is, I think, really important for us. Sometimes people have a good mix of all three of those different strengths and approaches. But very often people have really a primary strength. So what I find very often is people who might identify as Maven who had this deep subject matter expertise, they do beautiful deep work, that work that they have is just tied together. It can be beautifully produced and written, they might not have those strengths, to connect with others to get visibility for that work, or they might have a hard time in the way that they're positioning it in the way that they're really describing it to get people to take action. It's one of the most frustrating things. For I know a lot of folks I've worked with I've had the same experience sometimes where some people do Have that gift, they know how to do great copywriting, they know how to present something in a way that just has everybody just excited to be, you know, signing up for a program or purchasing a product. So my recommendation is often really look at what maybe your primary strength is, and your strategy for how it is that you might get that work out into the world will be different given what your strengths are. So if you are somebody who's a really good salesperson, that's kind of a primary thing, you probably want to be partnering with a Maven who can help you to deepen that body of work. Or if you're somebody who just doesn't have enough visibility partner with a connector, who by definition, and the tipping point is somebody that not only loves to connect people with others, but also has a very deep and vast network with those kinds of introductions strategically, that can be something that makes a really big difference. 45:53 Very informative. Yeah, 45:56 it's not to say that we can individually improve as well, right? Sometimes they're, you know, ways that we might work with somebody on our marketing or messaging or positioning. But overall, I find it's, it's about these kinds of partners and compliments you might have on your own team, or that you might partner with on the outside to get your work into the world. 46:17 Very informative, I think, what you spoken about Maven connector, all sales, it absolutely brings a lot of clarity in the way one can look at the business, one can look at expansion and bringing more connectivity, and community in the game. So for me that when you work with individuals, right, since you're talking about, we all are blessed with different gifts and talents, somebody could be amazing, somebody could be a connector, somebody could be a sales sales person, right? At the same time in your book, also, you have spoken about finding your ingredients and finding a medium to showcase your own strengths and gifts. Now there are so many mediums to reach out to your audience, you know, you'll find blogs, somebody is exceptionally good. And in podcasting, there's different social media platforms, there are blogs, and now you have clubhouses as well, and whatnot. Right? What do you how do you help your clients identify the best beacon, the best vehicle for themselves? 47:22 So within the widest net method, I do think it's important where you know, clearly what what is that work that you do, what's that kind of problem that you want to solve. And you do develop your very specific point of view, which could be your thoughts and ideas, your frameworks, your work, but it's important to have a primary vehicle of communication. So that's what I call a beacon. And it's where you look to align your right your ingredients. What I mean by ingredients can be your skills, your strengths, your unique gifts, your scars, sometimes, experiences that you've had that are very valuable because of lessons that you've learned. And when you really align a way in which you like to communicate with a vehicle and a medium that, you know, also connects with that audience that you want to reach. It means that you can develop a powerful kind of showcase of your body of work, so that when people want to get to know you and what you're about, they can see that you look at the difference if you don't really have some kind of primary designation of a beacon, where somebody might say, Well, how do I really what's the best way to get to know you and what you're up to in your work. And you say, Well, you could go a little bit on LinkedIn, if you want to know about what's happening personally, we can connect on Facebook, I write a you know, curated newsletter once every three months on email, and then occasionally do a podcast on different topics. Already, people are confused as to really where they can find that central place that is really a beacon for your thoughts and ideas. So that getting the right mix is is a is an important thing for people. Because while we might know that despite all of this amazing, these amazing channels for social media, email still remains the primary way that is the best way to stay in contact with people, even though a lot of people get overwhelmed. It actually is, you know, a better, more consistent way to connect with people. But some people really, really dislike writing, it just that would just be torture for them to be constantly, you know, focusing their beacon on their email newsletter, because it's something that's really not aligned with her ingredients, you have two choices. If you find that you're odd, that is the best kind of beacon for your audience, then you would need to hire somebody who did resonate with your particular point of view, who is able to capture it, but would actually do the writing for you, as you know, as a vehicle. For somebody in a larger company. a beacon could really be the beacon that you have for that particular business so that people would really know what you're about, maybe through a company blog, or maybe it was You know, it can be a social media satellite, it could be something like Tick Tock or Instagram or Facebook, the danger there, as we've seen very clearly is you do not own that particular place. And so people get kicked off those different platforms. And you can do a lot to really build up a connection, a community there. And it can be, you know, taken away. So I personally recommend either doing something like choosing to have a newsletter, or it could be a blog, I mean, the old days when I grew up in 2005, when I created my blog, my first blog escape from Cubicle Nation, it was a much less crowded market, we didn't have social media, it was just in the very beginning of things. And so there was a lot more visibility, for me personally, was the way that I really built my platform, it's how I got my first book deal. It was a whole different world. Now I think, we look at things like podcasts, or very well produced video shows, and that is something that people can choose as a primary beacon from that, then you can be strategic in having bits that go out on the other define social channels. And when you're clear about your audience segments, it doesn't have to be that you have, you know, 15 social media satellites, usually, there are two or three primary ones, we really focus a lot of attention and energy for most b2b companies. It's LinkedIn, you know, for those more lifestyle brands, that tends to be something like Instagram or Tiktok. 51:28 Make sense? You know, and as a thought leader, what do you think? What is the best way to nurture your communities apart from email? How can you, how can you continue to add value to your community that you're building? 51:43 There, there are a couple things. For me it is in looking at the strategic way in which you do use social media. And when you identify, really the places where your community tends to gather, it is providing insight updates, you know, not every piece of content has to be something that is, you know, a long article that takes a long time to write. So there's you continuing to share thoughts and ideas, but very, very important as well, that I do all the time is to share the work of your community. When you have a platform, it's really important to be sharing the work of others, when you look again, that the purpose of what you're trying to do is to contribute to the thriving of your community to the solving of problems, you can be highlighting, oh, this is this great company that provides this particular software product that will be so helpful for you as you're going through your transformational journey. Listen to this amazing coach, they have this podcast, which is going to be so helpful for you. Not everything has to be just about you and your own thought leadership. Because your thought leadership is related to you, sharing ideas about how to solve the problem that you're passionate about solving. And of course, you have your own ideas, but then you can be sharing others. And to me, that's really been my experience the last 15 years building community. It's so funny, because here we've been talking about not you know, having an empire and being a cult leader at all. But one, one funny term that some of my folks use is the family. And what that means is how when they meet meet people through me, maybe they attend one of my events, and they meet other peers, like through an event that I have, or like on my blog or something like that, they will say I met through the family. It's not a cult, don't worry. But to me, it's the highest compliment. Because I'm doing a good job of assembling groups of really amazing people together, we're doing great things and where they get excited, and they go off and do work together. And I could I could if we had another hour tell you hundreds of cases in which people have built companies together and joint done initiatives and met got married and just many of the different ways this community connects. That's a way to make sure that you're really nurturing the overall community, not just your own. And I think that just creates a better feeling. It's a little less pressure on you. But in the places where you need to show up and do your thing. You do your thing like be the very best that you can at creating that content. Those leadership assets. I feel like that's our own individual challenge and really is related to our craft. 54:22 Yeah, I'm Thank you so much, Pamela, no doubt people call you connector. No doubt they call you a community builder. For me, it was an amazing conversation. Thank you so much for being on this podcast. Pamela. Great learning. huge respect for you. Thank you so much. 54:40 Thank you so much for having me. I really love the conversation. 54:45 Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure you would have loved the conversation as much as I loved it. My key takeaways to talk about to start with is what is my body of work. What is it that I'm blessed with some gifts Some talents, what are those ingredients that could help me to share my message with the world? How can I build a community that can continue to thrive? And of course, I cannot forget the great learnings that I got from Pamela. Or your Maven, are you a connector? Or are you a salesperson, and forget not to share the work of your community as well. Thank you so much for having all the patience to listen to this podcast. I look forward to interact with you again. please do feel free to write to me and share your learnings from this wonderful conversation with Pamela. Thank you so much, once again on the show by ex monks drive. This was your host corvara stay safe. Stay tuned. Thank you.

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