It's Do or Die. The Journey Through Failure.
It’s no secret that I love Super Users and Super User Leaders. Yep, that's me on stage, now that's love! I've literally invested everything to support them. Hmmm... that's a post for another day.
Let me start by saying I've failed.
OK, I know that's a bit strong, but I tend to be pretty hard on myself. So before you lean in to help me feel better and tell me I didn't, just know that I have a very healthy relationship with the word fail.
If you’ve been keeping up with me, you know that in 2013 I decided to act on a vision I had for many years, to create a member community for Super Users and Super User Leaders. Since then, we've connected many people and provided tons of value, BUT we just didn't provide a collaborative and engaging community outside of events.
I really imagined we could have a community with a SUPER GREAT member experience, one that would match the passion and dedication that I've always witnessed in Super Users and Super User Leaders, unlike any other group. I failed to make this happen.
I agonized over how to make this happen. Many were telling me they wanted this community and that is was much needed, but over and over the word "how" tortured me. That little bitty word packed a big punch.
We were at a do or die inflection point. This is where my relationship with the word fail comes in... it brings out grit in me! Something like, "Stop spinning , pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and get to work. Get uncomfortable, smack, smack."
We knew we needed a major shift. I knew it, Ashley knew it, the Leader Board and Executive Advisory Board knew it. We needed real transformation, but how? Arghhh, that word. We couldn't just keep trying stuff, hoping it would work... it wasn't..
So guess what... Ashley and I decided to do something radically different.
Wow, what a journey the last six months have been!!
Ginger: "OK, let's look at the root of what we are really struggling with, and go fix that."
Ashley: "Well, haven't we been trying to fix that... whatever 'that' is?
Ginger: "True, and so we probably need some help, someone who is not blinded by our blind spots, someone completely out of our space, maybe someone who will scare us. What type of help do we need?"
Ashley: "I'm going to do a little research and get back to you."
Ashley: "Hey, I found this guy that's an expert in building engaged memberships. He has a company with a whole methodology and model for doing this. It looks very different so I'm not sure it will be a fit."
Ginger: "That sounds really interesting. If it's not a fit, maybe that means it's exactly what we need. Check them out and let me know if you think we should take a deeper look."
Ashley: "I checked this out and I think you're going to be super excited! I watched a video and in that video he talked about a few things you should never do with a community. Guess what, we are doing all of them 🙁 ! Go take a look at this and let me know what you think."
Ginger: "Wow, I am really excited about this! Let's invest some money in you learning from these experts. I really want you to dive in deep and be the perfect student. I want to be informed, but I don't want my "curse of knowledge" for how we've been doing things to influence you away from the recommendations, templates, and model you are learning."
And that began the journey of transformation. What was the journey like? Well, all my hair fell out and I chewed off all my fingernails. Ok, not really. Here are some insights:
I live in the world of change, having led many companies and a gazillion people through many changes. I’m not talking about little penny changes, I’m talking about big change impacting many people at once. I LOVE being in the middle of chaos and working to bring order. I THRIVE on change, or so I thought.
When it came to my own change of something I had created, well, I learned it's a whole new ballgame. Darn, change is hard sometimes. I got a dose of my own medicine ;). Some of you who know me well are cackling at this, or possibly falling on the floor laughing!
Thankfully Ashley was there to hold my hand and lead me down the path. Ummm, OK... confession time, she really had to kick me down the path, sometimes she was dragging me down the path, and sometimes she kicked me off the path, LOL! I'm not going to lie, she possibly hung up on me a time or two during heated discussions... well deserved I might add.
Holding her hand and with the support of our Executive Advisory Board and Leader Board, I jumped headfirst into transformational change.
We invested in Ashley joining that program, working with one of the leading membership experts to take our community from super-wanna-be to TRUE SUPER. Here's the kicker... I had to take a backseat, I had to trust Ashley to chart the course with her experts. There were definitely times when I felt like things were going to fall apart and maybe I was too.
Well guess what happened next?
We completely re-imagined, re-vamped, re-aligned and re-designed our member community from the ground up. I credit Ashley with being the great student, keeping me advised at just the right level, and keeping me an arms length away from the details so that I didn't derail the transformation by trying to strong-arm her into doing it the same old way.
Introducing... the leaderlab!!! WOOOO HOOO! Yep, I'm excited!
I didn't see the new community platform until the week before we invited our Leader Board members to come in, kick the tires, provide great feedback, and prepare to bring in our existing members. Yep, a SUPER BIG dose of trust. This is not for the faint of heart.
So now what?
As of this post we are in the middle of bringing over our current members and preparing for our official first launch! Woohooo!!! I am very excited and still a bit nervous. Remember, this is do or die.
I can't say for certain that this will work but I do have a ton of hope, and I am SUPER grateful for the journey and all the support we have received.
What I do know is that we are now laser-focused on our audience, Super User Leaders. This focus is huge! It removes the noise of trying a bunch of stuff and throwing it out to a bunch of people hoping that will work. I can now focus my energy on bringing great content, connections, and engagement to our audience. The amount of value a Super User Leader can bring to a company is huge. BUT, they need care and feeding, and a strong member community can provide this.
During this formative first year, we will need members who engage. We call this CLICk, Connecting with others, Learning from others, Influencing the value that the Community provides, and Contributing to others and to the Community. Our transformed Community and platform provides the process, tools, support,and passion for doing just that.
Want to get on the wait-list for our member launch? Our first one opens 9/22 and only stays open for a week. When it closes, we won't open membership back up until . Click here if you don't want to miss out.
If our Community is right for you, we welcome you with open arms. Come check us out. But bring your super game gear!
If our Community is not right for you, are you wishing it was? We get that we are not for everyone, remember we are laser focused on Super User Leaders. I would be grateful if you would share our story and reach a Super User Leader who needs our Community, or even a company leader who knows instinctively that a Super User Network is good for their company but they just don't know how to make it happen. There's help now!
So... what do you think of our journey? I would love to hear from you with thoughts, ideas, your words of wisdom, and encouragement, because our journey has truly just started and journeys are made easier and more joyful with friends!
"One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals." -
"The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, imagination, and resources of its people." - Ernesto Sirolli
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." - Margaret J. Wheatley
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - Francis of Assisi