Reflection Friday: The Value of Community

December 2, 2022   |   Julie Diamond

James Clear, an author and habit expert, likes to talk about how context affects our daily habits. He says that people who have more willpower are in environments that tempt them less. If keeping to your good habits (or avoiding bad ones) means constantly fighting against friction in your environment, you’re losing energy that could be used towards your goals. 

To us, your environment includes the people around you day in and day out.

We’ve all heard the saying: you are who you surround yourself with. And while it can feel like a corny personal development quip, we strongly believe in the value of community—especially in the workplace. Group expectations and norms strongly influence which habits we find attractive and which ones we find unattractive, therefore determining which habits we stick with. 

We love this Atomic Habits excerpt highlighting why community is so important:

“Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the tribe. It transforms a personal quest into a shared one. Previously, you were on your own. Your identity was singular… When you join a book club or a band or a cycling group, your identity becomes linked to those around you. Growth and change are no longer an individual pursuit. We are readers. We are cyclists. The shared identity begins to reinforce your personal identity. This is why remaining part of a group after achieving a goal is crucial to maintaining your habits. It’s friendship and community that embed a new identity and help behaviors last over the long run.”

Sound familiar? Well, we created Leaderlab deliberately with community in mind, creating cohorts of colleagues to help each other achieve their goals, and live and work as their best selves. 

Your circle of influence doesn’t directly dictate your actions, but it does influence them, so we encourage participants to stay together after the program is over, to create tribes in their workplace, and to surround themselves with others where their desired behavior is normal behavior.

In fact, we’ve found that long after the program is over, cohorts stay together, because, like Clear says, “remaining part of a group after achieving a goal is crucial to maintaining your habits.” As you transition your learnings into your work, it won’t stick unless you have people inside your organization who can help you implement your newfound knowledge into the environment—an internal “gang” of fellow learners, interested in evolving, that empowers you and energizes your new learning.


Reflection Questions

As you think about your environment, habits, and community, reflect on the following: 

  • What’s your context? What does your daily environment look like, whether at home or work?
  • Who is in your circle of influence? Are you sinking or rising to the level of your group?
  • Which habits and behaviors does your circle support? Are they habits and behaviors that you value and hold in the highest esteem?
  • Based on your answers, who else should be in your circle—and, perhaps, who should be removed? How can you create an even stronger circle to amplify your best tendencies and minimize your worst?

As you likely know, the Leaderlab is a very specific program that grows your self-awareness, helps you work on your triggers, and teaches you how to show up effectively with your personal power. If you feel these muscles have weakened a bit since your cohort last met, reach out to the people in your group or other alumni, or consider giving your colleagues a loving push to join one of the Leaderlab cohorts so you can have close allies and helpers with you on your path. 

We’d love to hear about your circle of influence and how you value community in the workplace. Chat with us on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter, or email us at [email protected]!