Shana Lynn Bresnahan: In this one, I'm gonna really encourage you all to raise your hand and share your voice. So this next pillar of a thriving community is culture. Culture.
This is so key. To creating a sense of belonging in your community. Seth Godin said this quote, he said, people like us do things like this. Who are people like us and what do people like us do? That's the question, right? That's the question. And it's really important because throughout our entire life we walk into communities of people to rooms of people, and we immediately start scanning the room and wonder how we're gonna fit in.
What do I need to do to fit in here? Because it's just human nature to want to be accepted. It's human nature to want to know how to fit in, and we need to make that really clear for our community. And so oftentimes when I talk with people about culture, they know it's important, but how many of you are like, I don't know how to define it.
Like I don't know how to create it. I just think it happens. We're gonna get really specific about the three things that we need to be able to answer in order to define a culture. And I will say this. There are parts of culture that you will define and create. And then when you have a thriving community, it will develop aspects of culture on its own.
And you get to decide what seeds of culture you're going to nurture cuz you want to see more of that. And then what seeds of culture you want to cut out and squash like weeds because you don't wanna see it if you're not careful about it, about what you want to create. Your community will create a culture for you.
Because they're humans, they will, and you may not like what that culture is. So you've gotta be ready to be a leader and help create and facilitate and nurture a culture that you wanna see. So how do you get really clear on what that culture is that you wanna see? There's three things we're gonna look for.
The first thing that we wanna define are our beliefs. This isn't like your religious beliefs, your political beliefs, anything like that, depending on your community, it may be. But what do we believe to be true about the world? What do we believe to be true about ourselves, about our community, about what's possible for our community?
I heard some of this come across and when some of you all were sharing your purposes, right? I could tell ooh they're putting some belief statements in there. But let me give you this example. When I was in a sorority in college, which much to my dismay, I don't know how I ended up in one.
I swore I never would, but I did when I was in that sorority, there were core beliefs. That you need to be bought into in order to fit into that culture. So it was a sorority that was a faith-based sorority. So there was a common belief there. There was a belief that in order to become a contributing member of society, you needed to work hard in school and good, get good grades.
So that was a belief for us. Is that your work ethic in school? Impacted your academic performance, which was important. There was a belief that we needed to give back. We needed to contribute. So there were required hours of community service, and we also had beliefs about other people. Some people talk about building communities around enemies.
We, you have a common belief about the theys of the world, the other people of the world. We had common beliefs about some of the other sororities on campus. So you wanna take some time to say what do we believe to be true about the world? What do we believe to be true about our community? What do we believe to be true about what's possible for people in our community?
There's lots of questions you can ask around those beliefs. Once we define those beliefs, we're gonna get really clear on behaviors. So people like us do things like this if we believe these things to be true. These are the behaviors we expect, right? If we believe that every human deserves respect, then there are certain behaviors we would expect of our community.
If we believe that hard work produces results, then the behavior we would expect is that people are taking action in the content that they're consuming, and they're doing the work to make the progress, right? If we believe. That what you prioritize is what gets growth and what scales in your life and in your business.
Then the behavior we would expect of our community is that they're blocking off time to do the work that our community is teaching them, right? There are behaviors that we expect, so things we want them to do, and then the other thing is the boundaries. We're gonna have all of this, we better have some boundaries in place.
And I know this makes a lot of people a little squirmy in their skin, which is fine. But here's what's true about us. We need boundaries. We need structure. We function within structure because without boundaries, I don't feel safe to move and go and do. And so I do nothing, right? Because I don't know what's expected of me.
I don't show up. So these boundaries are really important. And there's a philosophy that I share with people that it can be hard because if you're here, you love people, and you're a community builder, and I get it, and that this is gonna be hard for you to internalize, but when I say it, you're gonna get it.
You're not gonna like it, but you're gonna get it. Your job is to do what is good and what is best for the community as a whole and not the individual. Your job is to do what is best for the community as a whole and not the individual. And this can be really hard cuz you may set some really clear boundaries in your community as to the things that you will not allow to happen because of your beliefs, because of the kind of culture you're trying to create.
And when that happens, and you need to uphold those boundaries. It's gonna not feel good because there's a human that you may need to look at and say, this is our culture. You knew what you were getting into when you joined. We've had this conversation before. This is no longer a place for you. And that's okay.
It is okay. Because remember, your job is to do what is best for the community as a whole and not that individual. There is a community for that person. It's just not yours, and that's okay. So I want you to know this about boundaries. They are hard, but they are good and they are healthy and they will make the difference in your community thriving.
And we'll talk about that in just a minute. So I would love for you all a couple of you all to just raise your hand and I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about how you see these things maybe playing out in your community. Cuz here's what I find is that oftentimes you already have a culture.
You just haven't written it down and defined it yet. How many of you would say that your community already has a culture? It already has some of these things in it. You just haven't written it down. But when you write it down, now you and eventually your team, if you don't have one yet, you will now eventually you and your team, you can pour water on this culture and make it even stronger as you nurture and cultivate it and as you protect it.