"When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real." - Charles Duhigg, Author, The Power of Habit
They are able to effortlessly attract groups of people who are highly motivated, who happily collaborate without constant struggles for control, and who help each other without having to be asked. They can lead people who are engaged, excited.
They establish a noticable sense of community, while accomplishing their goals.
So, why can't you?
Do you feel worn out from relentlessly working to keep people engaged and responsive? Some people will get involved, but only if you keep reminding them. Newsletters, meetings, even personal emails — you'll do anything it takes to keep their attention, right?
Do you get frustrated when people just don't seem to "get it", in spite of your best efforts to cheerlead and get people excited? You might even be wondering, "Maybe they're just a lost cause?"
I bet you feel like it's impossible to understand what people really want. You've heard that "culture" is the main attraction, but what does that even mean? Is it the way people dress? The music they like to listen to? The styles or designs they prefer? The way they prefer to communicate?
When you do get people together, do you find yourself constantly having to push people in the right direction, and worse, find them resisting your direction? I bet it feels like nothing would even get done (or done right) if you weren't in the room.
You enjoy the good feelings of helping people when they need it, but are starting to notice the bad feelings that come along with "needy" people keeping you from doing the work you really care about.
And as if that wasn't enough stress, you've got your own goals to achieve beyond growing the group — metrics that other people in the organization don't care as much about as you. It's like you're being pulled in two directions at once — the people in "charge" don't always see eye to with everybody else. Who are you supposed to answer to?
You know that leading can be fun, exciting, and even inspiring...but only if you can manage to get past these challenges.
No, I didn't think so.
The problem is that we dream about leading people one of two ways:
Unfortunately, neither of these dreams are anything like reality.
Wouldn't you love to flip a magic switch, and you suddenly everything became easy and natural, just like you'd dreamed?
You can learn how to:
Believe me when I say that these results are not achieved by magic. These results are achieved by understanding the science of what motivates people - what really makes them move.
Dan Pink is a 4 time NY Times best-selling author on the world of work. In his book Drive, he explains the science behind the three biggest factors of motivation that are shaping the most innovative and collaborative organizations in the world. The three factors are: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
The leaders who learn how to tap into these three factors are the ones that seem to have "superpowers". When they lead, they use a combination of skills and habits that turn peoples' internal motivations into action, innovation, growth, and success.
With these skills, you can build a community anywhere.
There's a common set of skills and habits among the savviest community managers, team leaders, and corporate executives. If you've ever been led by one, you might recognize some of these traits:
Is this how you lead?
Without these skills and habits, you find yourself spending too much time convincing and reminding. You stay awake at night guessing and worrying. You spend more energy fixing than making.
And even when you do enjoy a win, it’s too easy to misattribute factors of your win.
Success isn't repeatable unless you know why you won. Do you want to know how to consistently win at leading a community of people to growth and success?
Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia:
"Alex Hillman and the team at Indy Hall are true leaders within Philadelphia's entrepreneurial community, helping establish this city as an emerging hub for innovators, founders and creators. We're excited that they're taking what has worked in Philly and using it to help people in other cities achieve similar success. If you're looking to build a community, these are the folks to learn from."
Chris Messina, co-founder of the coworking movement & creator of the Hashtag - San Francisco, California
"Alex is one of the primary reasons that the coworking community exists and has grown into a thriving, global phenomenon. His contagious enthusiasm has infused others with the courage and drive to start their own spaces, and his leadership and stewardship at IndyHall serves as the model for what a successful community looks like."
I didn't always know what it took to lead and grow amazing communities like Indy Hall and the global coworking community. I've had to figure a lot of it out, step by step, and thankfully I've had some really smart friends and mentors (including Chris, above) to inspire and guide me.
Even then, I've had to try and experiment - and not all of my experiments were successful. I've read, studied, and researched my ass off in addition to my daily practices.
Having worked directly with dozens of organizations and their communities around the world, I've gotten to see the patterns of success...but not without also seeing the patterns of failure.
Here's a fun statistic for you: Exactly 0% of the people I've ever worked with intentionally tries to be an ineffective leader.
Even leaders with the best of intentions let things go off the rails more often than they don't, and by the time anybody notices, it's too late. Why is that? Here are a few of the reasons that I've noticed on my own, and others that I've found through research:
If none of these problems plague you, or you already have a foolproof battleplan for working through them then congratulations. You're already a top-percentile leader and don't need my help.
I've also got a totally free weekly email newsletter with insights, stories, and other valuable "tricks of the trade". In addition, you'll be the first to hear about other courses, workshops, and learning tools before anybody else, and you'll even find out about discounts when they are available.
Sign up & get free community builder tips and be the first to know about future workshops.
Which means you need to start by getting honest with yourself: you're already busy and you something to change something now. Having one place to learn everything I know now about leading and growing communities — instead of spending years piecing it all together on my own — would have saved me more time (not to mention anxiety) than I even know how to tell you.
That's why I created the Community Builder Masterclass along with a couple of the community leaders that I respect the most. We've been working together to share our combined years of experience to help smart, busy people like you "flip a magic switch" and learn to lead like you need to.
The Community Builder Masterclass is a 5 week online course conducted completely over email, so you can participate from anywhere. The program is designed to be practical and actionable for you, immediately changing the way you lead and build your community.
The Masterclass guides you through the exploration of the communities you're already a part of to help you understand why some of leaders and their groups succeed while others fail.
By the end of the Masterclass, you'll be able to:
The course is a totally hands on experience. In addition to receiving lessons and exercises every couple of days, you'll join 24 other community leaders like yourself in receiving personalized expert coaching and support from the Masterclass team including myself and Adam Teterus from Indy Hall, and Tony Bacigalupo of New Work City.
Each class is kept small so that everyone can get the help they need.
Still not totally sure? Go ahead and download a copy of the Masterclass lesson "You, the Student" totally free and start learning what makes the difference between gathering people and building a vibrant community.
Alumni of the Community Builder Masterclass can speak to the impact it's had on their work with more authority than I can, so here's what a couple of them have to say:
"The Masterclass made me really examine my assumptions, and has completely changed my perspective and approach. Not just for one project but EVERYTHING I am doing. One of the best things I've ever done and can't recommend Alex's course enough."
- Libby Sander, The Future of Work Project - Gold Coast, Australia
"What I'm getting the most out of in this class is a deep understanding why successful communities are successful, why others aren't, and how to apply that to my own work."
- Nick Eubanks
"I highly recommend it - really powerful stuff for building our communities."
- Mark Headd, Chief Data Officer - City of Philadelphia, USA
These are just a few of the dozens from around the world who have already taken the course.
1. You'll get a copy of our new business book, "The Business of Community", totally free when it launches.
Bonus Value: $49
2. You're invited to re-take the Online Masterclass again in future sessions at for no additional charge. In fact, I encourage you to continue to "sharpen your tools" and return to experience the updated curriculum and expert coaching again any time the online course is being offered.
Bonus Value: $950+ EVERY time you retake the course for free
3. Along with your seat in the Community Builder Masterclass, you'll be invited to a private Masterclass Alumni Discussion List, a growing and global network of Masterclass graduates who are applying the Masterclass principals of community building every day.
Bonus Value: Priceless.
Also, a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. If I can't change your way of thinking about community building or give you new tools for more consistent success, I'll give you a 100% refund so long as you've actively participated in the class and done the homework. I care about your success more than anything else.
The Community Builder Masterclass is currently in session, and the next course available will be announced soon on our mailing list. Sign up below to the first to find out (and save with early bird pricing).
-Alex & the Community Builder Masterclass Team
Alex Hillman is the co-founder of Indy Hall in Philadelphia, one of the worlds oldest and most respected coworking communities. After hours, you're likely to find Alex watching bad movies or TV reruns. Like, Pauly Shore bad. His blog is at dangerouslyawesome.com.
Tony Bacigalupo is the Mayor of New Work City, another globally respected coworking community and the first coworking space in Manhattan. After hours, you're likely to find Tony practicing or performing Karaoke, another passion besides community that he shares with Alex. His blog is at happymonster.co.
Both Alex & Tony write, speak, teach, and consult with individuals and organizations around the world on community, corporate culture, and business & entrepreneurship.
Adam Teterus is the "point man" of Indy Hall, working alongside Alex in the recent years of developing the coworking community. His fresh perspective adds diversity to Alex and Tony's seasoned outlook, but don't mistake his newness to the industry for a lack of experience. After hours, you're likely to find Adam with his nose a comic book.
Have a question about the course? Interested in a group discount? Want hands-on instruction for your team, company, or conference?
Drop us a line, we'd love to talk. Email email@example.com.