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May 10

How does LIFE build community?

The LIFE community has gone to a whole new level! With the launch of the Mental Fitness Challenge and the incentive trips more people than ever before are ready to get to work and move forward!

One of the most attractive things the LIFE Team offers is community. What is community? Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

The term community has two distinct meanings: 1) A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. The term can also refer to the national community or international community, and, 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment.  A community is a group or society, helping each other.

This is one of the biggest assest the LIFE community offers to its members, “a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. A group helping each other out!”

I recently was able to attend and speak at a LIFE business launch with a few hundred LIFE members excited to learn and move their lives and businesses forward.

This video is just a small part of the LIFE members in Southern Wisconsin that have decided to come together and win in business and in life! There is something very powerful when a group of people learn to succeed as a team. LIFE has created a business that in its very operation begins to restore social capital (community) in a world that desperately needs it. Listen to what Robert D. Putnam has to say about the importance of social capital:

If community exists, both freedom and security may exist as well. The community then takes on a life of its own, as people become free enough to share and secure enough to get along. The sense of connectedness and formation of social networks comprise what has become known as social capital.[4]

Social capital is defined by Robert D. Putnam as “the collective value of all social networks and species (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these works to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity).”[5] Social capital in action can be seen in all sorts of groups, including neighbors keeping an eye on each others’ homes. However, as Putnam notes in Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000), social capital has been falling in the United States. Putnam found that over the past 25 years, attendance at club meetings has fallen 58 percent, family dinners are down 33 percent, and having friends visit has fallen 45 percent.[6]

The same patterns are also evident in many other western countries. Western cultures are thus said to be losing the spirit of community that once were found in institutionsincluding churches and community centers. Sociologist Ray Oldenburg states in The Great Good Place that people need three places: 1) the home, 2) the office, and, 3) the community hangout or gathering place.[7] With this philosophy in mind, many grassroots efforts such as The Project for Public Spaces are being started to create this “Third Place” in communities. They are taking form in independent bookstores, coffeehouses, local pubs, and through new and innovative means to create the social capital needed to foster the sense and spirit of community.[8]

I love that on at least a weekly basis the LIFE Community gathers to learn, share and expand the community! When people are evaluating your community they usually have at least three components:

1) What are the values this group stands for and believes in? The LIFE community is a group that understands that you need to believe in something or you will fall for anything! We share our values and beliefs through audio training, web cast, videos and,  live events where the top speakers in the LIFE community share with members and customers.

2) Who are the people that are part of the community and what are they like? LIFE has weekly opportunities to get around the people involved and get to know them. We have live events every other week where someone can come and associate with other like minded people and build strong relationship and social capital.

3) Can I add value and contribute to this community? LIFE has launched small groups on a bi-weekly based called challenge groups. This is a place where all members can learn great principles and then share how they have or will implement them in their lives. Everyone has something to share to help all of us get better!

In the book Grouped by Paul Adams he shares why we like to talk and share with others:

When researchers have studied why people share, they have consistently found that many do it to help others. This is an altruistic act with no expected reciprocity. For many, it is important to them to be perceived as helpful, and so they try to share content that they think other people will find valualbe. This is especially clear when we see people share information that may not reflect positively on themselves.

The LIFE Challenge groups give people a platform to share from personal experience and help others.

These are just a couple of thoughts on the power of community and what LIFE is doing to restore better ideas and social capital back into our local communities!

Orrin Woodward has published an incredible article on Compensated Communities that explains even further how the LIFE Community is restoring social capital!

God bless,

Dan Hawkins

43 comments

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  1. Steve Sager

    The Challenge Groups will be a fantastic method of communication within the LIFE Community…looking forward to it!!

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      We are so excited for the changes people can make leaning the 13 resolutions in the Mental Fitness Challenge and then be able to talk with other liked minded people who are learning as well.

      1. Steve Leurquin

        The key to community if helping people feel connected, the challenge groups will allow people to be heard in an organization that can make a difference!

    2. dknoff92

      Challenge Groups are a leverage point in the industry! Collectively learning, growing, and leading together.

      1. Matt Mielke

        Exactly right dknoff92! Dan, you did A great job defining what appears to be a big void in our technology heavy culture – the sense of belonging in a contributory way. We definitely feel that way in the community you have created in Southeastern Wisconsin.

      2. Kristina Meinel

        Challenge groups are such a great idea. People can have their input and we can see and encourage others in the growth process

  2. steveleurquin1

    So many people have great things to offer this world. When people’s ideas are heard and those ideas are of value to others they naturally want to contribute more. I think Life Community might be on to something!
    Steve Leurquin

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      We can make a difference, what if people started to have meaningful conversation about topics that matter, not the lastest reality TV show or sporting event! It is time to regain our roots and change culture! Thank you Steve for leading!

      1. dknoff92

        Thats what I love about LIFE and the MFC Dan! A bottom up, grass roots approach — it is the only way something with lasting significance is going to be established with.

  3. Matt Foote

    The LIFE community has made such a huge impact on my own life, and it’s just beginning. I know I’ve got a long way to go yet in my journey and I’m excited to share these same benefits with others.

    1. Diana

      That’s awesome and yes! It’s only the beginning!! Sharing it will not only help benefit others’ lives but also yours by having common-thinking friends and family that support your committment to excellence!

    2. dknoff92

      Way to go Matt! Keep goin’ man, this group has something of value for everyone.

  4. Kristen Seidl

    From an outsiders perspective challenge groups will be so attractive! It’s what people are doing already…associating with friends who have the same interests and passions who share what’s on their heart. We really have no reason not to invite someone to be a part of them! Looking forward to the first one next week 🙂 Thanks for sharing Dan!

    P.S. That’s a pretty FIRED UP business launch!

    1. dknoff92

      Oh absolutely! How many people do you see attending their financial seminars, Bible studies, conflict resolution seminars, etc. Nothing wrong with any of those — our group is a little bit of everything!

  5. Chris Brady

    Great article, Dan, extolling the power the community and how it applies to Team and the MFC! I love that we are able to leverage its power!!

  6. Dave Stadel (@davestadel)

    Many studies of job dissatisfaction show that employees have the perception they have no voice and are poorly communicated to. The LIFE community hears. The LIFE community challenges.

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      Love it!

  7. Tony Klubertanz

    True community is so difficult to come by. I love how accessible this makes a win-win community for everyone!

  8. Jason Bruner

    Excellent post, Dan. These challenge groups are going to be a game changer for letting iron sharpen iron.

  9. kirk birtles

    Dan… Thanks for an awesome post! The Team was fired up in Northern Wisconsin as well. The Mental Fitness Challenge is definitely a game-changer. Thanks for always serving!!! kb

  10. george guzzardo

    Dan, You described the community concept as well as I have ever heard. Great Job! George

    1. Diana

      I agree! It was very well put and I feel blessed to be a part of the community!!

  11. Tim Marks

    Dan

    Thanks for leading the way in building communities!

    Tim

  12. Mike and Emily

    Great post Dan! Community has been a powerful tool to getting better results in life. A person can learn a lot threw others actions and words. Thanks for always leading

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      Thank you for taking up the challenge to become a better you! You are influencing so many other, great job!

    2. Tony Baumann

      Thanks to all the leaders for leading the way so we can all have a better life!

      1. Leadership and LIFE

        I love that we will create a better tomorrow as team! There is room for everyone to have a victory!

  13. Lori Maas

    I am so excited for the challenge groups to begin!!

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      The small groups will be the most powerful piece of our system in the next 5 years!

    2. Diana

      Absolutely! Get ready to see amazing growth in community members as they focus on improving their leadership abilities in their families, workplaces, community and beyond! Fired up!

  14. Carrie

    Very good info, Dan. Thanks

  15. Greg

    Challenge groups have worked wonders for growth in many churches around the world. I think it’s awesome that we’re taking the same format and applying it to growth in all 8 F’s!

  16. Valerie

    The Team community with LIFE has always been an amazing source of friendship, encouragement, and positive energy. With the Mental Fitness Challenge, our community can be open to even more people-to help them learn and apply principles in order to build the life they’ve always wanted! What a blessing!

  17. Keith

    Great post Dan! We love the LIFE community- sharing and growing together is the the way to go!

  18. Valerie

    Awesome post Dan! The TEAM/LIFE community has always been a great source of positive energy and encouragement -now its even easier to share with the Mental Fitness Challenge!!

    1. dknoff92

      and as iron sharpens iron, a grass roots movement occurs. This Life group seems like its going somewhere!

  19. Marjorie

    Thanks Dan! Great post about our awesome community culture!

  20. Jeff Stockhausen

    Thanks Dan and Lisa for leading the way in WI! I am such a huge believer in community. It has helped me personally through some very difficult times in my life and I am over the top excited about the new Challenge groups. There are a lot of hurting people out there who need the love and support of people who really care…this is where true lasting friendships can really begin.

    1. Leadership and LIFE

      You have overcome so much and have a lot of wisdom to offer! Keep up the growth!

  21. Dave Stadel (@davestadel)

    This weekend I talked to a business owner that held his spot in the Life community months back. He embraced life-long learning, studying, and applying of success principles on his own before LIFE so when he heard about LIFE as a concept it was a no-brainer to get on board. Now that the MFC and challenge groups have launched he see’s valuable methodology he can leverage. The challenge group-community aspect is really coming to life for him. He’s decided to drive 3.5 hours to attend our first Challenge group so he meet others on the team and see how to implement it with other business owner he knows in is local area. Leadership inspire leaders.

    Thanks for leading the way Dan!

  22. Chris Koepke

    Many people just want to be a part of something, be involved with a community where they feel welcomed: the LIFE community has that. Its nice to know that there is a communtiy out there having the same common vision, the same type of principles to follow, to help make this world a better place…The LIFE Community!

  23. Emily Hebbe

    Dan, I’m so excited! getting other peoples perspective is crucial for learning our groups strengths!

  24. Gail

    Great post Dan. I can’t wait for the challenge groups to begin.

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