14 September, 2013

Starting A Neighborhood Watch: Make Sure Your Leaders Have Both The Communication And The Empathy Genes

"A crowd is a tribe without a leader.
A crowd is a tribe without communication."

As my regular readers know, I often recommend Seth Godin's Tribes - from which the above quote is borrowed - to people who don't have the communication gene and don't understand why you can't start anything until you create a way for people with a shared interest to communicate with each other. The basic message of Tribes is that whoever wants to lead - turn a mere crowd into a tribe - must figure out how to get the future tribe members to communicate with each other.

If what I have said above doesn't resonate with you, I strongly urge you not to try to be a leader in your neighborhood watch. The famous evangelist, Dwight Moody, was once asked what he considered to be his greatest accomplishment. The asker expected some recounting of souls saved at some protracted meeting but instead D L Moody told the asker that his greatest accomplishment was persuading a great number of unqualified people not to enter the ministry. I'm doing the same thing here. I'm trying to prevent people who don't have the communication gene not to start a neighborhood watch. Find someone else. 

To grow a successful Neighborhood Watch you have to leave the witness protection program and step out into the light and make yourself easy to find. Start a Facebook group (not a page) where your tribe can talk to each other. Start a Linkedin group. Start a website. Open a free Twitter account. Start a free blog on blogspot or some other free blog hosting site. 

Some so-called Neighborhood Watch leaders don't return phone calls, don't answer email and don't monitor the websites and other online platforms they've created. These people clearly lack both the empathy gene and the communication gene and should not be leaders in their Neighborhood Watch. 

And most of all, knock on every door in your defined Neighborhood Watch area and collect the names, email addresses and cell phone numbers of every human you can.

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