Since the beginning of the Engage Connector Program, Jonathan Goldstein, Founder of Narrow Gauge Ventures has been a trusted and always dependable Connector. It is always humbling to see busy local leaders take the time to not only meet with someone new, but takes the time to follow through with connecting them to others.
While some people do it as a way to promote themselves or to feel a sense of accomplishment, Jonathan sees the time and energy he puts into being a connector as being all about the community.
“If you’re helping interesting people interact with one another, interesting things will happen.”
Since our interview with Jonathan, a good friend of mine described what it means to him to build community through connections, and the visual he used was a wall - a wall that stands between people but which connectors are able to use their super powers and just reach straight through.
These silly walls are making us invisible to each other. We’ve become strangers in our very own communities. We feel lost amongst stranger-neighbors which keeps us from being able to fully contribute to our community - from bringing our own hidden powers to the community. And our community suffers as a result.
So, people like Jonathan, who care about community, use their powers as connectors to reconnect the disconnected to ensure the community draws from the gifts and talents of every member.
Successful community building is relationship-driven. All communities are composed of individuals, each of which has gifts they brings to the table. The best communities are the ones that find ways in which to create connections between these gifted individuals.
Individuals who share their goals form meaningful, like-minded connections. Making these connections, building relationships, is the heart and soul of community building.
Making connections is more than just introducing two people.
Making connections is the bedrock of a healthy community.
Most especially when you open up your mind to making a connection that isn’t perfectly “similar.” And to that point, Jonathan says it well:
“You never know where one conversation will lead.”
ENGAGEMENT OF THE DAY
Open your mind to consider introducing two people that “should” know each other. They don’t have to be similar. Rather, this about what interesting conversation they might have that would open up both of their worlds all thanks to a trusted introduction.