Author Seth Godin has written extensively about “tribes” – gatherings of people with a common interest, no matter how narrow. The online community has proliferated tribes because of the ease of connecting with others, but it appears that gathering in-person still has its power.

In our small city in Iowa, I was surprised to see advertisements for the Psychic & Paranormal Expo. It seems like something that would occur in major cities or inspire an online-only community, but apparently, it is a larger draw than I realized. The Expo will take place in the convention center and host over 60 vendors, featuring merchandise, readings, reflexology and presentations. There will be information on ghost hunts, crystals, past lives, reiki and angels.

Recently, a friend and his family traveled to a Chicago suburb to experience a Gluten-Free Expo and learn about the foods their daughter can eat without incident. Hundreds of vendors were on hand to share recipes and samples to this subset of the population.

This summer, I am co-facilitating a workshop for new supervisors in student affairs in higher education. You would think that the topic would be too narrow to draw an audience, but both the material and interest is robust.

Think about the tribes to which you belong or to which your organization appeals. Take advantage of the opportunity to create great energy by gathering these like-minded souls in the same space (both virtual or physical).

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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