As the founder of the Global Walking Tribe, I am utterly convinced that a virtual…
Have You Considered a Manifesto for Your Virtual Tribe?
Most of us belong to a few online groups for business, for growth, for social or emotional needs or for opportunities.
Sometimes one of these groups becomes more important to us than others, and we find ourselves checking in often, and connecting with ease. It’s not a chore; it’s a pleasure. The group has evolved to offer a powerful sense of community and a fervent feeling of belonging and shared values for its members. When this happens, the group has become a tribe.
The Global Walking Tribe is one such group. We are women from around the world, most of whom are strong proponents of human rights and who commit to making the world a better place. Women like us often forget to include self-care in our daily routine, so the Global Walking Tribe helps us to stay accountable and walk every day. The 30-day challenges have a new theme each month to focus our attention as we walk.
I founded this group 50 months ago because I needed support to stick to my promise to myself to walk daily, and since then more than 200 women have walked with us on the 30-day themed challenges. Each theme is interpreted differently by the people who join that challenge, and our photos and descriptions delight and entertain, and we draw on each other for support. The tribe is a place of true connection even though most of us have never met in person.
In days gone by people had somewhere they could call home: a place where they fitted through religion or family, region or country, interest or need. In our current fast-paced world people often race past one another, yet still, yearn to connect. Ironically, it is the internet which is often blamed for our lack of connection; yet that is the very place that can offer new ways of connecting. Whether this happens for business or for social purposes, online tribes can be a force for good.
I invite you to consider writing your own manifesto for the virtual community you lead.
I have summarised our broader intent in our manifesto:
Manifesto of the Global Walking Tribe.
We, the Global Walking Tribe:
Support and connect. We, the virtual tribe, are a community of women dedicated to supporting one another to achieve the key goal of walking or moving for 30 minutes a day, every day. We recognise external and internal limitations and support one another to gently move past them.
Commit. We keep our promises to ourselves and hold one another accountable. We affirm achievements and share the experience of walking together virtually. We gently, but firmly, hold one another accountable to the promises each person has made to themselves.
Encourage and entertain. When we post, we aim to encourage, connect and entertain through our photos, word images and realisations.
Respect and connect. We acknowledge the power of words and take a moment to consider our words before posting, and base every action on respect and the building of community.
Celebrate diversity, creativity and achievement. As a tribe, we encourage diversity of thought and action, and creativity in the interpretation of the monthly themes. We celebrate achievements and remind one another of how far we’ve travelled. Our tribe helps us celebrate life and one another.
A group doesn’t become a tribe by chance.
Building a tribe takes tenacity from both the participants and the founder or leader, and a commitment to the principles. In my sister article, A Virtual Tribe Can Be a Force for Good, I spoke of the Walking Tribe’s principles of affirmation, accountability and celebration. In my next article, the third of these sister articles on tribe, I will offer tips for the founders of virtual groups.
As our walking tribe don our imaginary crowns to celebrate our Jubilee, 50 months of walking together virtually all over the world, we are noticing how our tribe has supported us over the years. One tribe member said:
This tribe helped me focus on the good things in life. Thank you, Global Walking Tribe, for helping me walk towards the light.
How can your tribe be a powerful force for good that supports and respects every tribe member?
What will your tribe manifesto be?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE