camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, funding, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

How you can make a difference

Hi. Welcome to my second Community Coach blog. This week, to further highlight why my role exists, I’m going to talk about how I can help you or your organisation to make a positive difference in the area. Before I say more, please take 3 minutes to watch this TED talk from musician and entrepreneur, Derek Sivers.

I love this video because it shows how simple it can be to get a group of people together to work towards a common goal. Okay, the people in this video are just dancing on a hillside (nothing wrong in that of course!) but as the speaker points out, it teaches us some important lessons about how groups of people work. This can really help us as we look to bring more positive change to Camelon and Tamfourhill. So, which type of person described in the video are you? Or which would you like to be but don’t know where to start? Let’s explore further.

The person running the group or cause – the maverick – the lone nut – the one with the vision – the one who can’t sit back and do nothing – the one who’s often frustrated at the lack of action – the one needing others to get involved but not knowing where to find them.

Is this you? Are you running something that’s going pretty well but needs a fresh injection of life? Are you plodding away with something that’s been going a while but just seem to go over the same ground all the time? Are you trying to get something started but can’t get others to join you? Or do you simply have a dream of something that could be, but don’t know where to start?

How can I help you to make your dream a reality? What do you need? People – funding – general guidance – a venue – visibility – training? I can help you with all of this so just get in touch.

First Follower
Often just one person joining in on the journey can make life easier. Are you that person? You saw in the video how just one person joining in slowly started a flood of helpers. Is there a cause that you want to get involved with and you’ve either seen/heard of someone wanting to do something about it but don’t know how to make the first move? Or are you passionate about something like the leader above, but would rather not be the one to lead it? Maybe you want to be that first follower but don’t think you’ve got the necessary skills or abilities to do so. I can help! You may be the key that unlocks the potential of someone’s dream!

The Crowd
Are you waiting for the momentum to get going on something before you jump on board? Will you jump once you’ve seen positive results? That’s all fair enough but you need to be ready to jump at some point! What do you need to help you do that? Self-confidence – skills based training – more information – networking skills – signposting? Again, I can help! Don’t be the one who sits back and just lets others jump forwards to help. The only barrier to you getting involved and being included in order to bring positive change, is you!

Why bother?
Its a fair point. You may have lived here for a huge part of your life and just see the same old things happening with the same results. You may be new into the area and finding it difficult to integrate or worried even that what you suggest has been tried before and failed – but has anyone asked why it failed?! Or you may be somewhere in the middle but still don’t know what to do, where to go, or even why to do it.

As people, we are made to live and work with others in a positive community where we can thrive. We are social beings that have evolved to exist within communities. American politician Paul Ryan said “every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.” To grow and develop, we need to create a working team around us that is not necessarily all in agreement all the time, but that will work together for a common goal. Stephanie Caldow says in her article ’10 Traits That Make a Good Community’ that: “Involvement in a positive and encouraging community has a tangible impact on individual self-awareness and fulfilment. Positive experiences with communities allow individuals to feel more connected to their environment and the people in it. This form of connection also provides a support system for people when they are in need of encouragement or sympathy. Strong feelings of connection to the group also work to combat any mental illness that can arise from alienation in the form of anxiety and depression. Positive community experiences provide members with a sense of belonging and the feeling of being able to express themselves without feeling judged. Communities that excel at promoting this feeling of belonging encourage members to speak up about their ideas and opinions, which, in turn, leads to members considering their positions from a deeper perspective.” *

I see so much great stuff that is being done already but there is still so much more that can be done. Some ideas start well and then fall down very quickly or just drag along – often because people don’t get involved, but also because people do get involved and are not fully embraced or included by the leaders or even by the first followers, so they drift away again. Let’s work together to continue making Camelon and Tamfourhill a thriving, positive and encouraging community for all people that live here and not just those that are visible.

I’ll leave you with some quotes from the video that started this piece off, but before I do, let me reiterate that I am here to coach you – to work with you. This is not like previous support activity when people do everything for you but equally you will not be left to struggle on your own. Let me work with you to support, train, encourage, guide or whatever! And so to these final words from Derek Sivers, taken from his video above:

“If you are the type [of person] that is standing alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals so it’s clearly about the [cause], not you.”

“Leadership is over glorified. Yes [someone has to be] first and they’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader.”

“If you really care about starting [something], have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find the lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.”

* Stephanie Caldow quote taken from

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