Do You Unite? Do You do it Well?

One of the biggest ways that you can help a lot of individuals, over the long haul, is to unite. Sadly, a lot of people who take a stab at that get it wrong. But there’s no reason to not keep trying!

One of the “Aspect of Mastery” presented in Be the Master is simple: Masters Unite.

In the old days, that meant – in practical terms – that Masters often joined together to form Guilds, which took the jobs of preserving their trade’s practices, bringing new apprentices into the fold, setting standards that customers could rely on, and providing a collective bargaining voice when needed.

Think about that value that a Guild offered its members at the time, and remember that the “value” of anything is defined by its recipients. Masters worked with Guilds because the Guilds provided something that the Masters found valuable; if enough of them felt the Guilds were valueless, the Guild would have eventually ceased to exist.

There’s a lesson there about modern Mastery and uniting.

For example, a lot of well-meaning and industrious folks will start user groups, only to struggle to get people to attend, and many times to have them fizzle. In most cases, that’s because the Guild user group members didn’t find value in the effort.

In fact, it can be hard to bring together a group of people and continue providing value to them over the long haul. That’s why “Masters Unite” is only one of the aspects of Mastery. To really provide continuing long-term value to a group, you’ve got to do more than just help them learn new technology tricks. They might find that valuable now and then, but not always.

Think instead about the whole person that you’re trying to draw into your effort at uniting. They have a family. They have a career. They probably want to find ways to help people, just as you do. They probably work on a variety of things. How can you speak to that whole person? How can you help them understand how they could help the group?

Remember: lots of us have Imposter Syndrome, and lots of us are basically lazy inside (it’s our brains’ fault). It’s easy to sit back and let someone else do the work. To let someone else lead. But remember, the real power of a movement is not in its leader, its from the people who show other people how to follow the movement.

Maybe your group could use some public speaking sessions, to get people comfortable with the idea. Maybe career-development sessions are a good idea. Guilds, in the old days, did more than just pass along “tricks of the trade;” they served as the binding force for the members’ entire lives. Uniting people means uniting the whole person, which is a substantially more challenging task. A task that is infinitely more valuable, too.

You’re even free to use Be the Master (you can get a free Special Edition copy) to help. When you bring your group together, occasionally read a chapter the book aloud, and then discuss it as a group. Talk about what actions you might each take in your lives based on that chapter, and what you might expect from it. This kind of “take a break from the routine” exercise can help freshen a group, broaden its perspective, and get you thinking of each other as whole people. That’s the key to unity.