I spent some time yesterday up in Chattanooga. I love that city. While I was there, I spent some time thinking about my role at The Oak House once the build out was complete. Right now my entire world is consumed with “what if” and “how about if we” but those days will come to an end eventually. Then my role switches from mason to architect. I will switch from working in the dirt to working in the clouds.
The truth is, building a community of people is one of the things I lack confidence in . I can handle all the people, I can handle all the building issues, and I can handle all the stressors of day-to-day operations. I am tried and true in those areas. I have a network of people who can help me navigate the complex maze I am in right now. I only have maybe 1 person in my network who I feel is a superstar at creating community.
My strength is anything I do comes from my ability to surround myself with knowledgable people and orchestrate chaos with relative ease. I am at my best when I am dropped in the middle of chaos and it needs sorted out. I can take in all the external factors, process those factors against similar situations, and determine the steps needed for the best resolution. This building phase, with all the unforeseens, is easy for me. It’s like riding a bike.
The Oak House will not be successful unless a community is intentionally formed around and inside of it. This is a new area of leadership for me. The best thing I have going for me is I can quickly gather people who are smarter and better than I am and learn from what they have done. They will be able to show me what worked and what didn’t work in their contexts.
Context is probably the most important factor to consider in this whole community building phase. When people take advice blindly, they fail to take into consideration the context in which the advice came from. Situations are different. Not all advice will work for you the way it worked for the person giving it. It is best to gather several data point and analyze them for any similarities. Look for themes, not silver bullets.
To be sure, I am still in the dirt phase of The Oak House. We have a little demolition left on the existing space and still have all the construction left to do. We are all new to building a space like this so we have new considerations popping up every day which require a pause to see where they fit in the whole process. We are getting there and the time to work in the clouds is coming.