I was paying thousands of dollars but wasn’t engaged at all; therefore, I was not getting any value.
Two years ago, I received an invitation to join a fatherhood community. Although I paid my membership fees on time each month, I wasn’t very active in the group. It wasn’t a priority for me at the time as I had several other things happening in my life.
My disengagement wasn’t due to a lack of effort from leadership – as they hosted amazing weekly and monthly events. Many other members were very active. From the outside looking in, there seemed to be a lot of engagement and energy, which kept drawing me in. Also, as a stepdad, I knew there was a lot I could learn from these guys.
So I reordered my priorities and committed more time to the group.
I started attending events, asked guest speakers questions, and engaged with other members.
The leadership team took notice and asked if I would be interested in helping run an upcoming event. I enthusiastically agreed.
My engagement within this community completely shifted. The leadership team did the best possible thing they could; they noticed my involvement, reached out to me, and asked for my help.
In Dance Floor Theory (DFT), we call people like me Trending Leaders. Trending Leaders are typically a “3” on the DFT Engagement Pyramid. They are unconsciously waiting for someone to ask them to step up and take on some more responsibilities within the community. They won’t do it on their own; they need someone to ask them.
Trending Leaders exhibit a high level of engagement over an extended period. They are not someone who is energized at the start of a new year and then fade out by February.
Every community has Trending Leaders. Unfortunately, most leaders don’t realize this and don’t know what to do with them.
Three Ways To Spot And Engage Trending Leaders In Your Community
To identify trending leaders in your community, you must examine the behavior of your members. Take note of how frequently they participate and engage in your community. Members who consistently engage and participate in the community’s growth are considered trending leaders.
Reach out and establish a relationship:
If you haven’t already, reach out to a trending leader and establish a relationship with them. Send an email, call them, or take them aside after a meeting. Inform them that you noticed them and value the work they do for the community.
Ask them to step up:
Once you’ve reached out to these trending leaders and established a relationship with them, the next step is to engage them more deeply by assigning them greater responsibilities. You can, for example, ask them to host meetings, be the timekeeper or moderator of sessions, or appoint them to leadership roles in which they are qualified.
The search for, and cultivation of, trending leaders is an ongoing process. As your community expands and new members join, you will discover trending leaders who have the potential to become the next generation of leaders to join your leadership team. You have to make the search for trending leaders an ongoing part of your process so there is always new energy joining the leadership team.