πŸ“» β€” 3 Characteristics & Skills That I Look for When I Hire People Leaders and Community Managers

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Good morning yeniverse!

Hopefully Monday wasn’t terrible! Mine was pretty dope.

πŸŽ‰ β€” Makerpad got acquired!! I need “hot takes” for tomorrow! Congrats!

Wow. So cool. So cool! Okay… back to today’s issue!

To get you started, a few good links for community builders, creators, and those who are building cool shiz on the internet β€” pass them on:

  1. 4 day weeks. Big-long. CH links. Pseudonymous. Start with Why.
  2. Pseudonymous economy. Psychology of design; good reminders.
  3. Vcent. SaaS starter kit. Showcase talent. Anon feedback. Rymotely.
  4. Obvious, easy, possible (blog email). Gig recession. Thanks computer.
  5. ProductHunt clone. Crypto jobs. Online biz in minutes. Tiiny. Goliath.
  6. How to name a baby. Just picked this up. Girl, computer. Wu @ NEC.
  7. Vertical, horizontal communities. Mark on AR. Fitness matters!
  8. Dangerous trap. Playgroup. Eco. Collison. Garage runners. Kajabi review.
  9. Beeple on NFT! History of VC. Naming a startup. Disturbed. Scorecard?
  10. WhatsApp shop. NoCode landing page. Google drive as wiki. FB PM.

And I saw someone touting CH as a “great” place to gather initial customer / community feedback for an early-stage startup β€” thoughts? I’m not entirely convinced that CH is a “go-to” spot for this type of thing. But, I’m ready to be proven wrong.

To infinity & community,

β€” john


I’m beginning to think through the growth of our small team as our community and project begins to take more shape and hiring community-centric and community-minded folks is, of course, top-of-mind.

The rise of the community gigster, among many other titles, is going to become an even more important part of our global economy and it’s a bit inevitable that we hire a few (if not an army!) of community professionals @ YEN; we are a community company!

And although there are new things like “Community Management School” that one can attend and receive explicit training in the art and science of managing community, which is great for certain types of businesses and organizations, there’s still a ton of room for creative expression of leadership, management, and growth.

And as I think through these things myself I’ve started putting a few thoughts down that might be useful for you as you think through your own hiring needs!

For starters, any community manager in an early-stage project is going to be a “touch-and-go” type of experience as there are a lot of moving parts and an even more known unknowns, as folks like to call them.

For starters, I care about these high-level things:

  1. Will they “fuck the culture“? Who will we lose when they join?
  2. Who will we gain when they join?

It’s really about those two high-level questions because that’s really what matters when you hire for these type of relationship-heavy and centric roles. They are either going to be a net-positive to your community β€” and larger organization β€” or they are going to be a net-negative.

It’s important to note that you will lose folks; that happens when you bring in a new leader within a community as there will be some folks who aren’t super-fans of having any Community Manager who isn’t the founder.

But, the question isn’t just who will we lose as the question is also who will we gain and who will this person naturally attract which will grow our network, community and business?

A community leader needs to be someone who has a multiplication-effect in your business and who accelerates the areas that you specifically need.

Great Community Managers Be Like…

So, what makes a great community manager? In my personal experience, it’s someone who is also, generally-speaking, a good (people) manager in any formal business or organization.

And a great manager, in my book, is someone who can effectively bring people and resources together to make the right things happen at the right time. That’s essentially it.

A community manager or leader is one that does this as well but their day-to-day will obviously look a bit different than a more formalized people management role in a startup or business.

There are 3 core skills that I value and look for when I think about people managers as well as community leaders:

  1. Direction: Are they clear about where they are leading folks and where they are headed as a team and/or community? Can they communicate this concisely and effectively to all stakeholders?
  2. Alignment: Can they align the team to produce expected / better-than-expected results, consistently? Do they create alignment within their team and in the larger community and organization? Can they manage disagreements and conflict fairly and quickly?
  3. Measurement: Do they have a system to measure, manage, and instrument growth and improvement in their systems? Do they have a plan for growing, investing, and experimenting with their team and community?

All of this rolls-up into a belief that the manager and leader’s role is to help equip and support their staff so that together we all can grow and achieve outsized results as a consequence of our alignment, communication, and coordination.

I want to see evidence that they can not only communicate the “why” behind a decision or direction but that they also can determine “what” they need to accomplish the tasks or mission and a plan as to “how” they are going to get their with the right people and process.

These are just some of the more important character and skillsets that I think about for both my people leaders as well as community managers / leaders in those specific roles. I haven’t quite “canonized” this but it’s pretty damn close. I use this as a general hiring rubric as well as I think of the folks that I need to hire on the growing team.

I hope these thoughts are useful to you.

/end

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