Last week was the last time I got to work alongside my dear co-worker and friend Kelly Hungerford. During one of our meetings, we shared a freshly baked bread around the dinner table. While we had lunch, I was reassured: we are building community.
Kelly has been the leader and carer of the Paper.li community for the past 4 years and I count myself really lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and work with her. During our two years working together she tirelessly made sure I understood that: “Community is everything. We need to interact, build relationships, share value and let our community know we’re always here for them.”
I can say that for me, a community is just like that delicious bread Kelly kindly baked, and broke into pieces so that we could all be fed. It is the laughter, the tears and the effort, it is always being there. As a community, we come together for a reason.
At Paper.li, we have been delighted with a community full of talent and honesty. We can’t take credit for that, it was not our doing, but I am sure it has to do with the passion and work that was put into it. The base of community starts at home. It starts with a leader that is strong enough to nurture and work not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of all. It starts with a purpose that Kelly had very clear in her mind. It starts with going back to your values.
There are certain values that need to be shared and practiced in order to gather around a common cause, here’s four of my favourites:
And, coming out of shared knowledge, I can’t finish this post without mentioning one of the greatest things Kelly has given us: the #BizHeroes community.
We’re thrilled to say that she will continue with us, baking bread for the amazing bunch of thought leaders that are part of our happy hour every Tuesday. So, there’s nothing to worry there!
Fortunately, this post is not a farewell but a thank you to a wonderful colleague, a good luck letter, a sign of our respect and a reminder to everyone that we still have a lot to learn about building community. I am very honored to have learnt from the best: Kelly.