Peter Block has just recently released a new book: ‘Community- The Structure of Belonging‘. Social capital isn’t the sexiest topic on the planet but the events of the last few weeks (i.e. the so called ‘global crisis’) have brought a number of things into better focus. One of them is the level of connection in society. How much we trust each other and the question of whether or not we have the collaborative intelligence to pull the ship around. I’m not speaking just economically.
Money was an invention after all and was only really created to make our lives easier, to enable us to get the things we needed to live. The whole thing got out of hand and before we knew it money had become the prime focus of our society.
Peters book is a call to the power of connection, and the need for us to mend our fragmented communities. It is also about a lot more besides. One of my
favourite quotes from the book is;
‘Community exists for the sake of belonging and takes its identity from the gifts, generosity, and accountability of its citizens. It is not defined by its fears, its isolation, or its penchant for retribution’.
Peter also touches on the role of leadership in all of this and states that ‘Leadership is convening and held to three tasks: Shift the context within which people gather. Names the debate through powerful questions. (and) Listen rather than advocate, defend, or provide answers.’
Regaining community and redefining leadership – two very valuable insights (among many) that I got from this wonderful book.