Build community through transparency

Visiting Lake Tahoe in the summer has become a habit of ours. We go there because it’s a great place to be in the summer: gorgeous lake, mountains with tons of hiking and biking trails, and pretty much perfect weather.

See for yourself:

But what got us started visiting Tahoe is the fact that I have a couple of cousins who live there, and one of them has kids our son’s age. So, it’s a great fit all around.

One thing we’ve learned about my cousin’s wife Renee (name not changed to protect her innocence… because she’s not!) is that she struggles with transparency.

No, not like “sharing your feelings” – more like literal transparent objects.

Last summer, we were a bit concerned the kids might run into the screen door to the back porch. They didn’t… but she did! And this year, after teasing her about that incident, she told us the story of how she literally ran into a plexiglass wall playing indoor soccer one time, thinking it was the opening to the field.

The phrase “so much blood” was used.

This is basically her:

While transparency may be a bad thing for Renee, it’s a good thing for you.

I beat the “build community” drum a lot, and the best way to do that is to create an environment where your members trust you.

And not much earns that trust like being transparent.

That means sharing what you’re working on, how things are going in your business, etc. And not just the sanitized, fit for the public version – share the failed experiments, the disappointments, as well.

I’m not saying be a Debbie Downer – just be a real person.