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Do You Have What it Takes to Build a Brave New Community?

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When I started building a “brave community” through OnStage Leadership in Dallas in 2009, I hardly knew a soul. We had moved there two years before and I hadn’t really “plugged in”.

At the time I was traveling a lot for work, so other than spending time with our wonderful neighbors, I felt pretty isolated. But the year I launched OnStage was a watershed year for me.  It taught me how much better we are together.

OnStage Leadership has found its way to the marketplace slowly. It has definitely been a grass roots effort. The first year we had 100 people graduate from the program; 100 “brave” souls, many who had no idea at the time what they were getting themselves into. Many of those people have since become dear friends. 

From the very beginning, I had a sense that I wanted to create a community – to make it bigger than me – because what I was seeing was extraordinary.  I was watching people fully experience, appreciate, and realize the power of who they really are – an awesome thing to behold.  I suspected that community could make that stick.

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So after that first year, in March 2010, I threw a big party – our first OnStage Leadership Graduate Reunion – and it was magical.  We had 100 graduates at that time, and 80 of them showed up with their friends and significant others in tow. Who could imagine?! Our community was born.

What bonds our community is different. We’re not joined by faith, politics, race, title, industry, or even geography. Yes, many have connected through shared experience, having gone through OnStage Leadership, but we have many more people in our “community” that have never been through the session. Because what what we stand for is not a program, we’re a belief. It’s taken me a number of years to cull this down in essence – to recognize that the one uniting characteristic of everyone who commits to doing this work is their bravery.

And we also realize that sometimes we don’t do these things. In fact, sometimes we suck at them.  And we are willing to risk owning that and doing it again.  Hopefully better.

That’s the Brave Community; for me, it’s worth fighting for.

The one unifying characteristic of everyone who commits to showing up as their best, most authentic, and powerful self, is their bravery.

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