As we gear up for the second half of the year, our focus right now is community building and networking. Before we get into the details, we want to emphasize why both are important.
Do you believe we, that is, you and me, can change the future?
If you do, how much effort and time are you willing to risk and sacrifice to participate?
Friendship: A community is a group of friends. Friends sharpen each other like iron. There are friends that are closer than family. And there are even friends that would die for each other. Do you see the progression?
Like the swords on our shield and coat-of-arms, we as the VDP want to be your friends that sharpen you. And maybe even be the friends that stick closer than a brother. And then finally be the friends that pledge our lives to each other. As your Prime Minister, I strive to this end, that if it came down to it, that I would die for any of you.
More than a name on your Facebook Friends List, a friend is there. You member must be a friend. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly. To encourage this, we have fellowship and prayer initiatives.
How much effort have you put in making friends? Even beyond the VDP?
Collaboration: Once a community is built, a community needs to create a future. But first, it needs to model that future in its own space. The seed community, if you will.
Are we satisfied with the model of the future in our group?
What will you bring to the table to advance to the desired future?
This is where networking comes in. We have so many gifts, so much talent. It's time to put them into use. It is not ours to puff ourselves with; the gifts we have are God's and others', and we must give.
Another "job" (not really a job, for I enjoy it immensely) of mine is recommending each of your talents and expertise to each other when it is needed. I would gladly write a letter of recommendation for any of you, and I pray that once we have a stronger community that you all would be able to write one for each other.
Collaboration comes in two main strategies for us, based on our emblem: The Sword and the Shield Strategies. The Sword is for individuals helping individuals, and the Shield is a gradual avalanche of all members banding together. We need to use these strategies to advance the principles for His glory.
Here are some practical resources from Lifehacker. (Not everything in the links have the tacit approval or the endorsement of the VDP, such as the use of alcohol):
Eight Power Networking Tips
Go Beyond Simple Networking and Organize Your Own Mastermind Group
Stop Networking and Start Helping
Why Your Professional Network Sucks
In conclusion, while the phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know" is often trite and repeated, it's not totally inaccurate; networking is a very important part of life. And networking should not be a corporate word, because it's all about relationships. Relationships are what builds and ultimately changes the world. God's relationship towards us, our relationship to our community, all in all, relationship is key. And organized relationship is networking.
We want to build the VDP into that community. Soon, we will be building on this foundational announcement for the establishment of solid branches, core groups, and stronger teamwork.
Further reading: VDP Forums - Excerpt on Community: Creating a Structure of Belonging.