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Three months of being an ambassador for The Watercooler — what I learned?

Captured by Ilinca Roman, my mate

Tribes of all kinds can speed up your evolution. If you belong to the right group of people who share similar values and interests, you have great chances to be shaped in a positive way. I’m a community builder myself, so there’s no wonder why I firmly rely on in such structures. On top of that, I have a specific example which supports my beliefs. Let’s dive in!

I already wrote about how The Watercooler helps me be a better leader, so I’ll skip that part. Instead, what I want to share with you are my takeaways after three months of being an ambassador of this community. 🙌

At the end of January 2018, Claire Lew wrote me quite an inspirational message about how she plans to make this tribe even better. After a ping-pong of several e-mails I accepted the challenge to wear the ambassador hat, which implies running activities such: increasing engagement, following-up, supporting the guys and gals who showed their vulnerabilities and empowering them to continue to do the same.

It’s one of the most significant tribes I ever been part of because of two main reasons:

  1. I’ve been expanding my knowledge through a first-hand experience with remarkable leaders around the world.
  2. I’ve been amplifying my feeling of belongingness and that provides me a psychological safety net I deeply need.

Both of them are priceless for someone like me who’s not only interested in improving leadership skills, but also wants to facilitate creating stronger bonds inside the community. It’s what fuels my energy and gives me the pleasant feeling of being part of something bigger. 🚀

My three takeaways from playing the ambassador’s role for The Watercooler are tighten to how I see and understand the community’s dynamics. With other words, what follows are my honest and transparent opinions which hopefully will encourage leaders to join the playground. 🤞

🤝Ambassadors work best if there’s culture fit

However weird it may sound, it’s pretty hard to be an ambassador if you don’t firmly trust the people behind the scenes. In my case, I’ve been reading The Heartbeat’s newsletter almost from the beginning and I’ve always kept an eye on Claire’s activity, especially on Medium and Twitter. I resonated with her approach in many regards and I even said to George (CEO of Pixelgrade) that one day I would love to kick asses as Claire does. In some sense, I acknowledged that she’s becoming one of my role models.

In lack of such a genuine connection, I would have never accepted to be an ambassador of The Watercooler community, no matter the hype around this tribe. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I think that promoting and increasing engagement with superficiality and emptiness will always lead to poor results. People are smart and they always feel when you’re not authentic and fake it.

🙌 Ambassadors put themselves first out there

Personally, I must admit that I respect more folks who are already part of the game and talk from their own experience, not from books or via quotes. In other words, I appreciated that Claire’s suggestion to become an ambassador came after several months of activating as a fellow member. It felt the right timing to move next and delve into details about how she aims to expand TW and shape a compelling experience for its members.

I like to undertake such collaborations from start to finish, so for me it’s highly relevant to be consistent and have the right attitude along the way. That’s why, whenever some topics get to the bottom of the list I try to bring them back on the stage to gain traction since I don’t believe that there are trivial or uninteresting topics out there. Every single question deserves thoughtful answers, so it’s my job to make room for them to shine.

🤘Ambassadors lead by example every single time

I know from my own path that being the new fellow can feel a bit overwhelming, especially within a community of 600+ top-notch leaders spread all over the world. In my early days I was mindblown when I stalked some of the members and I found that they run successful business and have tremendous experience. I remember talking with my teammates about the fact that I felt so little near those A-players.

I even told Claire from the very beginning that if she needs an ambassador with 10+ years of leadership background I am not the gal for the job, but she assured me that I have enough expertise and she’s looking for another type of people to be ambassadors. So I gave my best to came at the table with more vulnerability, with sensitive questions, and with a strong desire to put myself out there to become a better leader.

I’m truly grateful for being part of The Watercooler community both as a leader and an ambassador. After tons of discussions I engaged in, it still makes me feel proud to represent this group of amazing people who are giving their best to create healthy teams and businesses.

I particularly respect their work because they often swim in an ocean full of uncertainties and anxieties of all kinds. At least this tribe reminds them that they’re not alone. And that’s huge. ❤️

Written by Claire Lew

CEO of Canopy. My mission in life is to help people become happier at work. Say hi to me on Twitter at @clairejlew.