The Role of Citizens (Friday Quote)

citizenThis week’s Friday quote is by Peter Block (though I’m reading the quote in Lindy and Maddie’s Open Community book, p. 118):

Community is not built by specialized expertise, or great leadership, or improved services; it is built by great citizens.

The quote is about community (both online and in person), but I am thinking about it in terms of organizations. We fret, as leaders, about finding the best talent and then maximizing their engagement in our workplace, and while that does matter, our perspective–we find them, we maximize them–misses an important point: it’s as much about them as it is about us.

It’s not about what we do TO them; it’s about what we do FOR them, in order to increase their greatness as citizens inside our organizations. A culture that attracts will always have this in mind.