On an early morning flight from Los Angeles to Augusta, Georgia I met Bert Sackman. Bert is an eighty-three year old retired mathematician and cultural anthropologist. He introduced himself by remarking that the shirt I was wearing reminded him of the musical Oklahoma. This is not the best way to engage me after getting up at 4:00am for a cross-country flight.
Moving beyond the Oklahoma musical comment Bert asked me what I did for a living. My curt answer didn’t dissuade Bert from further conversation. No, after learning more about my work he shared with me his research into drug and alcohol abuse and the power of community and it’s influence on the choices we make. My conversation with Bert had just become interesting.
Bert has done extensive research into the power of community and how communities influence the choices people make regarding the use of heroin. Specifically, his research and work for the National Institute for Health found that 95 – 97% of people who use heroin use heroin in functional ways. Functional means that they continue to work and maintain personal and professional relationships. 3 – 5% of people who use heroin end up abusing heroin primarily for medical reasons. They have in the common vernacular an addiction and cannot choose not to use heroin.
What was really interesting was his research with functioning heroin users who worked for the federal government. This group of people with high security clearances had “heroin parties” where the purpose was to help one another use heroin in “safe” and “functional” ways. If anyone started to exhibit abusive behavior the community rallied around the person and asked the person to change their behavior or leave the group. The peer pressure and fear of being kicked out of the group increased the likelihood of people choosing more “functional” choices.
My conversation with Bert reminded me that fostering positive choices can be enhanced with and through the power of community. By that I mean that the benefits of creating communities of like minded co-collaborators; people who inspire and help one another to make choices aligned with a higher hope, dream or aspiration. Communities can and do influence the choices members of the community make in powerful ways. The people you and your employees choose to spend time with influence your behavior and act as bumpers as to what you do regardless of whether you define it as positive or negative.
Bert reminded me that creating communities is a powerful tool for enabling positive choices. He also crystallized my thinking regarding the structure of my Mastering Your Mindset Intensive. I’ve integrated the power of community into the program in such a way as to help you make dramatically more positive and powerful choices by creating a community of like minded co-collaborators who are accountable and committed to making positive choices in their leadership, their results and their personal well-being.
The good news for you is that you will not have to wear a shirt that reminds people of the musical Oklahoma to experience the power of community. You simply have to make the choice to show up and surround yourself with 40 other people who plan on mastering their mindset in positive and transformational ways. Over the next four weeks you’ll receive instructions as to how you can access a very limited offer to join a Mastering Your Mindset Intensive cohort.