As I virtually tuned into Day 2 of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, I had no idea what the CEO of one of my favorite companies had in store for me. As a lover of their stretchy pants, lululemon is a company that has mastered the art of community and is also a company under the direction of the amazing Christine Day. No matter if it is the US, Canada, or Australia, lululemon stores have a way of feeling completely the same yet uniquely local. And according to one of the most powerful women in business, building a vibrant community will build your business.
Not all of us are community managers, and as the newly minted Levo community manager I understand that on the surface I may be more jazzed about this particular topic. However, the advice Christine had to offer can be tailored to any job, for any leadership position, and to any company so that the community that you do work within promotes success. While many of you aren’t in control of your own companies, you can have an impact on the culture and the community around you by keeping Christine’s leadership lessons in mind.
Teach Leadership Not Rules
When we care about our branding, often the first thing we do is try and protect it. However, putting constraints on individuals who are representatives of the brand can easily turn to micromanagement and the extinction of creativity…because people are too scared to act for fear of breaking a rule. Christine explained that at her company, rather than teaching and managing to a set of rules, they teach leadership and develop judgement so that each store, each community, can be unique yet maintain a very consistent culture. It gives the freedom to act and true ownership over the brand. To build healthy, valuable communities around a brand, there has to be consistent vision and purpose, says Christine. Identify companies where that vision is very clear and satisfaction will follow.