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As an aspirational manager, you’re always looking for new ways to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to become a better leader. That’s why you keep up with developments in your field, read articles and blog posts by business leaders, and attend conferences and seminars. But did you know that one of the best ways to develop your leadership skills is to join an online community?
Of course, there are medium-size and large companies that maintain their own online communities aimed at providing career support for their managers. However, if your employer doesn’t have one or if you’re looking to broaden your perspective, an online community on LinkedIn, Google+, or Facebook can provide a source of education, support, and inspiration. It’s a digital platform where you can have conversations, exchange ideas, and network with other professionals from around the globe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Be inspired by others like you
What makes these communities so inspiring is that you can interact directly with others who can relate to you professionally. You can ask questions and receive answers from people who’ve experienced similar situations, learn about new resources and technologies, discuss news, network with others in your field, and find out about interesting events and opportunities. Most importantly, you can learn from others by following their journeys as they tackle challenges and advance their careers.
Types of online communities
There are online communities that focus on business leadership in general. However, there are also groups that focus on specific industries, types of managers, management methodologies, and aspects of management. For example, some groups are focused solely on project management while others are dedicated to lean methodology and yet others are for executives to discuss issues related to leading large enterprises. While you can certainly join multiple communities, if you really want to make the most of an online group, it’s advisable to select one and be an active participant.
Remember: an online community still has much in common with a regular community. By carefully listening to other members and constructively sharing your own knowledge, you’ll help make the experience a positive one for the entire community. And that in turn can help you enhance your leadership skills—and even become an inspiration to others!