Get Together

Connecting designers across Africa during COVID-19 🇰🇪 Lewis Kang'ethe, The Fearless Community

Episode Summary

An interview hosted by Whitney Ogutu and Bailey Richardson with Lewis Kang'ethe, the community lead for the African chapter of The Fearless Community. They are bringing together design leaders to share knowledge and stay connected during lockdown. We talked with Lewis about how he is bridging the gap across cultures and sparking conversation in Slack and virtual meetups.

Episode Notes

“Let's bring designers together and first talk about your wellbeing. Then let's talk about the next steps forward for you as a designer.” -  Lewis Kang'ethe

Lewis Kang'ethe was first championed as a community leader in primary school when his teacher asked him to spearhead the mathematics club. When the teacher asks, the answer is either, “yes or yes.” 

Now, Lewis works as a product designer in Kenya. When he’s looking for jobs outside of Africa he often gets asked the question, “are you qualified?” Lewis started the African chapter of The Fearless Community so that designers in Africa can tell their stories. It’s a place for designers like Lewis to find work and a network. 

Members from around the world convene in local Slack channels and attend video podcast series with veteran designers. When COVID-19 became a threat, they launched the #StayConnected series first to talk about their wellbeing and then, the next steps forward for their members as designers. 

Lewis takes a “servant” leadership approach to his role as community lead in Africa. We talked with him about the attention to details when connecting people across cultures and how the community has adjusted to online meetups.

Highlights, inspiration, & key learnings:

👋🏻 Say hi to Lewis Kang'ethe and learn more about The Fearless Community.

✨ Thank you to Whitney Ogutu, “Get Together” correspondent, for bringing the story to us.

📄 See the full transcript

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Episode Transcription

Note: This transcript is automatically generated and there may be some errors. Timestamps may vary slightly based on episode announcement & commercial placement.

Bailey (00:01):

Welcome to Get Together. It's our show about ordinary people building extraordinary communities. I'm your host, Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people and company and the co-author of get together how to build a community with your people.


Whitney (00:22):

And I'm with Whitney Ogutu, a Get Together Correspondent.


Bailey (00:27):

In each episode of this podcast, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, maybe even thousands, more members, Whitney, who did you choose to interview today?


Whitney (00:43):

Today we are talking to Lewis Kang'ethe the community that the field is community.


Bailey (00:49):

And what's one thing that you took away from our conversation with Lewis?


Whitney (00:53):

One thing that really stood out when talking to Lewis is the power of leading and building with purpose Lewis, emphasize the importance of communicating your why, and bringing people together for your community, because that's what people resonate with. The other is the best way to build a servant community is by being a servant yourself. This enables you to lead both the community and yourself, as it opens you up to group opportunities while serving the community at the same time. Last but not least the best advice with building committees, going back to the basics of bringing or gathering new people together, being personal, reach out, seeking feedback building with as opposed to for, which is a principle we are people in companies. Standby.


New Speaker (01:30):

Absolutely. And I'm excited to bring this episode to everyone from the fearless community, because I think a lot of us are finding ourselves in communities like these during the pandemic. And Louis is so brilliant about how he thinks about his role stewarding a local community within the broader fearless umbrella. So let's jump in. You ready?


Whitney (01:50):



New Speaker (01:51):

Whoo. Louis. Welcome to the podcast. We're so excited to have you, and I want to kick off with the first question that we love to ask everyone who comes on our show. We love to say that you can't fake the funk. People who are organizing communities often have their own personal motivation for doing so and for getting involved. So I'm curious, what, what drew you to the fearless community? What were you going through in your life when you decided to get involved?


Lewis (02:18):

Yeah. Thank you very much for bringing me on board and thank you for that question. So have all been about running communities and the, and the one thing that I would say is it started while I was still in primary school, when we have, we used to have a school clubs and that motivated me to have this passion towards bringing people together so that you can share as well as each other. So how I'm joining fearless was the fellas used to exist way before me. And there were two existed. It was, it was called hundreds. So condos was about mentoring people. So Tom together, his tablets give him to get, and they're like, we


Lewis (03:00):

Want to help people, especially designers in terms of priority mentoring. And then after some time a ship of its own, and then COVID happened after a couple of years COVID happened. And then so many designers reached out to Tom who was the coordinator for that particular community candles. And he was like, okay, so designers they were majorly impacted by COVID and he was like, let's do this. Let's bring together. All the designers know, starting at different community, let's bring all designers so that they can connect fast to check their mental health because it was crazy times, people lost their jobs. And then they're like, okay, it's also a good opportunity to help designers find a place to now continue working because most of them were laid out in terms of their jobs. And at the time I was going to live in productive Nairobi.


Lewis (03:53):

So I was a co-organizer had wa I had worked with was an organizer for around I think that's one year, one, one year, seven months. And we had started building a community around people who worked for up management. So we did our own 15 plus meetups and got super excited, but I felt it's time for me to take over a different challenge. And that's when we ended up having a conversation with the company that we're working with. I like your history with communities and lead to, to actually champion this conversation about fearless knows that throwing these clues, moving on to a different country, I was like, yeah, why not? I'm always passionate about design. That's why I joined fearless. And it was like, let's just take each one. And that's how I went about as an African.


Bailey (04:42):

So you've been organizing communities, bringing people together since primary school. I think that that might be, that might be the longest running organizer that we've had on the podcast. So, yeah. Tell me, just tell me a little bit about that. If you don't mind, what did that look like when you were in primary school and what do you remember from that? What made it so meaningful?


Lewis (05:03):

Ooh let me, let me know July. It wasn't the best thing because I was, I was to be a shade gate and because of my wheelchair academics, our teacher was like, Louis, you need to run the mathematics club because [inaudible] and yeah, I was like, okay, why not? I can't even say no, because again, I don't know if it's an African thing. It's hard to say, no, especially


Bailey (05:28):

When the teacher asks there's no option.


Lewis (05:38):

So I was like, let me just take your time. So I ended up joining other clubs in the school, so this was more Medallia academic, but as also wise, they can, most Kenyans actually knew that these are wildlife club when they promoted. And there happens to be one of the, I would say, leads in that community. So we were doing a couple of trips, went high school, joined other clubs for business for doing technical drawing, so many things. And then after compass I would get in compass actually ended up doing, I would say community work. So we started a tech community, which inspired me to actually go and understand more about the tech market, which coincidentally, I'm still doing my bachelor's in IT. So I ended up loving technology as well as not doing I'm coming to work for free. I just love the fact that they bring together people with the same passion. The ball wants to learn as well as share together so that they can drive this mission that you have for the particular community. So that's how I ended up when I was a young kid.


Bailey (06:40):

What, what do you think made fearless, the fearless community appealing to you? You know, you mentioned the mentorship piece and also how much designers were affected by the lockdown and how fearless allows people to stay connected. But, but what, what do you think makes it so appealing to so many people?


Lewis (07:01):

Yeah. So the first thing is Tom walks in the recruiting space. So he helps companies gets the best design teams. And because you already had started condos, which was no, their mentoring one and provided already research room. So there was that relationship that you already built using the previous community. And at that particular time, he was very empathetic enough to human. His wife, Laurie came together and they were like, we need to help design as designers have been regional stress, because again, they're known in the industry for breeding or helping designers get jobs, as well as companies get their designers. And they're like, we need to help them find a place where the mental health is Quill and a stool they can be helped. So that helps, that creates an environment for them to actually feel it peace. And then the second thing is because the still do recruiting as well as building up teams.


Lewis (07:55):

They also wanted to help those people in need. So it came at the right time. And that for me, felt like you, you actually understand the market and you understand that people. So, but first of all, they put the people in front of their company's mission, which again, as you know, the company is to help companies get the best incentives. But in this case, the one thing that they looked at was we want people to actually have a good mental health state by bringing them together, to share as well as learn from each other. Africa is one of those places that people don't know about is this stereotype. Again, it's just something that they experienced in a different community. When I was sharing about design, somebody asked me, do you guys actually have computers in your country? I was like, okay.


Bailey (08:42):

Oh God, I hope it wasn't an American sounds like a classic American comment.


Lewis (08:50):

I'm not going to be offended. I understand where you're coming from. It's the problem is as Africans, we really tell our own stories. And then I took it upon myself to actually champion the design conversation. Because when people think about designers, we never think about Africa, but I actually appreciate, and we're not developers. We think about Africa. So that was my, I would say my purpose now I need to change the narrative as well as allow designers in Africa to tell their story so that when somebody is thinking about design Africa comes to mind.


Bailey (09:29):

So how did you get started? I mean, to me, I think one thing that I think about leading Africa is that is a huge place and so many different cultures, so many different languages, it's, it's representing such a big swath of people and places. But yeah. What, what were those early days in priorities like, and what are some of the key things you did to help grow the fearless community in Africa?


Lewis (09:59):

So the good thing is that previous Africa lead Chloe had done a really good job of recruiting. And again maybe something new to emphasize was candles was not closed. They just had removed people from the Slack group because some of them were very inactive and they wanted to create a new space. So unfortunately not so many Africans were in that condos group. And when Chloe took on the role itself, I would say there are a handful of designers in Africa. So she took on the mantle of trying to reach out to of course, where she came from in this case. So the Africa designers in South Africa to get to joy. And when I was joining, I think we were on 15 and it was like I need to figure out, we have now onboarding more designers, especially in Africa. Africa has so many countries, again, like you mentioned, there's so many cultures. So I had to really think, what is it best to actually try to recruit? So I went to introduce directly messaging all these designers that I come across. So trades to look at hashtags


Bailey (11:10):

And just for the people who don't know the design world, that's, that's where a lot of people post their projects and post their ideas and inspiration. So you went to the internet and started basically sloofing around looking for interesting designers and reaching out.


Lewis (11:26):

Exactly, exactly. So because I'm also a growth haka. I had to people from this social site and then run a query to just send them a message, really key. And then I personalize it. So you say, Hey, my name is Louis Aron Africa community for fearless. And then explain what exactly you feel this is all about. And then here's a link to sign up. So I would, I would say I got around 10% conversion rate because again, I didn't lose him. So each getting a 10%


Bailey (11:59):

It's pretty high. Yeah. What do you, what did you put in that message? I mean, it sounds like, I mean, now that I know you're a growth hacker, I'm sure you probably thought about different versions of communicating and who, who to reach out to that actually resonated and worked and who didn't perhaps. And I'm wondering, did you have any insights about that process, about, you know, who, who really wanted to be a part of fearless after reaching out to lots of people and maybe what message really, really resonated?


Lewis (12:31):

The one thing that I would say helped a lot in terms of getting a higher conversion was the quote that they had had selected to tell them, this is the mission in terms of design for Africa. And this is our opening quote. So until the lion tells his side of the story of the hunt, the Hunter, I wouldn't have been popped. There was creating a space where designers in Africa can tell their stories then like, Oh yes, yes, let's jump on this ship. And that really is an intake with other designers because we want it to be hard. We want to stand out. Because I kid you not, pne of the things that really frustrates me personally, is when I'm trying to look for jobs, I said, Africa is a link. Are you qualified? I'm like, I have so many years of experience under my belt, but because they come from Africa, there's always that doubt. So fearless is a place because again, designers, hire designers, I was at fearless is a place that can help other designers, especially during COVID to actually get an opportunity to work as well as make a network with other designers across the group.


Bailey (13:47):

I was wondering if it, if you would reinforce this learning that I've seen, but I wasn't sure if it was, if it was exactly solid, which is that if you lead with a purpose, you know, a community is a group of people who align with a shared purpose. That's what brings them together. They care about the same thing. And so when you put that signal out into the world, instead of leading with logistics or pricing, or, you know, it joined the Slack group, but lead with the reason why the group is coming together, that's what can really get people to understand it and to join and participate.


Lewis (14:26):

Yeah, for sure. So one of the things that we tried to do is, again, also being a designer is you understand their pain point. So the point point was, it was COVID and you are, you are designing Africa and you still don't know how you're going to be helped. And where can you find your fellow? I would say designers. So understanding or being empathetic about these particular designers has really helped me also in that message to tell them let's come together and be part of this community. Let's do it. Then we show. So don't, don't start selling out to the features of that particular product or service, try and address that pain point and show them, this is the actual benefit of joining this particular community.


Whitney (15:10):

Let me see, you've talked about how the internet played a huge role in, you know, the entire recruitment process and trying to grow the African chapter for the fearless community. What challenges have you experienced throughout that process?


Lewis (15:23):

The challenge that comes to mind is how do we bring people who have different cultures? So I will refer to a book called the culture map. I think it's my yes, yes, yes. Literally five to eight or whenever it comes to working with a diverse group. So again, people have been raised differently. People have different values. And the biggest challenge was how do I bring all these people together to actually start conversing with each other? The challenge again, you know, I don't know if you, which is Africans, I don't know if they're shy or the data you from opportunities is naturally. But so the challenge was how can I convince somebody who is of a different culture from mine to actually come and sign up to this community? And then we start driving the mission itself because you are Nigerian Kenyon. What exactly do you have to share with each other we've never met physically?


Lewis (16:22):

So also the second challenge is because of run communities before, when you are in the same space, physically, it's easier. You know, it's easier for you to reach me. You can either do a call. You can give me a call. You can send you my SMS. We can even cross the road or even drive to where I am so that you can have that conversation. So as much as the digital channels or other, the internet has really helped bridge, or that removes those barriers of getting access to each other in different routes is still the physical connection is something that still, I would say is still a challenge for me, especially writing the Africa, but a wish I could be able to travel it for different countries and then meet these people. Because when you have the personal relationship, it's going to be easier for you to reach us to them and start having those conversations.


Lewis (17:10):

So that's the second one. So the third thing I would say as a challenge is how do we ensure that we bring all this report in different time zones to the same place? You know, again, they could've said, it's morning on your end, it's on my end. So how do we check a balance so that you don't miss out on us engaging, especially interested in the topics that you'd like us to address. So that one has also been a challenge, not just for me, I'm running the Africa channel, but also communicating with other leads, community leads for years. So I would say definitely internet helps bridge that gap of getting to connect where the internet, but the [inaudible] of the community is what we are missing out on. I don't know if we can use AR or VR to bring people closer. That's just that, but I would say that is a major challenge when it comes to that particular issue.


Bailey (18:05):

Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about how the community is run on a day-to-day basis. So, you know, how, what are the formats and ways that members of the fearless community interact?


Lewis (18:18):

Yes. it's a very, very difficult, let me not say [inaudible] because the reality is you still have a day job and still wants to be a [inaudible] to this career. So I would say for me, I tried to run the community. So the policy or the the way we have set the topic, especially for leads in fearless, is login once a day to just drop in a message or even answer queries. So that at least also creates these habits so that you don't forget that you're actually serving people who they feel this community. So you pray as much as possible to login every day, go to the fearless specific gender that you are running and then posting anything that you think is useful. So we trained out of the first few months by posting anything. So the thing, the one thing that truly happened or that I'm sending noticing is people are reacting to different types of content.


Lewis (19:14):

So it's like today, I'm going to ask an example is the have you actually created your calendar for the end of the year? And here are ways you can go about it. So you find that I have posted that, but somebody in Singapore has posted something different. So we decided to come back together like, okay, yes, it's good that people are running the particular chapters in their own way to really understand their community, but let's have a centralized place where we can be sharing content. So you find that now we are trying to create content. We are actually creating content and sharing to post it on Slack so that people start engaging on it. And so that's the first thing. So we try to post on a daily basis, something that will actually spark and it's reflecting on the different channels.


Bailey (19:59):

And then are you saying that the chapter leads are looking into each other's channels to see what things are being posted? So you're learning from each other.


Lewis (20:08):

Exactly. So I am in like I would say eight private Slack channels because they will be specific regions. So I see some of the things and they can also engage with them. Of course they know. And one of the things is when you joined fearless, you attach a flag or your name. So definitely when the, see my flag Kenya in Singapore. Yeah. So we start having that conversation. And one of the things that, again, being human is, I don't know if there's a word for it is if you see somebody reacting to something, I don't know if it's something psychological, but you end up taking to it. So if you post something on us, Slack and I engage or need somebody else with, okay. Yeah, that's an interesting thing. Then they start engaging more. But if you post a, nobody reacts to it. So no one ended ends up joining. So we encourage each other in this specific Slack groups as a leads so that we can get other people for the specific channels.


Bailey (21:09):

Oh, this is so smart. You guys have it figured out.


Lewis (21:15):

It's quite, it's quite interesting. Actually. I like the way proportionally responding, you know, starts noticing the differences and the way that people think. And then the other thing is, what we do in terms of format is these are sexual and corporate by asking questions. So that's where everyone is in terms of their whole gender. We are on 7,000. So only. So when somebody asks a question, which I, as leads to answer from our own experiences, again, the companies are more designers, so people have their own expertise. So we bring it together, which address these problems. And these are for you as a member, you feel okay? So we actually see the value of coming back to fearless because they want to address my need. So the owners are there to answer. They're always there to poke me in terms of the way I think, and actually brings people back to engaging. The other thing is we also try to do meetups. So if I choose meetups, I'm the only country, you know, that did a physical meetup during one day was malicious for some reason, really safe. So  


Bailey (22:18):

That's awesome. I envy that,


Lewis (22:22):

But the physical event, I know, I would say that the conversion rate was around 60% because people weren't meeting physical and maybe it sounds maybe to add more context to the malicious speech is the thing was when they're coming to the country for Moshe as a string to recruit the way I was recruiting, like for the whole of Africa, it should discover that designers in Moriches, LinkedIn, their notes on behinds, their notes or Dribbble. They're not on all these social sites. So what she did was she went to the design Institute because that's where they hang out. So she went, she went there physically and she was like, I'd like to do a session and invite all the designers. So by word of mouth, people ended up coming for that particular event. And she did academic box to the fearless community. So for them, you find that the different regions have their own different challenges and all those because your designers, we try as much as possible to think outside the box to address these pain points.


Lewis (23:21):

And for me, that was one of the best ways of addressing it. So trying to do virtual meet-ups, if it's more physical meetups on a monthly basis. So we can even collaborate between different regions, like I would say the America, the America, Phyllis America, and then Phyllis Africa try to come together and do an event to basically together. The other thing is we invite senior designers. So people were around, I would say, 16 years plus experience in the design community to start having conversations. So how about five people? And then somebody like Tom was the co-founder of fearless leading the conversation. So we find again, because our community is made up of junior mid-level and senior designers. We all want to reset and also chime in with our insights or gets insights from that conversation. So we've tried to use different formats of content to engage the members.


Lewis (24:15):

Again, we always get, because new people is joining him. I try personally to DM each and every person in my Africa channel to ask them, how can I help you that bring value to you, especially during this time. So, actually funny enough is before the podcast almost drove as a group, I was individually sending SMS or that I would say DMS to journos the people in the Africa channel asking them that. So how can I serve you better in sheerness? Because the whole point of me being a lead is to serve you and make sure that you're able to achieve your goals with fearless


Bailey (24:49):

Louis. You are such an amazing community lead. I get it. I get it. So, yeah, it's really great. Like, one thing that I love about fearless is the website. So clearly communicates what you do together that there's Slack. If you're talking about what you've been leading and then these it's called video podcast series. So you're talking about these senior design leaders that are brought together for a conversation about a topic like building a design culture building and scaling design, and those videos are made available to so you can watch them. And then there's also this state connected series where different topics were discussed, like mental health and remote collaboration. But I am just curious, you know, on the meetup side, the virtual meetup side, that's something I think a lot of people are trying to figure out right now is sort of what you're navigating. You know, maybe they want to start or stoke the fires of a community right now, and this extended period of not being able to meet strangers in person. So what has worked well for you in terms of designing the format of these meetups or thinking about how to bring people value with a virtual gathering?


Lewis (26:05):

I would say for reflection meetups definitely the key thing is when people are joining. So one of the things that we have mastered is when you join it, we ask you what we'll do like from fearless. So there is already a huge resource there of knowing this is why people actually joined fearless. And we take that as one of the things that can help us to come up with things. It, again, we use different formats to structurally address those issues. So when people are being onboarded or that when they are signing up, we capture the actual needs that they wants to be addressed with fairness. So from there, we ended on spun it up to become something of interest with them.


Bailey (26:46):

I was just wondering what you've learned about how to make a virtual NetApp meaningful cause so many people are trying to figure that out. And as a designer and a problem solver, I was curious what, what you've noticed about what makes those gatherings special, valuable to your community


Lewis (27:07):

Differently, how fun. So don't make it too serious again, as designers do that. So what's interesting is designers. We love memes where we somehow create the memes themselves. So which as much as possible again, because you already do work. You're either designer working with clients or working for your employer. Everything is super serious on that. So when you come to fearless, you want, we want you to feel as if you're at home and it's fine. So these are your brothers, sisters, relatives, friends. So it's a fun place to be. So create that environment for them to feel that they really want to enjoy and even extend the meetup itself. So how fun games have great icebreakers. The second thing is don't do it too much. So I think that was two days ago when somebody asked in one of the communities that I belong to, how frequent should you run your virtual meet-ups, you don't want your community members to forget that you actually exist and you don't want it to be like notifications where they are and to feel it through, know your food.


Lewis (28:12):

So definitely it makes sure that you address or that you try to make sure that when you are setting up the frequency, that sheets, that age change for you, a community, if they're too busy, can be doing it every two months or even if they're not, that's too busy and to see there's this hunger for it. In the other thing I would say is whenever you're doing electrode in nature and hotel land is topics always come from conversations inside of Slack, especially for us. I would say the fourth thing in terms of running a virtual lab is if it was possible, just do small surprises. For example, when again, because physically, what I used to do is the person [inaudible]. So if it's about community, if you're a fast person towards the end of the meetup, I would do personal finance book. So if I think about how to award  your members, especially for willing themselves.


Lewis (29:21):

So if there's somebody was basically I would say I am engaging a lot in the conversation with the discussions, do award them and make sure that it's public so that you can also encourage them to actually participate in the next day. And I would say lastly, as a shift of one of the lessons that I've doing virtual meetups is at the end of the day, you need to make sure that you say thank you to everyone who joined and those who didn't join and also do a follow-up by sharing the video itself, the audio and even the incense. So people normally forget after a meetup, they just end it there, that's it, here's a video, go have fun, which at your own tech, but stroke procedure, just to make sure that it's a reality check for everyone. Who's the donor community. People don't have time to actually sit down and watch the video. We are always rushing, especially as designers or as your members in your community. So just set aside some time, use the the, just transcribes the whole session and share the insights of the particular meetup or event. So that actually would be incentivized. Okay. So these are interesting insights. I'd like to understand more context. So you end up going back to the video or listen to it and get more context. So those are the five things of land personally, for ending, really engaging quite useful to your members.


Bailey (30:53):

This interview is so wonderful. You are such a thoughtful person and such a structured thinker. So I'm like writing down in my notebook right now. You're the five principles of virtual meetup.


Whitney (31:05):

Quite impressive, you know, has proved the case for staying connected and being part of meaningful communities. And I think this speaks a lot to, you know, the stay connected series, how has COVID-19 affected the fearless community? And are there any one or two lessons that you've learned that you're looking to incorporate into the community moving forward?


Lewis (31:26):

Uh unfortunately there are casualties because of COVID, but the people who so or other who saw an opportunity to actually help others, especially during that, that those hard times was like fearless. Fearless was like, let's bring designers together, come let's first. Talk about your wellbeing. And then let's talk about the next steps forward for you. As a designer, we've got a ton of signups from, from designers across the group, and we didn't use any advertising. And we were like, here is a place that is safe for you to actually share as well as connect with other people, made sure that everyone is locked in their houses and interact with your neighbor, with your colleagues, even, even with your friends, but to actually realize you're like, okay, so here's a space where you can connect with your friends.


Lewis (32:20):

Because what happens I've also noticed is when somebody is joining the fearless community, they not only just join by themselves, but they also bring their whole team. So if I'm a senior designer or a lead designer, I tell the junior designers come and join fearless. There's something here for you. And this also created job opportunities could take more. I think I've also seen that other designers because they lost their jobs. They met on fearless senators having a conversation and even builds products to address certain problems as well as events, touch startups in these sense. So that for me, it was really, really impactful, especially for fearless. And in terms of what exactly I have noted in terms of changes is there was a ton of signups just to emphasize those 10 of sign-ups because we were very authentic and we wanted to address the problem at hand.


Lewis (33:12):

Yeah. So then one challenge is differently because I have an eight to five job. It's really challenging to actually set aside time working in a startup. If you have actually worked in a startup, it's crazy. It's like you feel as if you own the actual problem, because being a designer, you have to be empathetic. And when you're empathetic with the users, you actually sleep, you end up spending most of your time, actually trying to address the issue, which again, reduces the time that you can have to commit to their community. So that's the main challenge, especially with fearless, because it's close to my heart. And most of the problems that I'm trying to address in the setup they're currently working is also close to my heart. So trying to balance that is super hard, but the lesson that I have learned so far in terms of how to navigate or address a particular issue is I need to have a shared tool.


Lewis (34:05):

And now, especially with COVID does really taught us more about tape management, because if we don't actually have a work-life balance, or if you don't know how to manage your time, you will end up forgetting yourself as an individual, as well as your priorities. So my biggest lesson is how I schedule, stick to your schedule, make sure that you commit to all your goals, as well as the tasks that you had, internet and publicize, you end up being accountable for your own tasks. And this helps our, that has helped me in terms of making sure that I'm leading the Africa chapter, as well as helping other leads in achieving the particular goals.


Bailey (34:46):

What have you learned? You've done, you've organized so many different communities since you were a young boy. What have you learned about community building from, from being a part of fearless?


Lewis (34:58):

So being that fearless, I've been able to lead myself because I have got an opportunity to get out of my cocoon. So fearless has have been, has been partnering a lot with so many companies so that you can listen listening as well as network with other designers as well as company. And that created that space for me to actually discover more about myself, because I was really afraid of speaking in front of people and leading a community as actually middly too. I don't know if it's addressing the issue of being shaped, but it has made me to share with, or to share it from these opportunities. And I remember when it was running the previous product tank, because it was a physical event, you know, when you're there, you are helping the speaker to actually do their talk, making sure that the members are seated and they have their snacks.


Lewis (35:47):

And then actually the event I thought before you finish the event to go home. But what ended up happening is people start queuing in front of you wanting to know more about you, as well as a community. There's no, you can't run away from it. So it came to the reality that whenever you're a community lead, you will need to own it as well as come out of your shell and help these people is that same case too. These group stories that you had Nelson Mandela, and I let great leaders, they had to see, I am not going to be proud. What I'm going to do is be humble serve these people and make sure that they're able to achieve their goals. So being a great listener is one of them you're able to take in negative feedback and making sure that it always, I am serious about the jobs that I'm doing, because you are responsible for each and every individual in that community. So literally that has, that has been my biggest lesson coming to lead in fearless.


Bailey (36:52):

If you were to offer anyone advice, if they were, you know, getting started on a community right now, planning to use technology, to bring people together. What's one piece of advice that you would leave an aspiring community leader.


Lewis (37:08):

Definitely listen to this podcast, not episode,


Speaker 5 (37:17):

Oh, you just say that


Lewis (37:21):

I'm actually being serious when I started out unfortunately I didn't know, this podcast actually existed. So it was just me running my own experiments. So being a growth high crash, you have to run small experiments and then iterate from there. But now that I know it exists, it's actually, okay, this is the first place you need to come and learn more about that being a community leader, because there are other common coming leads that have actually spoken before me. And I was like, this is quite intriguing. The era they're running a different measure and have peak setting lessons that you could use in the way I normally run the committee that I'm currently running. So I'd say the number one thing is listen to all these podcasts. And then maybe just to add, the second thing is you need to evaluate yourself running a community is not for everyone.


Lewis (38:21):

I have been in. Think that put in a community lead, you end up being a superstar because you end up getting to know so many people that so many people end up doing you. So like, okay, this is interesting. I can grow my network through being a community leader, but it takes more than just being famous to actually be a successful community leader. So just evaluate yourself. You really, really want to serve people and QC, if you are running a community, just know that you're like a servant and every set or that every successful Savage always puts other people in front of them or even before them. So just know if you're getting into this, you need to evaluate yourself, is this thing for me or not.


Speaker 1 (39:09):

If people want to get involved with the fearless community, how, how can they do that? Where should they head?


Lewis (39:15):

So if you want to meet us or engage with us, just go to, just type it's fearless. We'll find us on all the different social channels to, to Facebook, LinkedIn. I think of any dream board, I think we are featuring kids Debbie's there. Yep. So that's where you can find us or reach out to us. You can even reach out to the individual community leads who are all happy to have you in our community.


Speaker 1 (39:42):

Thank you so much. Yeah.


Lewis (39:47):

Yes. So I normally so two things, so first of all, I don't formally like I'm selling myself, but in this case, since I want a podcast, I would say just Google me. It's [inaudible] this handled, if you actually put the app symbol and G E S H L E w. So it pronounced it doesn't yes. You will find me anywhere. Every single thing I've ever done on the internet is publicly out there. So that's how you find me. So the second thing I do also like to mention that maybe I had forgotten to add is when you are doing a community, the most important thing is, remember, you're not doing your telephone so needs to personnel with other companies or other teams or other people. So this can be with inspiration brands to bring meaningful conversations. For example, as having this conversation is I would just have me to, as a partnership because we are talking about we're having a meaningful conversation and it's generating full fruit content.


Lewis (40:50):

The other thing is you need to run charity initiatives. So use your networks to actually build your community because you are sharing the same values as your networks. So that means there's going to be a purposeful change, then that achieve that you want to address. And lastly ordered like proposal insurance is get content from people. So team up with actual people from all corners of the world, because you're going to bring different perspective that creates, you know, I know it's morning. I don't know if yeah, definitely. We have an American here at Kenyon, Kenyon, the different cultures, really bringing in together an interesting voice as well as support in the community leadership industry. So she gets content from people, make sure that you are driving charity initiatives and do as many partnerships as you can so that you can make your community successful as well as you, as a community, you become more successful.


Bailey (41:51):

Thank you so much. And as Whitney said, that was, you have such structured thinking and it's so wonderful to hear you communicate so clearly about your


Lewis (42:01):

Learnings. And I really, really enjoyed that conversation. So thank you to you and Whitney. Thank you for bringing Lewis folk podcast. Thank you.


Speaker 1 (42:13):

If you want to connect to the [inaudible] on Twitter, thank you to our team. Thank you. Rosanna cabana for engineering and editing Greg for his design work and Katie or Cornell for marketing this episode. Ooh, you can find out more about the work Kevin Kai and I do. As people in company, helping organizations get clear on who their most important communities are and how to build with those people, a heading to our website, people Also, if you want to start your own community or supercharge one, you're already a part of like Louis has our handbook is here for you. Visit get-together to grab a coffee it's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders, like the ones we've had on this podcast. And last thing, if you enjoyed the podcast, please review us on your local podcast store or click subscribe. It helps get these stories out to more people. See y'all next time.