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How Community Involvement Can Facilitate Leadership Development

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Have you ever had a life-defining moment? I do not refer to near-death circumstances here. Preferably, I’m talking about turning points and life-altering decisions like being a part of a community in your ecosystem as a growing professional, just like Bolaji Ayodeji.

Recently, Google Developer Groups released a highlight that explored the life-changing opportunities technology is providing young and growing talents in the ecosystem through communities.

The story featured Hanson Johnson, a thought leader in the Nigerian tech ecosystem and CEO of Start Innovation Hub. According to Hanson;

“Technology and programming are very important to Nigeria. Technology has helped boost our economy. To young people, it has helped engage them productively and profitably.”

Also highlighted in the story was Bolaji Ayodeji’s journey from being a solo-programmer to a developing tech leader through community involvement.

“When I started, I had no computer. I was literally coding with a mobile device. So last year, I found DevFest on Facebook. I got here…I was just listening. And then I realized what I was doing then was quite little to what is being done. So, I started a blog and started sharing every little knowledge I have…I started building communities in my own locality.”

– Bolaji Ayodeji.

Professional communities are a huge part of the mechanism that drives learning-centered development and leadership in every ecosystem. 

No! Don’t feel omitted.

Professionals” here refers to budding talents, growing professionals, experts, and veterans in the ecosystem, alike. 

A community as an entity creates robust programs for supporting and promoting talent, intellectual, career, and personal development amongst professionals in the ecosystem, which in the long run fosters the country’s development in technology.

Ideally, thought leaders, companies, and corporations in the ecosystem help the communities develop seamless processes for maintaining these programs.

However, the big question would be,

How Would Community Involvement Facilitate Your Development As A Leader In Your Ecosystem?

1. Community-Led Events

Communities organize events to bring growing talents and professionals across the industry together to promote knowledge-sharing and innovation in industrial practices. Well, examples of such community-led events include the GDG (Google Developer Group) DevFests, GBG (Google Business Group) BizFests, Developer Circles from Facebook, and so on, that hold in regions in the different countries where they have local communities. 

So, being an active part of these events hosted by the communities in your ecosystem can give you a good understanding of industrial practices and the business of your skills as a talent.

2. Volunteering Opportunities

Also, with every community, there are always opportunities for you to volunteer. As mentioned earlier, most communities have local branches in regions of different countries that are run by volunteering members of these communities.

These volunteers oversee the promotion and maintenance of the initiatives and programs that are typical of the community, still. So, you can develop your personal, tech, and leadership skills through the exposure of volunteering opportunities.

3. Problem-solving Hackathons And Experience Opportunities

The best any community can do for developing talents is providing them opportunities to practice their developed skills while finding solutions to industry and local issues, which should explain the idea of Hackathons. 

4. Collaboration and Mentorship

Similarly, communities bring talents together to foster collaboration and mentorship. So, they create internship, incubation, and fellowship opportunities that you can leverage as a member to achieve relevance in the ecosystem as a tech talent and professional.

What’s The Catch?

While there are many things you can be or do as an individual,  yet, to achieve greater milestones as a professional, to become a leader, interactions with other professionals in your industry in a community is important – almost essential.

So, find a community around you and start getting involved, you never can tell, you may just have another story like Bolaji Ayodeji.

You can check out Google Business Groups, Google Developer Groups, and Facebook Developer Circles.

Until next time, stay productive, and keep winning!

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