Meet Up

Living abroad offers the opportunity for adventure every time we walk out the door.  Today’s discovery started off by joining a running group I found on  I was welcomed immediately by the Ingmar, the group leader who offered options for Sunday’s run.  Feeling ambitious I agreed to meet at the early starting point and head out with Ingmar to  do a warm-up run to the official start.  In the hour of running to get to the group start he pointed to numerous sites and locations that might be of interest to me and my family.  We arrived at the official launching point for the run and about dozen runners were ready to head for the hills.  We climbed steeply to an amazing old railway trail that contoured the hillside and proceeded along, high enough to take in a constant view of the city and ocean and yet feel like we were a bit detached.  We ran in groups of two or three but waited at key intersections or the infrequent water fountains.  Runners turned around as the distance increased but not without announcing their intentions.  Eventually we climbed to the highest point where a number of runners opted to take the bus back to the city and a few of began the run back.  One runner knew of a shortcut and another offered advice on how we could intersect our intended route.  As we rolled into the final hour we shared what remaining food and water was in the group’s possession.  Finally we reached the group starting point and Ingmar and I began our final cruise back to the city center.  Almost 40 kilometers later I was back at our apartment.

I share this because it was the perfect road map of how a tribe works effectively.  When I headed out the door this morning, I knew little of where we were headed or how the day would play out.  After I returned, I had been welcomed by a number of individuals who shared the same passion.  We had covered amazing terrain and I was introduced to trails I might have never found on my own reconnaissance.  I finished feeling excited about the experience and ready to sign-up for more.  I even found one of the runners had uploaded pictures to the Meetup group page by the time I got back.

How do you welcome newcomers to your cause?  What is their initial experience?  What is the tribe’s culture?  Do members openly offer assistance to one another? What immediate follow-up can they expect?   Can the members of the tribe communicate with one another using your cause as a platform?  Do newcomers sign-up for more?

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