No this is not the start of a joke?

Nor a question asked in a team meeting in a care home?

This is the question my boss asked me when I unveiled a crazy plan I had back in 2010 when I came back from an old age pensioners community meeting which hadn’t exactly gone to plan.

It was back when London was getting itself ready to host the greatest show on earth…long before Hugh Jackman and his tribe were on the scene. I was working as an Olympic Development Manager in an outer London borough, Redbridge. My job was to get everyone excited, to bring opportunities into the borough and to help teams across the council understand the impact of those 6 weeks of disruption.

It was a tough job.

Not everyone wanted the games.

I’d been putting off going to the Redbridge Pensioners Forum because I had heard that there was a lot of unhappiness about how little they were being consulted, and how it wasn’t going to impact them in a positive way at all.

But I braved the meeting, I gave my presentation, and then I braced myself for the questons and comments from the floor…and lets just say they didn’t hold back.

I held my own though, I told them my job was to involve EVERYONE, and one way or another I would find a way to get them involved.

And a few hours later while back at my desk it came to me.

“I’m going to get 100 old age pensioners from Redbridge dancing in the opening ceremony”

I said to my collegue

“You’re nuts”

I think was the answer.

But the following month I headed back to the community forum and I revealed my plans. There was a mix of excitement and some skepticism, but I asked them to at least give it a go and see where we got?

I employed a chair based exercise expert, and I utalised my skills from my performing arts degree, and together we choreographed an 11 minute piece which used the Olympics as inspiration….with the Chariots of Fire and Rocky theme tunes, it was an absolute blast.

We went from rehearsals of 10 people, to regular rehursals of 80-110 pensioners. From every corner of the borough, from every ethnicity you could imagine. 50 year olds and 90 year olds…we even had a couple of chaps that were at the 1948 games, who took great pleasure in sharing their stories.

These were folks that never really had a reason to spend time with each other before, and now they had this shared vision of being involved in the Olympics.

They never did get selected to be in the official opening ceremony at the games, but they were involved in every celebration that happened across the borough, and even performed at an event where the Queen visited…the actual QUEEN OF ENGLAND imagine that?

Some of those old people went on to become volunteers at the olympics, some went on to get involved in other arts programmes in the borough, and many will just have been left with lasting memories of that year where they were involved in the 2012 Games.

Let me tell you…The Golden Years Dance Troupe…was not in my job description. My bosses boss I am sure started having real doubts about taking me on when he heard about this scheme, but can I tell you out of all the projects I have ever been involved in…this one was 100% the most satistfying.

My daughter Rose has just started a new dance class at a local arts centre, the same arts centre I took my old people too, to get them performance ready. Seeing them see themselves in the full length mirror in the proper dance studio for the first time was so powerful I thought I might cry, and now every time I take my 6 year old there I remember just how magical that was an experience.

I love bringing people together.

I’m good at it.

I can create something out of nothing (well my mum always did tell me that…as have many of my ex partners, but thats a different matter)

There is something really powerful about allowing yourself to be part of a community, embracing the diversity of a group, helping others to shine, allowing yourself to also.

I am so glad that I have gone back to my roots and started to fully embrace the skills that I have in bringing people together with a shared goal.

Today is the last chance to sign up at the early bird price for my new programme for female entrepreneurs called Tribe Builders, its designed especially for female bloggers, speakers, influencers, experts and coaches…or women who run businesses where they want to grow a loyal customer base.

Sign up before midnight tonight and get in for just £300

The programme is designed to help you understand the power of community not only for doing good, but for driving profits, and creating capacity within your business.

I may not be able to get 100 female entrepreneurs dancing, but I can sure as hell get them smiling, and feeling ready to step up and be visible in the world.

Check out www.tribebuildernetwork.com and get ready to become a powerful Tribe Builder yourself…go on knock yourself out

Before you go...

Time small

Join my FREE 10 day challenge and take your first step to leading a bigger, BETTER life.

(Your details are 100% safe with us, they will never be passed on and we hate spam as much as you do. Maybe more.) Powered by ConvertKit
%d bloggers like this: