The Power of Community

As humans, we all long for connection to a community, something bigger than us.


As leaders, you can create an environment for your company that is community, rather than disconnected ruling. Howard’s book gives leaders and employees alike a way to be intentional about facilitating a space of community for their business.

The traditional boss to employee relationship is when the boss tells the employee what to do and they do it. What if the boss asked about the employee’s dreams or tried to know their story?


The three keys to community:

  • Support
  • Encouragement
  • Accountability


Statistically for the past 25 years, when employees are asked what they want from their workplace, the #1 thing they say is sincere and honest appreciation.

Phenomenal leaders value others, serve others, care for others, encourage others, develop others, and keep others accountable through love.

What it really comes down to is that nothing can replace true relationship.


You can pre-order the book now, and have access to all of “The Power of Community Resources” by going to this link:

Show Transcription

[00:57] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance. I’m your host Kevin Miller and today we are talking about something that is just…vital. Community, and specifically, the power it has for your life, and the handicap we all have without it. This is actually a special instalment in place of our normal Q&A, but we had a chance to talk with Howard Partridge on his new book “The Power of Community – How Phenomenal Leaders Inspire Their Teams, WOW Their Customers and Make Bigger Profits.  I just spent time in Nashville, TN with Howard and got a copy right from Howard’s hand. This is a timely, timely book. We are suffering as a culture by being uber connected digitally, but under connected personally with real relationships. The book comes out Jan 25, 2018 but you can Pre-order now at When I asked him what the catalyst was for his devotion to this topic, he cited it was…church. And the LACK of real community and relationship there. Pretty interesting.

[02:42] If you don’t know Howard, he knocked it out of the park in business and is now an international business coach with coaching members in over 100 industries in 9 countries. He is a best selling author of seven books and the exclusive business coach for the Zig Ziglar Corporation. Howard has a story…he grew up on welfare in Mobile Alabama and left home at 18. He arrived in Houston, Texas on a Greyhound bus with only 25 cents in his pocket. He started his first business out of the trunk of his car over 33 years ago and built it into a multi-million dollars’ enterprise. He has owned 9 small businesses altogether and owns 4 companies at the time of this recording. He is the proud president of Phenomenal Products, Inc. which helps leaders and business owners inspire their teams using the Power of Community.

[03:46] All right Howard, we dig into this book on a community when was it that the concept, the power, the enigma of community really hits you?

[04:04] It absolutely was, actually although the book is not about church, it actually happened as a result of church and I would go to church every Sunday and you know the message was nice and the pastor had a great message sometimes, very inspirational but I noticed that people were pretty much the same you know week after week. There really wasn’t a lot of change and then I went to a Tuesday night home group right and here we had a small group of people meeting in a living room where you know one had a word, one had a song, you know Kenny was playing guitar, one person was sharing, we were collecting money for someone to fix our car. Someone was babysitting my son in the other room and I just realized that there was this sense of community happening and that’s kind of what started me on the journey.

[05:04] OK well, not to deviate too far onto the church realm there but I am curious, I have only strongmen a grown up and always been involved a traditional church. I’ve always struggled with exactly that. Has that led you to, do you still tend a traditional church in the do this type of community with that group on the side or if you’ve found another platform for church that doesn’t agree that?

[05:26] Yeah it’s interesting because what happened shortly after that is God led me to a couple of guys who were the pioneers in the cell church movement and I spent twenty years working with those guys Dr Ralph Neighbour Jr and Bill Beckham and back the first time I heard the word community associated with all this was from Dr Neighbour. And we did these cell groups and I learned that the largest churches in the world were so group churches and and a cell was like the human body is made up of cells, that grow and multiply and sometimes die for the result of life. But it’s all about giving life and so we go to a traditional church now and the interesting thing is is that we have some small groups but I travel so much and that’s part of our challenge today with technology and travel and all that is that we can’t be as connected in person as we would like to be. And I just love small groups and we started doing it in our business coaching and in our company and getting people in a circle and it’s just amazing what happens when when you do that.

[07:42] ‘Every human being has a longing for belonging. We all want to feel loved, accepted, and validated. We want to feel that our lives matter. Deep down, we want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. We want to make a positive difference. Today, we are more connected digitally than ever before, yet we often feel more isolated and disconnected personally than ever’. My question…our buddy Mark Timm in regards to family and parenting says if we don’t influence our kids, somebody or something else will. Is it fair to say if we don’t create the community we want, we’ll adopt a lesser community? Not just the wrong crowd, but a virtual community, even media…tv let’s say, where we vicariously feel we belong?

[08:52] Well that’s the thing and that’s really what’s happened on social media is that we are getting so addicted to our like and numbers and those kinds of things and unfortunately the way that we live today, our kids who don’t live like you live and live intentionally like Mark Tennis is doing with his family, as it were disconnect that we’re just not as involved in one another’s lives as you know everybody would like to be. I mean at the end of the day everybody wants exactly what you just said but it’s difficult to do it with our fragmented media driven life and so we do have to be intentional about it. This book really is more about how to do that in your company because you’re taken people who are really been influenced by media and really connected digitally but are disconnected at work. And of course I cite the ongoing Gallup poll that 70% of American workers are disengaged, 18% are actively disengaged does not get it getting any better and it’s not going to get any better the more digital that we go.

[11:55] You have a primary focus of creating community in our work, which is where most people spend the majority of their time. In the Ziglar audience, we have a lot of business owners, but right off the bat, let’s deal with those who are employees and may feel they don’t have the power to create of influence community at work. What can they do?

[12:28] Yeah, that was a great question, in fact what I did in the book is one of the parts of the book is how to do small groups, have a specific methodology for small groups that actually learn from Dr Neighbour and build back I’m over all those years of doing small groups, I probably did small groups for twenty years and well maybe twenty five years now but what we do in our company is every week instead of having a traditional standup meeting where the owner or the manager stands up and speaks to the group, as we meet in circles I call them Pods and Tom Ziglar and I also do this in our business coaching where we have weekly pods. But then we have conferences we put them at round tables to create that sense of community. So what employees can do is encourage their leader, manager, their boss whoever the business owner to embrace this concept. And the reason I called it Pod because that stands for the power of discovery systems and what happens is today more than ever people are low but resistant to authority because authority has been misused and they’ve got so much information at their fingertips that if I tell you something your natural response might be I don’t know, let me go research that. And certainly there’s this you know you’re not boss to me, even if you are the boss of them right. And so these groups what happens is you can stand up there and talk to them all day long, they’re not going to retain most of it, they’re not to live most of it out but when they have a part in creating it through these small groups I call Pods, then there’s this engagement that happens, that’s just amazing. And so what I do in the book is I give a link where they can go to that particular link and download a leaders guide, where they can do these small groups in their companies and everybody goes through the book together.

[19:08] In your book, you say “Creating community CAN be done, but it doesn’t happen naturally. The only way to get there is to intentionally create it. It will be challenging, but it will be worth the effort, as you’ll have something very few companies have.” This seems to harken to the idea we often battle regarding Sales that…salespeople are just born. They are the outgoing, intuitive “people persons” and everyone else is a lost cause. We know this to be false, good salespeople are trained, not born. Similar issue here?

[20:10] Well and been highly charismatic might even be a detriment because someone typically who is highly charismatic has a lot to say and you’re not going to build community by talking you’re going to build community by listening. And so I outline in the book three keys we can talk about if you want to and then in the book which I don’t really have time to go into here on this podcast today. But I outlined six steps that they can take and it does take time but it simply starts with a quote that we’re both very familiar with and that Zig Ziglar’s quote of you can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what it is that they want. So that one switch changed my business life and Tom and I work with a lot of business owners that has changed their perspective about employees. So the typical boss employee sort of relationship I tell you what to do you do it, we’re good right. And really if you want the best culture what have let me just ask this question, what if you asked your team members what their dreams and goals were and you help them with resources whether that’s information maybe they want to get out of debt, so you turn them on the Dave Ramsey right. Maybe they want to get healthy so you turn them on to some help program or you bring in you know somebody who you know could do some nutritional classes or whatever you know Matthew Kelley wrote a book called ‘The drain manager’ and just people knowing that you care about their personal lie is a start. But a lot of leaders, a man or jurors and business owners are afraid to do that because if I start like you know penitence into my employees and helping them they’re going to and be too friendly with them then they’re going to want to take advantage of me. And that is a concern but what’s the alternative, working with strangers, working with people, who don’t even know each other, don’t even like each other, you know heard someone once say you can love anybody once you get to know their story.

[25:14] You cite 3 keys to community. Three Keys To community:

  1. Support
  2. Encouragement
  3. Accountability

I want to ask you about a concern I think most people have in it. In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the workplace, authors Gary Chapman and Paul White, who we interviewed in show number 474 cited that the number on way companies tend to try and show appreciation is with Gifts, yet that ranked last out of the 5 ways. In that light, how do companies often go about trying to create community, yet do it wrong?

[26:23] Yeah so the thing is that the Leadership Challenge Series, they’ve been doing the stuff for like forty years and for over a quarter of a century they’ve been polling and interviewing both managers and employees and managers that they interview if you ask them you know what are your employers want the first thing they say is they want more money. And while it’s true that there might be a felt need of a lot of employees especially you know after tax and how much things cost the truth is this that when they surveyed employees, now Kevin this is research for over twenty-five years’ quarter of a century has it changed a bit. The number one thing a sincere and honest appreciation. One of the things that I’ve learned is that there are outgoing personalities, there are reserved personalities, we do a lot of training in the desk, model of human behaviour, outgoing personalities they like the recognition be on the front of the room. But reserved personalities they would rather you get them a note of appreciation in private or talk to them in private and I love the idea of the five love languages because we all have that different language that we like to be recognized, whether appreciative or loved done by. And so the first step is to get to know your people.

[37:50] You’ll then learn the Six Steps to Building Community and what phenomenal leaders do to create community in their organizations:

  1. Value true community. Phenomenal leaders value others.
  2. Pursue champion connections. Phenomenal leaders serve others.
  3. Inspire emotional trust. Phenomenal leaders care for others.
  1. Practice gift exchange. Phenomenal leaders develop others.
  2. Invite open hearted encounters. Phenomenal leaders love others.
  3. Build Growth PODS™. Phenomenal leaders coach others.

None of these have to do with the normal resume, even at executive and C level positions. How do you hire leaders and managers for this?

[39:05] So let’s just be real about this OK. Gallup poll 70% of American workers are disengages, at the same time. C.E.O.’s are being hired for their technical skill and where everything is leveraged on short term profits and that C.E.O. comes and cleans house turns the numbers around or whatever but the truth is a few read Jim Collins work if you really look at the the best companies in the world. There are people who there’s a level of caring for their team that is at the heart of that because the thing is you can hire an employee, you can hire a C.E.O., you can hire anybody with technical work but if they don’t know how to coach someone else, they don’t know how to serve someone else, they don’t know how to build relationships where is that gonna go. You might get short term profits and lose what is really valuable in your company and that is your culture.

[48:44] Well in this and you hit this really well in the book and I thought you mentioned Simon Sinek the WHY. So you know reference my health and wellness industry and involvement that in there and just talk about exercise I think we look at that and go I come on why are we exercising like crazy why that’s a big thing, it reminds me of exercise. My own grandfather, he didn’t ever “exercise”. He was a farmer. His life was exercise. But today someone can get out of bed, walk a few steps to get ready for hte day and get into their car. Park in a parking garage, take the elevator to the office, sit all day, repeat home. Never stressing their muscles or expanding their lungs. For years. Life doesn’t require it. So we have to…manufacture it. Sounds like you’re testifying to the same thing?

[50:08] Yes I have a whole chapter in the book on how a lost community now. Not everybody agrees that in America we really had this sense of community but the fact is that at the turn of the twentieth century more people lived in rural communities than they did in big cities and once all these people started living in these cities together all of a sudden I am living next to strangers, I’m locked in my door, put in deadbolts on the door and there’s this fear and so then we had the industrial revolution and then we had tell of those and where live T.V. is come in to our living room and it just so happened that at that time we had the civil rights movement ,we had the assassination of J.F.K. and literally if you watched my opinion, if you watched the P.B.S. special of the Vietnam War and you watch it closely; you’ll see that this country changed from 1965 to 1969 and we’ve never recovered right. And so there was this perfect storm this perfect conversion then that took place and we’ve never recovered from that and it’s getting worse because now social media amplifies everything, you don’t even know what the truth is anymore right. We need each other, we need community and weekend start in the one place that’s left other than our own families, the one place in society that’s left where we can do this is small business right. You can do it in corporate on your your teams too but there’s a lot of issues and structures and boundaries in corporate America that makes a little bit more difficult to do because the truth is that in order for true community to emerge, the focus of a lot of that group have to have the same vision and values and the truth is that today even as a country, we’re very divided. But the point of all that is that we were created to need one another and today we don’t need one another and the bad news that I have for the audience is what you and probably many of them already know is that it’s going to get worse with. Artificial intelligence virtual reality and all that.

[57:48] Friends…I hope you’ve just been given a massive jolt to start now…and up your investment in relationships and community. Your soul longs for connectedness. Again, get  “The Power of Community – How Phenomenal Leaders Inspire Their Teams, WOW Their Customers and Make Bigger Profits.  At with some bonuses, or just get it wherever you purchase books. Coming up next in show 534 we bring you a guy with a massive community. Jonathan Fields is host of “The Good Life Project”, which as of our interview was sitting at 60th in iTunes…overall. All podcasts on the planet. He has distilled a “good life” intro 3 primary buckets. The simplicity of his message is really what is causing so many people to engage and it’s literally spawned a movement. Peole are just drawn to Jonathan, as I’ve been. I could have talked to him all day on this interview, nearly everything he said I was writing down to quote him on. Please, do yourself a favor…don’t miss this show. Till then, thank you for lettting me walk with you as we inspire our true performance…together.