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The Power of ‘We’: 4 ways a collective mindset builds strong communities

A collective mindset will ultimately make our relationships stronger.

“Think we, not me.”

This is the mantra of Studio 5 contributor Shima Baughman, who believes that a collective mindset is what makes great leaders and ultimately builds strong communities.


The Collective Mindset

Shima explained that a collective mindset is not about one person taking all the credit for a group project or making everything about themselves. It’s about recognizing and appreciating everyone who contributes to a project or event.

She said, “I truly could not be here without my nanny and without my husband and without, and so it’s like, do we take this collective ‘we’ mindset or is it just about me and I put my name on the book?”

The Impact of Consumerism

Shima referred to a quote by the late Chief Rabbi of the UK, Lord Jonathan Sacks, who said, “The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad 1, iPad 2, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTunes, I, I, I.” He goes on to say that when you’re an individualist, egocentric culture, and you only care about “I”, you don’t do terribly well.

Shima summarized this by saying, “We’re focused on the consumer and that’s I. How do I make myself prettier? How do I make myself richer? How do I do this for me? Rather than what about us? What about society? What helps other people?”

The Covenant Mindset

Shima introduced the concept of a covenant mindset, which she described as tracing our identity back to the same start.

She said, “When you think of families, it’s easy to see your family as a ‘we.’ It’s not as easy to see your community as a ‘we’, but when we look back, it’s like we all trace back to the same beginning point.”

One way to cultivate a collective mindset, according to Shima, is by expanding our definition of family. She suggests that people we minister to, or our neighbors could be considered part of our family. Love these people, get to know them, and serve them.

The Rule of Thumb

Shima left us with a powerful rule of thumb: “If it’s a mistake, it’s ‘I.’ And if it’s something great, it’s ‘we.’” This simple principle serves as a reminder to take responsibility for our mistakes and to share our successes with those who helped us achieve them. That mindset will build stronger, more inclusive communities.

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