The Front Porch by Dr. Steve Greene
The passing of Andy Griffith this week, closed a chapter in America that will only
live now in our memories.
Many of us proudly claim we have watched every episode of the Andy Griffith Show
and would be happy to do so again. And again.
Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, Floyd, Goober and a cast of neighbors provided a
steady flow of life in a community. We also learned leadership principles from
Barney, the wannabee… and Sheriff Taylor as he lead a community to take care of
each other. Barney will live on as a reminder of how not to lead.
But the star of the show wasn’t a person. Or even the town. It was Andy’s front
porch. The front porch offered full view of sidewalks, white picket fences and a
parade of neighbors as they passed by the porch.
Today, we settle for E-Berry.
Instead of people walking by we have e-pages with faces and pictures and interests
and stories. Our human itch … to be in a community “where everybody knows your
name” is scratched via Wifi. Our new community is broader, more diverse and
maybe wiser (“Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.)
Our observation is that businesses miss the heart of social media. When a business
crosses the picket fence line to DO BUSINESS in a front yard… the community tends
to push back. When a business compels me with conversation to leave the front
porch for the general store—social media works as a medium should work.
We offer 3 lessons from Andy and the gang:
- Create listening posts– Andy always listened more than he talked. When the see-saw tips the other direction—the community loses interest.
- Serve first—It seemed like every episode of Andy featured a form of service. There must be more give than take.
- Be there—The front porch appeared in every episode. It was the glue to the show. Frequency matters. Fresh content matters.
Give us more community. We miss Mayberry.
Learn more about Dr. Greene at http://www.drstevegreene.com/