In life, we meet people who dismiss resources that could help them as being for beginners or “newbies” or whatever, as if learning from said resources was somehow beneath them. Whether it be books, websites, conference talks or something else, it happens. Perhaps those who are brand new to a particular craft stand the most to gain from a resource, but that can be said for anything and does not invalidate the value that it can be provide to the experienced. Community management is no exception.

If someone has been doing it for a while and they have some great experience – that’s awesome. But, you don’t want that to make you thumb your nose at additional opportunities to learn in fear that, if you say you are learning from something, you think it makes you appear weak or not the expert you want to be seen as. Just the opposite is true.

I learn everyday, from all sorts of people. Members, my staff, my peers. Whatever. I want to keep learning and to keep getting better. I’m open to any opportunity for that. That does not make me weak or anything like that. I believe that it makes me smarter and stronger and that this is the way that a community administrator should be.

Let me give another example. I had a big time idiot that I had to ban from and after he was banned, he posted on his site, trying to make fun of mine. One of the things he said was that one of my Support Team members had asked for help in our forums and that that meant that he had no business being on the Support Team. Whereas, the banned member felt I should have offered him a position instead of banning him. (I’d rather close the site first).

And in this example, he perfectly encapsulated why I would never ask him to join my staff. He just didn’t get it. I don’t want people who think they know it all and that they can never ask for help. I don’t want to know that person, let alone have them on my staff. I want people who are smart enough to know that being smart means asking for help when you don’t know something and crediting those that helped you to get to that point.

If you are a great forums administrator and community manager, others have helped you become one. And if you become a better one, others will have helped you grow to that level. Don’t try to run from it, don’t try to insulate yourself from it. When I think of the people I consider great, I can also think of instances where they have taken the time to talk about those that helped them to become great.

Please keep yourself open to learning and to growth. That’s how the road to success is built.