Updated: 7 days ago
I just finished watching this documentary on WeWorks and one of its founders, Adam Neuman, prompting me to write something about it because what happened in this documentary occurs every day in our lives.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to put together a blog about inciting fear, watching liars and “values” of communities. I will definitely be getting into details about each subject for sure, but for now, let’s focus on communities.
While I was watching this documentary, it made me think of an organization I used to work for in late 2013 through 2014. I had a keen sense this organization was different from other places I used to work for and when they began to change in 2014, thinking about it now, they were following the same concept as WeWorks.
Now mind you, I started working in the very late 80’s and back then, it was a different environment. Were their office politics? Sure. What place doesn’t have it?
In addition, I remember going on interviews with various temp agencies, which were big back then and one of the questions were, do you have thick skin? Can you let things roll over your shoulders?
For many millennials, they really don’t understand those terms (don’t hate), because the culture only understands the sheep like mentality.
Now before you get your panties in a bunch, hear me out.
This documentary, from the moment I began watching, I already knew where it was going. It could be intuition or it could be experience or maybe both, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, is think about what you plan on doing before reacting and just going with the crowd, because you see, when we were all growing up, we’ve experienced peer pressure in one form or another.
If it was a dare or if you didn’t like a certain type of music, you weren’t cool, etc. It was all of those things and more that most times made our decisions of how we wanted to be viewed by others.
Of course, there were those who singled out themselves from the crowd, again for different reasons. Maybe their had goals they wanted to work on. Also, strict upbringing, where parents have set goals for their child. Whatever that may be, the flock of sheep seem to stay stuck, going where the next best thing is.
Cults are not new. What is “new” is the ideas that bring people together and technology has made it so easy for anyone to believe and buy into any idea.
This is how it’s worked in the past before the internet, just the internet has made it easier.
For anyone who remembers the inception of the internet, can remember sites like “Friendster” and “Myspace”.
While Myspace didn’t make any real celebrities, everyone was in their own right. Their page designs were made up of each personality, so for example, if you went on to a page where a person loved skulls, most likely their designs would be dark and skulls draped in the background. If someone loved bling, chances are your eyes would be adorned with bling dripping all of their page. Every time you visited a page, you wanted a piece of that. So much, one would lose their identity.
Cult leaders/organizations have learned in order to engage an audience you find their weakness and in that weakness, you build upon it, making them feel as though they are safe with that “leader”, because “they care”.
In the WeWorks documentary, I believed Adam Neuman had real intentions of making a difference in a culture who dared to dream, but in the midst of helping people daring to dream, he also realized he was taking in a new vibe of people who looked up to his values because they all shared the ‘same dream’.
And with that new vibe, came money. And the more the money came in, the less he cared about the people and their dreams and their values. It was all about encasing people, taking them away from the real world and building upon the concept of a cultured life, to make everyone believe this was the life they wished to live.
And what happens to people when they become enveloped in a pack of lies?
When the greed supersedes people, values and the culture, everything begins to collapse.
Read your history, Bernie Ebbers, Bernie Madoff, Jeffrey Skilling and so on. It is the white collar crime of humankind.
I see it happening within the adult world, where people lie about, “take your money out of this platform because something is going down” or lies about how to market your business, what platform sites to use, or delete back up accounts because that can get your twitter deleted, etc. Yes, most of the information you can find online by reading the terms of service. The beauty about the adult world is you have choices. If one platform doesn’t work for you, there’s always another one you can use.
The same way people at WeWorks believed in this “we” concept, it’s the same way here. Do you believe anyone has good intentions for your business brands and concepts who tell you to take your money out right away? And what if you do? Have they asked you to invest in something else that hasn’t launched, but possibly put your money here and it will come back in tenfold?
The ideas of consistency are what makes a brand or person reliable.
This is why I brought up in the beginning about watching liars. Why? Because their brand of consistency is to one, rip you off and two, they never have a real direct answer to your questions.
If someone tells you to do something and they have the paperwork something is going to happen but they cannot show you, how much trust would you put into this person?
Personally, I would not. The consistent lies have been present enough for me to make a choice to say, because of the lack of integrity to share pertinent information that may affect how I do business, isn’t a threat for me to make hasty choices, where there hasn’t been valuable evidence to follow through to prove my business ventures could be in jeopardy.
WeWorks was the modern-day cult. Adam Neuman took an idea, which was probably with good intentions, but when he realized himself as a leader, where people can look up to him, all of that changed. The business model changed, who was running things changed. It was almost as if he wanted to be the Steve Jobs of basically renting office space.
The idea of community has also changed. People consider their social network their community and to be honest, that’s great, but what happens when the day comes where your “friend”, who’ve you never met, but only have developed this great friendship online, differ in opinions? Will an argument ensue? Who will be on your side? And are the people on your side, real people or just another Twitter handles of people you have no idea what their real core values are?
The sad part about WeWorks is how everything began to collapse, because when you think people, who came with their idea and to be able to grow on that idea, instead of selling a product, they became the product.
When they became a product, then they became a concept of how to live and with that concept came a lifestyle of unrealistic values in how to succeed.
And with that lifestyle, WeWorks developed WeLive, which was a place to actually live and became another way to control the very people who had ideas, believing they were independent and living that dream when in fact, they were living someone else’s dream.
You see it’s easy to buy into something. It’s easy to believe in someone else, especially when we think, “well they are more experienced, so it must be true”.
Experience doesn’t equal truth. Experience is just the time someone put into something, which can make them an expert in that field but it doesn’t validate truth and sometimes not even an expert (as much as people want to believe they are).
The word community has changed tremendously. It only seems to be valid when you think like everyone else, and when you don’t, you’re either jealous or a hater.
It all seems black and white and never an in between of indifference or I think differently and here’s my concept on what makes me successful.
In closing, when thinking about community, first and foremost think about your own needs and goals and learning how to achieve those goals.
Do your research and ask questions.
Until then. Take care of you!