First Fridays: Experience Networking in a New Way by Rachel Stephens of Living Fort Wayne

I (Jim) was recently interviewed by Rachel Stephens of Living Fort Wayne regarding First Fridays.  Below is an excerpt of that interview and the link at the bottom of this post will take you to their site to read all of it.  Be sure to check out all that Living Fort Wayne promotes on their site!  

Living Fort Wayne

First Fridays is a place where people can network, learn and grow.

When Jere Johnson moved to Fort Wayne from Chicago, he was looking for an uplifting and energetic community.

Brothers Jere and Jim Johnson launched First Fridays to create a space where people could come together to learn more about our region and about each other.

“We want to create a meeting forum where members can grow as individuals and where they can network and really primarily focus on Northeast Indiana,” Jim said, “because that’s where we are and we think there’s a lot of great things that go on here and a lot of great things that people maybe don’t even know about.”

First Fridays is hosted at Indiana Wesleyan University on, you guessed it, the first Friday of each month. Different speakers are featured at each gathering to take on a variety of leadership topics like conflict, collaboration, entrepreneurship, etc. Each session, attendees will come away will a better understanding of leadership in Northeast Indiana.

How it all started:

Jim told Living Fort Wayne that the idea for First Fridays was inspired by the 2017 Global Leadership Summit (GLS). GLS is a leadership conference broadcast world-wide from Willow Creek Church in Chicago, which, much like First Fridays, invites a variety of speakers to discuss what effective leadership looks like.

Their first conversation about bringing a regional leadership forum to life transpired on the second day of the GLS. They sat down over some “very expensive Coliseum hamburgers” and at the end of their discussion decided the goal for this programs was to,“have a purpose to come together that’s beyond networking, but networking happens within the context.”

Once the idea came to head, the brothers were eager to move their plan into actions. Jim told Living Fort Wayne he and his brother covered his office with large Post-it notes, mapping out their vision for First Fridays.

Recalling wisdom he learned from another influential leader, Author Tony Robbins, Jim said, “if you’ve got a great idea when you’re working on something don’t try to make it perfect, get out there and take massive action on it and you’ll see success.”

Incidentally, the brothers only planned to host First Fridays for a season and evaluate the need to continue or adjust.

“We’ve already had people saying, ‘well you’re going to do this again next year aren’t you?’”

Now there is no stopping this momentum…


Read the rest here:  Living Fort Wayne – First Fridays

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