Episode 50: Building Genuine Communities

Award-winning documentary filmmaker and international best-selling author Charles Vogl shines a light on what distinguishes genuine communities from so-called mirage communities and other marketing efforts that try to disguise themselves as brand communities. In this conversation, we explore the roles that vulnerability, contribution, shared values and purpose play in building community.

As a business adviser, Charles serves as a thought leader for the Google School for Leaders, and his work is used to advise and develop leadership and programs at organizations including Airbnb, LinkedIn, Twitch, Amazon, ServiceNow, Meetup.com, Wayfair and the US Army.

Episode Highlights


Why companies like Google invest in building communities


Deconstructing a relationship its community-building components


Purpose washing vs. fostering community across an organization


The dividend of building a community through a “contribution lens.”


Examples of companies doing an excellent job at building community

What “working with humans” means to Charles

“…when we work with people, we need to remember, we're not working with machines that we're just trying to extract something out of…there’s whole person back there, with feelings, and fears, and aspirations, and longing, and a need for connection and respect. And as we lead…the more we can bring that to the fore…the more healthy and contributing leadership we create.”


Follow: Charles on his website
Read: The Art of Community
Read: Building Brand Communities
Listen: Wisdom Podcast

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.