To explore the impact of the Leadership community experience, survey respondents were asked for how long after Leadership they remained in contact with someone from Leadership and to identify the person’s role. The data is limited and complicated. The period of possible post-Leadership contact is governed by how long ago they completed their Leadership experience. Which stage they competed is also relevant. Of the 93 participant respondents who completed this question in the survey, 42, or 45.2% had completed their latest stage only one year before, meaning they could only have kept in touch for a maximum of one year. Eleven did not indicate a time of if they were still in contact. Five indicated that their primary or only post-Leadership contact was with others from their local BB Company. Of the remaining 76, 36 were still in contact and 40 were not.
|Respondents||Insufficient Information||Active||Latest Leadership in 2019||BB Company Only||In Contact||Not in Contact|
The most remarkable observation is the difference between maintaining contact following Stage 1 (only a year earlier) and the other two stages. There are a number of possible explanations: they are nominated in the main by their BB Companies and still remain members around age 16 when completing Stage 1. Though they do not say so, this may be sufficient post-Leadership contact / support. In Stage 2 however, they are more firmly members of the Leadership community and looking forward to Stage 3; beyond Stage 3, they are older and may have more resources and motivation to maintain contact. A common story in Stage 1 is that they begin with high motivation and establish different social media groups, but that a year later, these links have weakened considerably.
Of the 11 whose data is active after Stage 2 completion and who ceased contact, only one did so after more than one year (2 years, and possibly circumstantial); in Stage 3, of the 36 with active data, only three ceased contact after more than one year (2 after two years – one following the death of his Duo partner – and one after three years). Of the 17 still in contact after completion of Stage 3, and ignoring five who only competed this stage a year before, 12 have maintained contact for between two and twelve years, and this without the facility of annual contact that staff have.
Maintaining contact for more than two years indicates the importance of those links made within the Overall Leadership Community. A tentative conclusion based on this data, and opening a door for future research, is that if contact is maintained for more than a year, it is more likely to continue into the long-term. Interestingly, there was a minor theme of a degree of sadness and loss experienced at not having maintained contact. Even doing the survey drew out relevant comment. They were pleased to complete it as it reminded them of people and experiences, even stimulated a link at the time:
I am still in contact with my group since Stage 1, but I was privileged to be with the same group again in Stage 2, and I am actually getting messages from them as I do this surveyStage 2, 2019
Some said the survey has prompted in them a desire to renew specific contacts, particularly with their Stage 3 Duo partner:
Up until the end of last year I remained in regular (weekly / fortnightly) contact with my Duo Partner and because of this survey, I’m planning to talk to him again soonStage 3, 2019
They stayed in touch with a mix of staff and fellow participants. The only real trend was those who said it was their Stage 3 Duo partner they were or still are in touch with. Thirtyfive participant respondents indicated they are in touch with other participants and twelve are in contact with staff. The staff they are in contact with are their facilitators and other staff who are in key roles. Social media is the most common form of contact. For example, the 2013 Stage 1 cohort, who have a Facebook group which is maintained to this day and posts attract a sizeable response.
The staff respondents’ data have been excluded from this analysis as they have regular contact with other Leadership staff, but 64.3% of the 28 in this category who responded said they were also keeping in touch with others with whom they shared the Leadership experience as participants. One shared:
Returning to staff for the next 3-4 years allowed me to connect to a majority of staff members throughout the year. However, presently, I have stayed connected with 2 other guys who were in my groups and stage cohort (for all 3 stages). We keep in constant contact and we keep accountable and support each other. (one every few months due to distance and the other almost weekly). I have journeyed with both of these men in different ways in different seasonsStage 3, 2013