Episode 116

Brand Communities that Serve Your Customers and Business with Charles Vogl

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Charles Vogl is an award-winning author, speaker, and executive adviser. For the past decade, his work has focused on advising leadership within global organizations including Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, and Twitch. He is a regular guest lecturer at Yale School of Management and a founding member of the Google Vitality Lab, a collaborative partnership focused on the world’s most pressing health and well-being challenges. He is the author of the international bestseller The Art of Community and co-author of the new book Building Brand Communities: How Organizations Succeed by Creating Belonging.


  • A brand community needs to serve both the individuals and the organization.
  • A brand is any organization that promises value.
  • A mirage community is something that a brand calls a community but has no substance or connection.
  • Seven areas where communities can serve organizational goals: Innovation, talent recruitment and retention, customer and stakeholder retention, marketing, customer service, advancing movements, and bringing people together.
  • It is vital to know 1. Who you want to bring together, 2. Why they want to come together, and 3. How they want to grow into something new or better.
  • Despite brand communities needing to serve the business, they must also serve individuals. No one wants to join a community that just wants to extract from them.
  • We are living in the loneliest era in human history. People are desperate to be more connected. Invite people to join your community.


  • What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Experience serving in the Peace Corps—specifically observing a communal way of living and the need for justice.
  • Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Patient, humble, and committed.
  • What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? Do we really understand what is going on here?
  • What book would you recommend to leaders? The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford
  • If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Make sure you are not doing it alone.
  • As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” Why?” because we need to know the reason we are committing to something.



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About the Podcast

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Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Where leaders gather to grow together

About your host

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Josh Friedeman

Josh wants to help you LIVE and LEAD well.

From interviewing leaders and other experts who help leaders, to coaching leaders and entrepreneurs, to staying on the front lines of leadership research through his PhD work in organizational leadership, Josh likes to live and breathe all things leadership.

Sure, there's more to life than leadership - until, that is, you start seeing life AS leadership (*Freeze frame, roll credits*).