Visionary is a word we often use to describe what we experience when working with a gifted professional. What’s really happening is that the complex, multilayered, sensitive mind of the gifted sees thousands of diverse dots so very clear. This is why communication strengths are so important so that the gifted professional achieves impact through meaning. If Carrie could not speak and write as well as she does, the world would never benefit from her superpowers.
Time behaves very differently in the gifted mind. What seems like an odyssey of multiple steps and years to others is only a blink of an evolutionary moment to the Rainforest Mind. That explains why they seem hyper or impatient. The 95% of adults around them, not gifted, seem to barely “keep up” or “stay with me.”
When we met Carrie in 2020 as the co-author of the recently released book, Building Brand Communities: How Organizations Succeed by Creating Belonging by Jones and Vogl, she already dedicated nearly 20 years to online communities personally and 12 to building them professionally. She is the founder of Gather Community Consulting and former COO and founding partner of CMX. She is an author, speaker, consultant, and sought-after guest for many podcasts and professional training venues.
This blog introduces you to people who are not TikTok or Instagram famous, but famous for their expertise and the impact they are creating in the world. They have all walked the road less traveled and are leading the way in their industries and communities.
When Carrie talks about the world 10 years from now, her words create a feature-length film in our minds that shows us a world in which community professionals have made our digital and physical lives safer and more connected. She describes a future where the internet, which could have been (and often was) disastrous, has turned more and more into a tool for healing, trust, and safety rather than division.
She knows, firsthand, that healing, connection, comfort, and belonging could all happen online, despite a popular conception of online connection as inferior to offline relationships. She also knows that the line between online and offline relationships had blurred to near non-existence and might continue to do so.
There are more than 50 measurable traits of the gifted adult, also documented as Everyday Genius™ or Rainforest Mind, but to name a few, Carrie has these characteristics: Complex thinking and perception, such as learn-fast, think-fast, talk-fast, independent activator who is relentlessly curious. She sees all sides of an issue faster than others and has to force herself to slow down communication so that others stay engaged with her words and meanings. While handling the complexity of connecting thousands of dots to speak, teach and facilitate, she is a seeker of ultimate truths.
Intensity is another trait and shows up as high-energy enthusiasm, easily engrossed, and easily hurt. That’s why Carrie learned that her boundary-setting needed to be more detailed and clearer than what you’ll ever see coming from others. Her boundaries align with her values of integrity, ingenuity, and equity. That’s how the gifted resist overthinking and get things done. Gifted adult intensity appears as overly responsible and deeply compassionate. She’s the one you want to lead a global movement.
Another gifted trait is drive and which feels like an inner sense of urgency and then feels shattered if an important dream seems to fall apart. That’s why systems, rules, principles, and the rigor of writing a best-selling book are how Carrie handles drive. It’s no wonder, then, Carrie works with others with high drive and shows them how to make it beneficial instead of destructive or manipulative.
An authentic brand community is far more than a group working alongside one another or a list of customers connected to a brand on social media. Many commonly used terms like community and brand lack singular definitions in leadership writing. In the first section of Building Brand Communities, Jones and Vogl dive deep to clarify and define these terms which in turn will strengthen your ability to recognize and discern effective brand communities.
She writes, “A community is a group of people who share an identity and a mutual concern for one another’s welfare. A brand community is a community that is shaped by an organization, whether non-profit, for-profit, startup or political candidate.”
Q: Is this true for you? Because you are a deep thinker, highly intuitive, creative, analytical, and curious, you bring a particularly complex dimension to professional relationships.
Carrie: Yes, though it has taken me a while to come around to the term gifted. I was in GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) growing up, and did not have the best experience. I do identify with all the traits of gifted and professional.
Q: Did you become a professional on purpose or did your career path open a door into the profession you identify with today?
Carrie: I most definitely did not get here on purpose! The career path opened before me. While my career grew, so did the profession. I went where my skills were needed and where I felt most drawn.
Q: Which of your communication skills do you seem to work on constantly, always learning, always evolving?
Carrie: I am always working on expressing myself more vulnerably and authentically and, therefore, translating my passion for this profession (and the skills and attitudes it requires) to as many people as possible. We need great community builders to meet the dire need for real connection in our world.
The power of quotes and rhetoric are part of the gifted person’s thinking. Here are the quotes Carrie often uses:
“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind “– Brene Brown
“Small is good, small is all. (The large is a reflection of the small.)” – adrienne maree brown
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare’s Hamlet
“I don’t kiss nobody’s butt.” – Dolly Parton
Each week, we feature professionals who are initiating meaningful conversations with other gifted minds and storytellers–and who they serve. They connect regularly through this blog, our newsletter, and their own emails to nurture and support the network which enriches them. See if their words and actions work for you or engage with them directly by sending a comment and sharing your insights.