Our Driving Impact Series highlights impact makers and thought leaders who are making a difference in and through their organization. This week, Mike hits the road with Erik Wullschleger, Community Director at WeWork – a network of shared office spaces around the globe. As Community Director, Erik works with entrepreneurs, freelancers and large enterprises to help them grow in the WeWork space. Mike and Erik discuss the power of collaboration, and how WeWork connects members of Kansas City and beyond.
Office Space 2.0
“I like connecting people, and it’s what I’ve done in every role I’ve had,” says Erik.” It’s finding two people who have respective skill set gaps that the other can fill. I used to do this as a hobby over coffee, it turned into something I get to do now for a living – make connections and make people better than they are.”
WeWork is one of the largest consumers of commercial office space in the world. According to their blog, “45 percent of WeWork member companies say that WeWork helped accelerate their growth.” Around 75 percent of WeWork companies are small businesses, nonprofits and startups. Their business model allows collaborative space at affordable costs.
“We run each market differently, based on the personality from city to city. In Kansas City, we are bringing people into this new model of collaboration.”
Collaborate to Win Inside First
At Fervor, we believe in winning inside first. Similarly, WeWork caters to employees’ desire for culture. The days of cubicles blocking one another off are coming to a close, and WeWork is leading the charge for open space and open connection.
“I think the businesses that come to WeWork recognize the importance of work culture. By nature, many of our small businesses accelerate culture by surrounding themselves with other fast-growing companies. You can have someone in sales meet with another sales-rep from a nonprofit upstairs. A lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders recognize how unique that is to WeWork.”
A City Built on Servanthood
“Kansas City is a fun town because we are still forming our personality, and it’s open to those who want to lead that charge. A piece of advice I have is to join a group and go. You can’t make a change if you aren’t a part of something. You may not find the right group the first time, but the sooner you get started you’ll be that much closer to connecting with good people.”
Erik is someone, like many in Kansas City, who lead by serving at great organizations making big impact.
“My wife and I spend time with organizations seeking next-gen impact. I’ve worked with Lead to Read (Fervor client) in KC as well as Big Brothers & Big Sisters. Those opportunities that can’t be arranged but happen organically is something I am passionate about.”
Similar to WeWork, organic relationships and collaborative efforts lead to impactful solutions. All it takes, from you, is that first step.
More in the Driving Impact series:
Driving Impact with Ben Hutton of Hutton Construction
Driving Impact with Alan Dietrich of Sporting Kansas City