One of the keys to creating a community is to create a sense of inclusiveness--to foster deep democracy (a term I learned at Scrum Gathering Vegas earlier this year). Whether it's a community of practice, a user group, a team, or an organization, each member needs to feel like a valued member. Safety and trust have to be present.
I think part of a community leader's role is like that of a stagehand--largely invisible and making sure the environment is right for the actors. A community has its own identity, and a leader can shape it in a number of ways. As an introvert, I try to create a place where all voices can be heard--not just the loudest, the smartest, or the funniest. In fact, if the community leader is not attentive, the group dynamics can take a turn and drive people away. The leader must be able to recognize the group's needs and interject as a facilitator to maintain the safety and trust for a healthy community to thrive.
How are you creating a strong community where people can be themselves?