Guest post by David Murray, director of social web communications for re:group.

Look up the definition of the word “elite,” and you get the following:

A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status.

The best or most skilled members of a group.

    If there is one thing I’ve observed this past year, it is that the tolerance for excess and elitism has hit an all time low. Now more than ever, we look for true value in the products, services, and people we’ve committed our limited time to. This is especially true when it comes to social media.

    We need to re-examine the word elite. If you really want to be “elite” in anything, let alone the social web, then you need to do the following:

    • Empower – If you are in a position of influence, then you have a responsibility to encourage others to move forward with their ideas and projects. Empower the people you surround yourself with (your community) opportunities to do their best work.
    • Learn – Never rest on your laurels. You will have a limited shelf life if you are the expert of just one thing. Your biggest resource (people) is at your finger tips. You owe it to yourself to learn something new every day.
    • Include – Build something that other people can be a part of. Let them help with the process. You’ll discover that what you create as a whole will be better than anything you could do alone. Include others in the process.
    • connecT – You have to pay it forward. Know of a job lead, project, or speaking gig that someone would be perfect for? Make it happen by connecting the person with the opportunity. People remember who helped them. Help others by connecting.
    • Execute – The people we look up to don’t concern themselves with how they are going to do something. They just know they have to do something. The results are not nearly as important as taking the risk to make something happen. Stop talking and execute.

    Individual achievements should take a backseat to the achievements and value of the communities they serve. The people doing good work are not elite. Their actions may be, but only in the respect that they are working on something that is much bigger than themselves.

    If by following the above suggestions you find yourself in a position of influence, then thank the people who helped you get there. Thank them and provide them opportunities to excel, because they will ultimately decide if you are worth their time. The social web doesn’t have room for elite, but it does have plenty of room for those who empower others.

    David Murray serves as the director of social web communications for re:group. In his spare time he works on additional projects like FutureMidwest, The Hungry Dudes, and Social Media Club Detroit.