#The Second F of F3 is Fellowship. This is a description of what we found rather than a goal we set out to achieve. In other words, we did not consciously plan to create a group that used Fitness to produce Fellowship. Rather, we happily discovered that Fellowship was a by-product of our commitment to male/group Fitness. We talk a lot about the most common excuses we hear to not join F3, but if we categorized the most-heard reasons we hear that guys value what they find when they do commit to it, “I’ve made more friends in the last _____ months than I did in the last twenty years” would probably be number 2 (at least). It’s great to get into an elevator on the way to a meeting and have a lean coyote-looking guy get in on the next floor and say “hey Dredd, it’s me Climbing Rat“–everybody else in the box is mystified, but interested. Interested.
#The Problem with all white hot Radical Fellowship that is produced by the Fitness-friction is how to organize all these men (and their families) into your life in a meaningful and relational way. Numbers vary, but there are a lot of theories as to how many people you can actually have a relationship with before you run out of band-with. I’m a Malcolm Gladwell fan so I’m going to point to his Law Of 150 as a pretty good one. Nutshelled, the L150 derives from Gore-Tex’s discovery that when a plant/office exceeded 150 PAX the Relational Return to Scale dropped off so drastically that it was a mistake to exceed that number. As a control measure, Gore-Tex would only stripe a 150 parking spots on a new plant so that cars parked on the grass would be its Coalmine Canary to open another one.
#If Gladwell/Gore-Tex are right, a man is not capable of really knowing the people outside of the L150 Ring. Does that mean that we know every person within the L150 to the same degree of intimacy? Obviously not. The next ring in is likely defined by the people whose lives would be materially affected (sorry, lawyer part of my brain coming out) by our death. For example, while I was affected by the unexpected death of Andrew Breitbart, it cannot be said that the effect was material. And, inversely, I do not expect my death to materially affect more than 12 to 18 people. Actually, that is probably an ego-driven and wild over-estimate but is close enough for F3 Work.
#So, within the L150 Outer Ring, there is a 12/18 Material Affect Ring. How about within that? Is there an even tighter circle? I believe so, at least in the life of a man, because we need Accountability, and Accountability requires a tremendous degree of intimacy and trust. For Accountability to really work, we have to be willing to tell the men to whom we are delegating this critical responsibility the truth about who we are and how we are flawed. We have to disclose the Road Signs To Our Demise, because while we know them, we ignore them when we are bound and determined to send our lives circling the drain. At best, I contend that this most inner ring, the Accountability Circle is going to be four (that’s me + three). Just as Jesus Christ selected Peter, James and John as his inner circle (although it was not for accountability), a man needs an Accountability Circle of Fellowship that operates at the most intimate level. These are the men to whom you disclose The Truth of You and who accept the responsibility to jerk one giant knot in your Six when (and early, very early) they see you edging away from the center line.
#This for me then is the CONCENTRICA method of organizing Fellowship–three rings with relational intimacy increasing as the numbers decrease toward the center. Aye.