The Rise of the Community Leader - Meet Cassie Mayes

  • The Uncommon Team

    November 1st, 2021

Image of Cassie Mayes

Community leaders have a lot in common, like their enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and a passion for building meaningful relationships within and across communities. As community leaders, their goals are similar, but their paths to community leadership are surprisingly diverse and often surprisingly...surprising.

Our series, "The Rise of the Community Leader," celebrates these uncommon paths, the people who took them, and what they learned along the way. Want to connect with more community leaders like them? Join Uncommon.

Meet Cassie Mayes, Community Operations Manager at Atlassian.

How did you get your start in community?

My background is unique! I graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and my first job was in Social Services. I learned a lot about managing a caseload, providing resources, improving processes, and being a cheerleader during that time. These are the skills I took with me when I decided to make a career change and get into Community.

I'm so lucky that I landed my first community job at Atlassian. I was hired on as a Community Specialist in a contract role and focused on swag + reimbursement processes and onboarding Atlassian Community Leaders. During my time in that role, I helped grow the Community Leader program by 200+% and fell in love with the Community. When my contract was up, I was brought on full-time as a Community Manager.

Now, I take all of my previous knowledge and love for optimizing processes/platforms and focus on Community Operations for the Community Events and Community Leader program at Atlassian.

Tell us about the community you currently lead.

The Atlassian Community features a global network of people who meet online and in-person with a shared mission to build relationships and expand their knowledge of Atlassian products.

Atlassian Community Leaders are the heart and soul of the Community! We have 350+ angels from above who volunteer their time to host events, create written content, and answer support questions on Atlassian's behalf. They’ve hosted 750+ events, answered 29,000+ questions, and written 500+ articles in the last year. Community Leaders are the ones we love to highlight because without them our Community wouldn't be what it is. They keep it fun, lively, and engaging for everyone!

What’s a key piece of advice you wish you would have had when starting your community career?

It's okay to keep iterating on the thing you launched. You won't do everything 100% right, but that only leaves space for lessons to be learned and ways to improve. Oh, and to trust yourself! You know your community and the data best.

Investment in community is growing. Where do you see it in 5-10 years?

I’m so excited that it's growing! In the next 5-10 years we'll see more headcount for community teams, community roles focused on jobs outside of traditional community management (ex: ops, analyst, email marketing), tools/platforms that help and enable community teams, and lastly, we'll see happier customers and more successful businesses as we co-create the future together.

What's your favorite part about working in community?

Learning and building. Community is niche and each company approaches it differently. There's no one-size-fits-all model and that allows for experimentation and actioning on those cool, new ideas and projects. I love that not every day is the same and that there are always problems to solve and people to interact with.

What's the coolest thing you've seen community achieve?

Marriage! No, really. Two Atlassian Community Leaders met from being a part of the Atlassian Community. After a few years of hosting events, collaborating, and getting to know each other, they tied the knot. That's a story that will forever be so cool to me!

It’s also really cool to see how Community has compelled internal teams to think about their strategy and goals differently.

We're all about celebrating our community members and their accomplishments. Is there anyone in the community you'd like to appreciate?

I'd love to shout out Nina, Linda, Karen, Mari, Viraj, and Tom on the Common Room team. Every interaction is thoughtful, genuine, and supportive. I can't say enough nice things about them.

What's different in community today from just a year or two ago?

The community resources we're seeing and the growth of community teams! Two years ago there were only a handful of communities for Community Managers/people on a Community team. Now we're seeing communities for focused roles (Community Managers, Community Ops, etc). I also get LinkedIn job alerts for anything with "Community" in the title to be nosey and informed, but I've been seeing a lot more job openings for Community roles than I did a couple years ago.

And now some fun questions we ask our Roomies when they join the team 🙂

Favorite emoji?

That's hard! It's between 🔥 and 💯

Favorite Quote

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelo

Favorite TV Show?

Ted Lasso

Next travel bucket list items to check off?

Croatia!

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Cassie! We think you are both 🔥 and 💯

We're continually looking to highlight community leaders, voices, and stories—if there's someone you'd like to nominate to share theirs, let us know. See you in Uncommon!

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