Book Summary: Tribal Leadership

What would your life be like if you could go to work every day and do something that you were passionate about? What if everyone you worked with shared your ambition and enthusiasm?

What if the job you did every day had an influence that went beyond your office? And it made a difference in the universe? Would you be prepared to put in 10 minutes now and an hour next week to make this a reality?

Join me on this adventure, and I promise you'll be set on a route that will make you feel more satisfied, motivated, and alive than you have in the past. It will also happen at work.

What's a Tribe?

A man and woman so happy seeing each other.

Tribes aren't new; they've existed for thousands of years and are made up of groups of people ranging in size from 20 to 150.

It's probable that if you met me on the street and we know each other well enough to stop and say "hello," we're in a tribe together.

There are five stages of tribes that we'll learn about:

  1. Stage 1 tribes, which make up 2% of the world's corporate tribes, are made up of people who believe "life stinks."
  2. Stage 2 tribes, who make up 25% of all corporate tribes worldwide, are a collection of people who believe that "my life stinks," particularly because they have to work with you fools.
  3. Stage 3 tribes, which make up 49% of all corporate tribes on the planet, are a bunch of people who walk around thinking - and occasionally stating - "I'm amazing." There is a lot of energy among these individuals and tribes. Still, none of it is being focused toward a unified objective.
  4. Stage 4 tribes, which make up 22% of all corporate tribes globally, are made up of people who are connected by phrases like "We are terrific, and they aren't."
  5. Finally, stage 5 tribes, which make up 2% of all corporate tribes in the world, are a collection of individuals bonded by a goal of improving the world, with no mention of rivalry.

The majority of our efforts will go from Stage 2 to Stage 3 and from Stage 3 to Stage 4.

As the authors point out, the first step is to figure out your tribe's level because advancing up the ladder one stage at a time is the only way to be successful. So, as we progress from stage 2 to stage 4, make sure you're determining where you need to begin.

Let's get this discussion started.

Moving from Stage 2 to Stage 3

A man and a woman having a relationship to the next level.

You've probably seen Stage 2 in action if you've ever seen an episode of "The Office" or sought to renew your driver's license.

These people's lives must be hellish. You've landed in the thick of a Stage 2 disaster if you don't notice any indicators of enthusiasm, initiative, or responsibility around you.

But don't panic; an Extreme Tribe Makeover is on the way.

How can you tell whether you're at stage 2? People in this stage think that their fate is not in their hands. Thus, they avoid taking responsibility like the plague. If you hear the phrases "I'll try" or "I can't guarantee" frequently.

If you see Dilbert cartoons on the walls or on the coffee machine, you know you're in a stage 2 tribe.

Here's something to keep in mind: tribes are made up of people, so if you have a stage 2 tribe, you have a bunch of individuals acting in a specific manner. In this example, being at work sucks. It also implies that not everyone will hold the same level of contempt for your workplace.

As a result, your first step is to select a few tribe members who appear to want things to improve. You'll be working with that individual one-on-one at this point in your progress. You'll begin by telling them, one by one, that you believe they have promise and that you respect their contributions to the team.

Why? Because they were not born thinking and acting like stage 2 tribe members, all they really want is to be respected. As a result, give it to them. To emphasize their importance to the tribe, provide them with an assignment that you know they can do in a short amount of time.

The second thing you'll do is become interested in their life. There are several reasons you would want to do this, but be sure it's real. If you do this but aren't truly interested, you should examine yourself in the mirror since YOU are the problem.

Finally, rather than a triad relationship, which is a hallmark of a stage 4 tribe, encourage that individual to form two-person ties. Establish a network where they are at the center (remember, no jumping ahead).

How will you know whether you've made it? You'll start to hear those folks say "I'm fantastic" (stage 3 language) instead of "My life stinks" (stage 2 language).

As a result of wanting to replicate those sensations of being appreciated, the individual will begin to build confidence and experience an awakening of personal ambition.

You'll also need to be prepared for some of the stage's side effects. In Stage 3, you'll undoubtedly start hearing them brag about their successes and make unfavorable comparisons to their coworkers.

You'll certainly begin to listen to individuals talk about values, particularly personal values, using phrases like "what I've come to see" and "the ideas I hold dear."

The fact that you now have many individuals who are truly driven and inspired to produce outcomes is why this is a step up in the globe. The results are their own and not geared toward the tribe's common aim. They place a strong emphasis on individual accomplishments.

On their finest days, doctors, academics, attorneys, and marketers are at this stage.

When you think about it, it's not surprising that over half of all workplaces have reached this point where individuality reigns supreme.

Since kindergarten, we've been taught that knowing the answers to exam questions and answering them on our own is the way to be successful. But, of course, we're not satisfied with this result, so we're moving on to stage 4, which is the next step.

From Stage 3 to Stage 4

Solid teamwork motivate each other.

Huge congrats! You've progressed from Stage 2 to Stage 3. You have a group of individuals working toward success.

Still, they are:

  • attempting to achieve success for themselves rather than the organization and
  • attempting to accomplish it all independently.

Fortunately for you, these folks grow so skilled at it that it no longer presents a difficulty. This is the time to begin transitioning from Stage 3 to Stage 4.

If you need some more reason to make the switch, here's what you can anticipate when you progress from Stage 3 to Stage 4:

  • People work together for a good purpose.
  • Fear and anxiety are lessened.
  • People are willing to work for you, and they want to stick with you. Is anyone interested in winning the talent war?
  • Your entire company transforms into a "learning organization."
  • Injury and sick days are taken less frequently.
  • People are more animated and enjoy themselves.

The first step in the climb is to remind these individuals that they can only do so much independently.

Their usefulness is greatly restricted by time, something you can do nothing about despite the efforts of the time-management business. Even the best-optimized person will struggle to compete with a Stage 4 tribe that is extremely driven.

To emphasize the idea, explain how greater outcomes are created by Stage 4 tribes - the authors discovered a 30 percent boost in efficacy while moving from Stage 3 to Stage 4. Because Stage 3 is highly motivated by results, this will be a clear point.

The second thing you may do is assign them to a bigger project than they can handle on their own. Someone trapped in Stage 3 will find that they haven't been doing as much as they believed through an activity like this.

Third, encourage them to form triadic bonds. Rather than developing two-way interactions for your personal gain, triadic partnerships are built for the mutual benefit of the three parties.

For example, at a networking event, someone creating triadic connections might spend their time bringing individuals together and introducing them to one another. That's because they know they share the same interests and beliefs.

A connection between you, your client, and one of your providers is another example. It might also be your relationship with two other coworkers. The true benefit of these friendships is that you're all fighting for the same ideals and working toward the same objective. So if there's a fight or a dispute, you're all fighting for the same thing.

Fourth, you must have common values if you will form triadic partnerships based on shared values. There are two methods to arrive at your common ideals. Are you ready for the most critical element of becoming a Stage 4 tribe? Both involve hard effort and a lot of dialogues - are you ready?

  1. You might start by telling a story about how you learned one of your shared values and then encourage others to relate their own story. It is your responsibility to pay attention to what individuals say is essential.
  2. Second, ask them one easy inquiry and then follow up with three to five open-ended questions. "What are you proud of?" is an excellent place to start. Because they are still in Stage 3, most people will react with their résumé. However, if you delve a little further, you'll discover that each of those successes has a hidden worth.

Again, your goal is to listen to what members of the tribe say is important to them, become an advocate for those values, and ensure that they are upheld daily. It's entirely up to you how you go about doing so.

Zappos, for example, is a firm that isn't in the book but is doing something similar. They asked every one of their employees a similar question. They took the answers, made no changes save for a few typos, and published the book.

When, as the authors put it, "a moment of alchemy" occurs, you'll know you've got the values correct. "This is it!" people will exclaim when they identify themselves with those ideals.

Fifth, you intend to devote yourself to your great mission.

A noble purpose is a path you're taking, and it encapsulates your ultimate goal. The authors distinguish between values and noble causes, stating that fundamental values are what we "stand for," while noble causes are what we "shoot for."

Repeat this inquiry to yourself and your team: "In service of what?"

You'll come across something like the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in Toronto. Their noble mission is to "Conquer Cancer in Our Lifetime."

For Google, it is the popular "To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

When you figure out what it is that motivates them to get up and go to work, you'll know you've hit the bulls-eye.

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