Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's New, It's Exciting

"What?", you ask. Why Google+ of course. Hey. Everyone else is talking about it, why can't I.

What is Google+? It's a new social network. You can either share with people you actually know, or with anyone who wants to follow you. Seems to me like a cross between Facebook and Twitter. Until it's fully up and they have the kinks out, you can join only by limited invitations - I got one.

I was lucky enough to get an invite last week and jumped right on it. At first glance it didn't seem too awful special. But as I started getting into it a little I quickly began to see some good things.

First of all, it's a chance to start over. How many people have a bazillion friends on that other big social network and only actually know a handful? How many people have friended all of your elementary and high school buddies and are now realizing, "I hadn't communicated with these people in years for a reason"?

The best thing I like, so far, about Google+ - besides the slate being clean - is the use of Circles of friends. You can add friends to Circles like, Business, Family, Acquaintances, or just Following. Instead of seeing every Tom, Dick, and Harry in your Stream of posts, you can click on a Circle and see only those people.

And another neat thing - if people add you to their Circle . . . you don't have to follow them back - it's not automatic. And visa versa. No requesting to "be friends". Plus, neither party knows what Circle they're a part of.

Check it out. Google is on to something here. Stay tuned for the expansion.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cliques Gone Organized

I first learned of "tribal leadership" while reviewing the pre-launch book by Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness. I was curious to find out more about it when low-and-behold I received an email from the publisher of Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Dave Logan, John King & Halee Fischer-Wright) asking me to review the updated re-release (June 7) of the book. Awesome!

At first glance tribal leadership reminds me of cliques in school. There are various groups of kids who hang around together - preps, jocks, etc. - which you have to belong to in order to "hang" with them. As the school year progresses, so do the groups . . . or not.

LinkedIn co-founder, Reid Hoffman described Tribal Leadership as "a clear road map for the new reality of managing organizations, careers, and life". The key words here are, "new reality of managing organizations". In today's world, leaders must manage all aspects of the organization including the tribes. We have to help our people go from "they" or "I" attitudes to "we" attitudes.

The authors of Tribal Leadership take us through the five stages of building relationships between leaders, tribes and culture. It's, at times, comical because of the way tribes and leaders are described is sadly so true - reality check.

The goal of tribal leadership is to "upgrade as many people, and clusters of people, as are willing and able to move forward to Stage Four, the zone of tribal pride". A tribal leader is "someone who artfully builds his corporate tribes, then gets out of the way so people can achieve greatness".

By developing the tribe you'll create loyalty, hard workers, innovation and collaboration. Helllooo. Doesn't that make your job a bit easier? Sure it does. And just as importantly, it contributes more effectively to the success of the organization . . . and doesn't exactly hurt your own chances for advancement.

Tribes - culture - is not something that you want to "just happen". There's guidance and building that needs to be done in order for them to jive with your organization in order to create overall success.

Reading this book really opened my eyes to what was happening in my own organization. Pick up a copy of Tribal Leadership and learn how to become the leader of the tribe - go from "life sucks" to "life is great" - and you'll have that success.