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.

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