I am in a great book call Tribal Leadership as recommended by Orrin Woodward, one of the tenets of the book is that all organizations consist of small tribes that speak their own language of life or death. These tribes foster either healthy or unhealthy relationships among it members. ` Here is a short definition of the first four tribes:
Tribe One: Consists of the people in the organization that constantly are whining and complaining about every situation. Nothing can ever go right, and they are always the victim even when they are winning, they will find something to complain about, and they will drag others into this poisonous circle. Relationships are all based upon whose live is the worst, and all language is negative. These people usually will not be around the team long if they stay in this stage. They will often sabotage their own success in order to have something to gripe about.
Tribe Two: Consists of people that have moved from live stinks to just thinking their live stinks. At level two the individual believes that live can be a fulfilling march towards success, just not for them. These individuals need constant stroking and hand holding in order to keep them encouraged enough to stay in the fight. Their language is often full of excuses as to why they have not found success, and if not careful they too can slip into the victim role and start to blame others for their lack of results. Relationships in level two are often volatile because at anytime the person is looking for someone else to blame.
Tribe Three: Consists of those individuals that have moved from the victim to the role of the performer in the group. They have paid the price of hard work in order to separate themselves from the crowd, and their motto is I’m great, but everybody else stinks! They often view others as lazy, and not very smart, and their relationships are purely what can you do or provide to help ME succeed? Every other sentence is Me, My, or Mine, and others often hear of their rank and accomplishments. Relationships are like the spokes of a wheel; with the Tribe 3 person at the center using everyone for their purposes.
Tribe Four: “Tribal Leadership” is that rare place where all successful leaders and organizations flourish. This environment adds a “WE” component to the culture. Leaders moving from tribe three to tribe four have come to the realization that they cannot get where they want to go alone. At tribal leadership teammates sacrifice their personal good for the good of the organization. At this level there is a sense of pride, and camaraderie that screams “us against the world.” The common enemy is communal complacency and average results. The leaders of the tribe fight for the tribe to improve conditions, and the tribe members fight for the tribe advancement as a whole. The team wins or loses as a whole, and the environment does not tolerate whining, victims, or lack of effort. There is a oneness that spurs all team members to action.
There is one more tribe in the book that I have not gotten to yet, but I think achieving Tribe four in our organization is what we are looking to do. The book makes a point to say that all of us have to come through each tribe at some point, and we have to fight against of tendency to revert to the wrong thinking. The author also suggests that the leap to Tribal Leadership only occurs when the individual experiences an epiphany or life changing. So have you had your epiphany yet? Has your situation gotten so bad that you cannot stand it anymore, and you want to move on? Has your finance, health, or relationship train wreck occurred? When will you decide to move into the tribe and fight onward and upward? The tribe needs your best. The Team needs your best. Your family deserves your best.
Am I giving my best? Are you giving your best? Only the individual knows the answer…