Summary of Tribal Leadership

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Tribal Leadership book summary
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Tribes naturally form within organizations. Wherever people gather to live and work, groups of between 20 and 150 members coalesce – parallel to villages within nations – and progress through five stages of development. Culture consultants David Logan and John King, writing with physician Halee Fischer-Wright, teach you how tribes and proficient tribal leadership can help you work and play well with others and bolster your career. The authors conducted extensive research on corporate tribes and interviewed many business leaders about the five-stage evolution of tribes within their organizations. Though the report seems somewhat less concrete in identifying exactly how people coalesce to form tribes, it makes for accessible reading, certainly compared to most organizational sociology. getAbstract finds that this exploration of tribes and teams can open readers’ eyes to the way people function within groups. Managers will find it revelatory, as will all those who can succeed only by working and playing well with others.

About the Authors

Dave Logan and John King founded CultureSync, a consulting company. Logan teaches at the University of Southern California. King lectures internationally. CultureSync partner Halee Fischer-Wright, a physician, teaches at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.



Tribes, in Stages

Tribes are factions of between 20 and 150 people that develop wherever humans gather for any purpose, including, but not limited to, business. If you own or work in a company, tribes surround you, complete with their “tribal leaders.” Most people are not aware of these tribes and their influence, but their importance becomes apparent when you realize that “the members of your tribe are probably programmed into your cellphone and your email address book.”

To “build a better organization,” your leaders’ goal should be to move your firm’s tribes to Stage Four, one step at a time. A few tribes may need to move to Stage Five, which produces industry-changing innovation.

If you are a Tribal Leader, help your co-workers reach higher levels with the goal of attaining Stage Four. Sometimes this process includes employees reaching an epiphany – for example, suddenly understanding that parking their careers at their current level is unfulfilling or impeding their goals. To aid this “journey through the stages,” coach members how to develop insights into their “dominant cultures,” the language they use and the associations they develop. Tribes within organizations...

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Comment on this summary

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    N. O. 3 years ago
    It's more important recognize and identify the tribes in the company for develop and achieve new opportunities.
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    M. S. 4 years ago
    Great Culture to implement within your team inside of your office & the organization. If you want more you have to become more.
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    T. B. 4 years ago
    Interesting theory how organizations develop internal tribes. People do get caught in stages and they have a difficult time moving on. It's when the people that get stuck move on the organization thrives.
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    P. B. 7 years ago
    Like it a lot
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    S. Z. 7 years ago
    I have read the whole book and this summary does a great job capsulizing it. It's easy to see where we fall into as an organization when you see what the lines that distinguish one from another are. There is also a Bell Curve in the categories of tribes, with most operating at Stage 3 and only 22% at Stage 4. The best organizations are steady in Stage 4 with spikes to Stage 5.
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    G. 7 years ago
    Very interesting ideas presented. Having a noble cause can be dangerous --- why do you have a noble cause? It is to prove that you are better than others? A noble cause only works if coworkers function as partners who teach one another, rather than experts telling each other what to do. Great culture to evoke within a team and organization.