by David Zinger
Explain what you mean that the more your develop yourself as a leader the less of a leader you are?
Business books on leadership generally take the reader to stage three—through tips, tools and techniques. These make you “the leader” (in your mind) but cause a separation between you and others. A leader leads from where people are, not a position of superiority (that’s management). To be clear, some leadership development programs are helpful in that they take people from stage two to three. But to go from three to four—the whole point, where real leadership kicks in—requires people to focus on the tribe. What do they want? What do they think? What are their aspirations? Their gripes? How can all of this get folded together into a leadership platform for the group that unites them. People who can do this are leaders.
Define a tribe in the workplace?
A tribe is a group of 20-100 people, and a large company is actually a tribe of many tribes. What makes a tribe more effective than others is their culture, which are in one of five stages.
What are the stages of tribal culture?
- At Stage One people believe “Life sucks” and they cluster together, expressing hostility, such as in a gang.
- At Stage Two people believe “My life” sucks. They feel they are surrounded by people who have power, but they themselves do not.
- Stage Three is “I’m great,” which implies “You’re not.” It’s a culture of loan warriors.
- At Stage Four the “I” turns to “We” as those lone warriors group into value-based relationships.
- Stage Five is “Life is Great” where there is no “they.” These are the history-making groups that have excelled beyond competition.
You say that each stage movement facilitated by a manager is specific, can you give one example of this?
Sure. To move a person from Stage Three (“I’m great”) to Stage Four (“We’re great”), the manager needs to assign projects that are bigger than he/she could ever do alone. That person needs to realize that what worked until now, will no longer be enough going forward. The manager can begin this process by forming “triads,” or three-person relationships based on shared projects and resonant values. That way the manager acts an anchor to the relationship of the two others.
How as a manager, do I apply the concept that: strong relationships always come in 3’s?
You’ll have far greater leverage managing people’s relationships rather than managing individuals. Build relationships between people around you, two and at a time (you are thus the third “leg” of the triad). Do so on the basis of values they share, and a reason (mutual gain) that they want to work together.
Click into Tribal Leadership with the following resources from the website for the book: