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Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization Hardcover – January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061251305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061251306
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors, management consultants and partners of JeffersonLarsonSmith, offer a fascinating look at corporate tribes—groups of 20–150 people within a company that come together on their own rather than through management decisions—and how executives can use tribes to maximize productivity and profit. Drawing upon research from a 10-year study of more than 24,000 people in two dozen organizations, they argue that tribes have the greatest influence in determining how much and what quality work gets done. The authors identify the five stages of employee tribal development—Life sucks, My life sucks, I'm great and you're not, We're great and Life is great—and offer advice on how to manage these groups. They also share insights from the health care, philanthropic, engineering, biotechnology and other industries and include key points lists for each chapter. Particularly useful is the Tribal Leader's Cheat Sheet, which helps determine and assess success indicators. Well written and enlightening, this book will be of interest to business professionals at all levels. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Tribal Leadership gives amazingly insightful perspective on how people interact and succeed. I learned about myself and learned lessons I will carry with me and reflect on for the rest of my life.” (John W. Fanning, Founding Chairman and CEO napster Inc.)

“[A]n unusually nuanced view of high-performance cultures. . . . [S]hare the book with your Type A’s and prima donnas, as it expertly describes the tension between loners who perform exceptionally and those who perform exceptionally but who measure success as part of a team.” (Inc.)

“[T]he most thorough and unique book to come along pertaining to organizational dynamics in quite some time....Whether you’re trying to move an organization forward or trying to move forward yourself, Tribal Leadership is a great place to begin your efforts. (Business Lexington)

“Leaders of both for profit and non-profit organizations, including politicians, and can benefit from perusing Tribal Leadership.” (McClatchy-Tribune News Service)

Customer Reviews

A very well researched and written book, with practical insight.
W. Laughlin
The purpose of the book is to build great companies, and this means getting you and your tribe to Stage Four - 22% of the workplace.
Hsuan Hua Chang
Anyone that is in management/leadership and supervises people must read this book.
EM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Steven Savage on January 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
PROS:

* Provides a researched system of classifying organizations and businesses as "tribes" that is easy to apply.
* Has useful ideas for helping people "tribe up" and improve their relations and improve organizational relations.
* Very readable and understandable.
* Doesn't pull punches on some of the conclusions.

CONS:

* Some historical interpretations are arguable.

SUMMARY: Buy this book and read it unless you have no interest in community, leadership, and business. In that case you're probably not even reading this blog.

Leadership books. I've been getting tired of them ever since people started deciding "The Art of War" could by applied to businesses if you ignored all the war, killing, use of fire, and soforth in the book. Everyone talks about Leadership in business and in the world, but as I don't see any improvement out there as the amount of lame Leadership books increase, so I assume most of these texts aren't that useful.

At the same time, I'm very interested of issues in Leadership since I don't see nearly enough of it. I see bean-counting management, rock-star style poseurs, and exploitative jerks with a narrative. I don't see enough leadership in business, politics, media, or more - real, rallying, directing, powerful leadership.

Tribal Leadership is the kind of book I've been waiting for. It not only explores issue of leadership, mostly (but not entirely) dealing with business, but issues of culture, organization, and community. In many ways its a book of applied sociology that happens to focus mostly on business.

Based on research covering a decade, the book lays out a very clear thesis:

1. Humans naturally form tribes.
2.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Mr Likeable on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What I liked:
Rich insights into human behaviour, group dynamics and individual motivation.
Very useful, structured and specific suggestions - in essence, management tips that can be applied.
More readable than the average business book - well written.
I would have liked:
Less of a "consultant hard sell" tone. I think there's an emerging pattern of consultant academics writing books that over-sell the observations within, and verge on style exceeding substance. There is good stuff in this book, and the tips appear sensible, but the constant "move up one level at a time" to "the fifth level that we don't even know yet" ...maybe it's just me, but I think this book would benefit by turning down the volume; not every set of consultants' observations needs to promise a transformed world - it's not going to happen. I think this is a common problem in current business literature.
Summary:
In my view, a very accessible and useful book that possibly over-estimates its own "system".
I'd recommend it to young managers as a very good introduction to organisational dynamics, and to entrepreneurs who need a little help understanding the motivations of their employees.
This book probably augments "Good To Great" quite nicely - if you liked that, you might like this; I'd read "Good To Great" first.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Rich on January 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The most insightful management book I've read since business school.

The book starts with an accessible framework for evaluating corporate cultures, each with instantly recognizable traits -- from the DMV to Apple to your company. Stage 1: Life sucks. Stage 2: My life sucks. Stage 3: I'm great (and you're not). Stage 4: We're great (and they're not). Stage 5: Life is great.

While the vast majority of the working world is stuck in stages 2 and 3, Tribal Leadership delivers tools to help individuals and organizations break through to the next evolutionary stage. I found this a powerful, pragmatic and surprisingly fun read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Kinkade on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a lot of business books and a lot of books on leadership - most of them have at least a few good ideas in them, but this is the first leadership book I've read that's driven me to look at organizations and the art of leadership in a completely different way. Another reviewer mentioned that it was liking having someone giving you glasses and suddenly being able to see in a completely different way - I felt that way as well. Even better, this isn't a book that just shares some opinions or ideas, with over 10 years of research across 24,000 people it's pretty clear the authors did a lot of hard research to figure out Tribal Leadership.

What is Tribal Leadership - in a nutshell it's a completely new framework for how to look at leadership and creating high performing organizations. It's not about strategy and it's all about the culture and the evolution of the organization. It turns out there are 5 distinct stages of organizational culture that all build on one another.

Stage 1 - Life Sucks...equivalent of a street gang mentality, not really a factor in most professional settings
Stage 2 - My Life Sucks...Dilbert, the employees at Dunder Mifflin (The Office) or the employees at Initech Software (Office Space) are great, if a little over done examples of Stage 2 cultures.
Stage 3 - I'm Great! (and you're not) - the lone warrior who is very competent and effective by themselves, but doesn't share well with others. Office politics, bad management practices and Stage 2 Cultures all come from Stage 3 managers.

Stage 4 - We're Great - the language changes from I, Me to We and Us. It's all about the success of the team vs. individual accomplishments. The only way to really get to Stage 4 is to really 'own' stage 3.
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