Customer Reviews


176 Reviews
5 star:
 (134)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Work on Leadership and Organizations
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:...
Published on January 12, 2011 by Steven Savage

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, a little pedantic
This could have been a shorter book, but ultimately this was a good read. At some points the phrasing seemed ill-chosen. Zappo's offers this book as a free download, just go to their site /tribal.
Published 20 months ago by Picky Tablet Owner


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Work on Leadership and Organizations, January 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tribal Leadership (Kindle Edition)
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. These tribes can be classified into 5 types each with a unique attitude towards life, and become more functional as you move from Type 1 to Type 5.
3. It is possible to coach people and groups to "tribe up" the scale to become more cohesive, functional, and productive (and in some cases at least less pathological)

The book is split between describing the theories, and describing how people and groups can advance from lower to higher Tribal levels. Each chapter leads naturally to the next, and handy checklists and bulletpoints help you keep track of important ideas. This clear focus and organization makes the book easy to read, refer to, and use.

As for the theory itself? It's simple and intuitive Essentially there are five tribal types, each defined by an attitude of members:
Level 1 - "Life Sucks" - pathological, gang-like, angry.
Level 2 - "My Life Sucks" - a mix of learned helplessness, bitterness.
Level 3 - "I'm Great" - Productive and dynamic but egocentric.
Level 4 - "We're Great" - tribe-oriented, creative, productive, tight.
Level 5 - "Life Is Great" - Big-picture, tribe-connecting.

You can probably guess right now which level you and your friends and co-workers function at (hint: you're probably also wrong).

The theory itself is extremely applicable in my experience, and the authors give extensive information to help you understand where you and your various organizations fit on the tribal scale. The clear boundaries of levels, straightforward explanations, and explanations of the classifications helps you use this theory and see the sheer lack of B.S. Just be prepared for a few ego-bruises because most people think they function higher than they do (and this book will puncture your illusions).

The theory comes with tips, advice, and directions for raising tribal level of people and organization. These sections are straightforward with excellent detail, from things to try, to signs to look for to identify personal progress. Again there's a refreshing lack of B.S. here.

So is the book flawless? No. There's a few moments of historical reference and metaphor that seem stretched or that I disagree with. There could be some better explanation of techniques at a few points.

These are minor concerns.

Here's what you need to know about this book- you should read it unless you have a reason not to, like a lack of money or being currently dead.

How much did I like this book? I've given two copies as gifts and my Kindle edition is filled with notes, I've joined a group to discuss it, founded another, and am discussing applying it's philosophy with other people. Yeah, I was impressed.

This is a must-read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful but not necessarily rigorous, March 30, 2010
By 
Mr Likeable (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new way to look at Leadership, July 2, 2012
By 
Shawn Kinkade (Kansas City, MO United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
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. Stage 4 organizations will significantly out perform Stage 3 and lower organizations in terms of financial results and ability to get things done.

Stage 5 - Life is Great...this stage occurs sporadically when Stage 4 organizations rise to a significant challenge and do something borderline miraculous (Think the 1980 Miracle on Ice US Hockey victory).

In order to get an organization to Stage 4, the majority of people within an organization need to be at Stage 4...they need to have reached an epiphany in Stage 3 that doing everything yourself isn't productive in the long run - you've got to have a team that you can count on if you really want to make things happen.

A couple of key ideas that are critical for Stage 4 include:
Triadic relationships - basically the idea that a group of 3 people can form a very effective and stable relationship when they all 3 share the burden of making the relationship successful.
Core Values - In order to reach a stage 4 culture, a group must have clearly stated alignment on core values...the types of values that make getting up in the morning important!
Noble Cause - Finally, Stage 4 cultures revolve around ideas that are bigger than any 1 person...you must have a Noble Cause that everyone understands and gets behind.

It's tough to summarize these really big ideas - but hopefully that gives you a taste. The book has a lot of interesting stories and examples and the authors do a nice job of stepping you through the ideas in a logical flow that makes a lot of sense. If you're looking for a set of ideas that will really shake up how you think and how you create a team that will do more...a lot more than you need to check out Tribal Leadership!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What stage are you and your company? How do you get to the next level?, January 23, 2008
By 
Rich (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


50 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one book on organizational culture, this should be it, January 23, 2008
By 
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
To all those wondering "Why?" and "How?" certain organizations are more productive than their peers, Logan, King and Fischer-Wright have some concrete answers. In their landmark book, "Tribal Leadership", they explore the essence of organizational culture. What they have uncovered is a dynamic at least 15,000 years in the making, and at the heart of all human organizations: the tribe. We operate in a "tribe"-a group of 20 to 150 people- in which important decisions are made and productivity is determined. Larger organizations are "tribes of tribes". Five stages describe the evolution of the tribe, from savage and dysfunctional to innovative and powerfully inspirational. What sets this work apart is its practical advice on both identifying the stage of the tribe and the means to advance to the next stage. Laced with real-life examples, the book is eminently readable. There is no doubt it will transform the reader, no matter where their own tribe finds itself. They will understand the difference between leading and commanding.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, a little pedantic, May 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tribal Leadership (Kindle Edition)
This could have been a shorter book, but ultimately this was a good read. At some points the phrasing seemed ill-chosen. Zappo's offers this book as a free download, just go to their site /tribal.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaders and Leadership Coaches - This is a book for you!, September 4, 2010
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
According to Dave Logan, in the work place, there are 5 tribal stages. Stage One's theme is "Life sucks"; Stage Two "My life sucks"; Stage Three "I am great and you are not"; Stage Four "we are great and they are not" and Stage Five "Life is great".

Stage Three represents 49% of workplace. That means while people often preach the need for teams, their behavior shows that they discourage teaming - unless it is a situation where they can be the star. The performance review system makes the culture more individualistic. People attempt to outperform each other. The language they use expresses "I am great" and in the background unstated is "and you are not". They hoard information to keep power. They rely on gossip and spies for political information. They are hungry for tips, tools and techniques that will keep them ahead of their competition. They talk about values and focus on "my values". The cost is that they have many blind spots, don't have enough time and don't get enough support. They can't get to the next level.

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. They walk in values and want to collaborate. They are happy, inspired, genuine and identify with each other. They work less and produce more. They communicate more information, more often and with transparency.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed premise and mixed messages, January 14, 2013
By 
Jimmy C (Woodinville, WA) - See all my reviews
I will try to keep this short. There are many reviews that describe the book in great detail so I will not do that here. I do understand what the book is trying to say and appreciate that it is a result of 10 years of research. However, I find a major flaw in the main premise of the book. Essentially, there are 5 stages of tribes, and to "Build a Thriving Organization", we should all strive to be Stage 4 or 5. Stages 1-3 are imperfect and people in those stages should be coached to reach level 4. The authors also state that you cannot skip stages, that is, you must go from stage 1 to 2 first before going to stage 3. Hence, it is necessarily true that even if you have a stage 1 employee, you have to eventually make them go to stage 4 by going through stages 2 and 3. In the book, each chapter describing the stages describe the next stage as a desireable stage, but once you get there, you cannot stay there because it too has problems. I see this as a major problem in management. Basically the message is that you can take an employee who is violent and suicidal, take them to stage 2 because it solves the problems of being in stage 1, but then stage 2 is full of problems, so you have to take them to stage 3. But stage 3 is also problematic, so push them to stage 4! A manager is sending the wrong message to the employee if they get a stage 2 employee to stage 3 because it is so much better, and yet once they get there, they are still not good enough.

The reality, of course, is that you can't make every organization (or employee) a stage 4. A better lesson from the book would be how to manage groups that are at different stages, rather that how to make everyone stage 4-5. While it sounds like a great idea, I don't really see anyone being able to take their worst-performing team member and transforming them to a stage 4. Most people may be able to "improve" themselves one stage up but probably will stay there.

The other issue I have with the book is that the "stages" are oversimplified and thrown around to describe people and organizations interchangeably, often within the same sentence. Describing people as being in a stage is essentially labeling and categorizing them (which is exactly what the book tells you NOT to do!), while describing an organization as a particular stage is very different in terms of managing the problem. The book tells the tribal leader to learn the language of all stages and work with people one-on-one, and yet for stage 1, it tells you to have a "zero-tolerance" policy for stage 1 behavior. Also the solutions are oversimplified as well and somewhat sophomoric ("help them make friends"???)

This book had unrealistic and generalized feel-good buzzword solutions without real life managerial advice, much like the "Rich Dad" books' get-rich-quick schemes. After reading "Tribal Leadership", I feel like I am better at categorizing employees into Stages but not really any better at managing my organization.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a business book I can use, a lot., February 1, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
Length:: 1:54 Mins

I've read a lot of business books and most of them I think about once and rarely even think about it. With Tribal Leadership I find it applicable whenever I talk about work, or talk to someone about their company. (more in the video)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Recipe Book for High Performance Cultures, February 1, 2008
This review is from: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (Hardcover)
After hearing a presentation on the concepts of Tribal Leadership, I immediately saw the clear connection to most business models and the relative ease of implementation. At my company, we motivate our teams by leveraging shared values to build cohesive relationships. Tribal Leadership has given my executives a true systematic approach to raising the performance potential of their teams. It brought instant calibration to our assessment efforts and took the guess work out of selecting tactics to move individuals forward to a state of mind where they are performing well, focusing on team results and obtaining more satisfaction from the workplace. "We're Great!" I highly recommend!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Halee Fischer-Wright (Hardcover - January 22, 2008)
$26.99 $24.29
Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.