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Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization Paperback – June 7, 2011
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“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)
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
Logan, et al. develops their ideas by walking us through the five levels of teams and leadership and the common language that is found in each tribe (team). Furthermore, after thoroughly explaining each of the five levels of tribes and the team’s mantras we are taught how to move our teams from a “life sucks” worldview to a “life is great” perspective.
The description of level 3 teams and tribal leaders at level 3 harmonizes with what we see in the majority of our government, corporations, and churches. The essence of level 3 tribal leaders are, “I am great, and you are not.” (P.77) Furthermore, in this stage leaders are often driven by their own ego and are crippled by their own insecurities. The real tragedy of these underdeveloped tribes is that they will not tap into the collective gifting and resources that healthy tribes will achieve as a result of teamwork and partnership.
This book will create a hunger to grow beyond a stage 3 leader and transform your tribe to aspire to higher levels of teamwork, relationships, and tribes that realize “life is great!” I gave this book 4-STARS because it is too wordy and the authors could have communicated the same message just as effectively in 200 pages in lieu of the 300 pages that were used.
I also recommend the TEDTalk by Dave Logan - [...]
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