Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Tribal Leadership: Lev...
Dave Logan
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,866 ratings  ·  177 reviews
It’s a fact of life: birds flock, fish school, people “tribe.” Malcolm Gladwell and other authors have written about how the fact that humans are genetically programmed to form “tribes” of 20-150 people has proven true throughout our species’ history. Every company in the word consists of an interconnected network of tribes (A tribe is defined as a group of between 20 and ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperBusiness (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tribal Leadership, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tribal Leadership

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I would have never read this book had it not been for the free audio version I found through I was't looking for yet another business book, much less a management book, but this one really surprised me and hit me hard. The book in a nutshell talks about 5 stages that organizations and the members of organizations go through:

1 - Life sucks.
2 - My life sucks (but maybe there's something better).
3 - I'm in it for me.
4 - We're in it as a group with a core set of values; there is a higher
Jennifer (aka EM)
Read for work. This is a low star-stage 3 (if anyone reads this, you'll find that hilarious, trust me). It was surprisingly tolerable given my intolerance for a) non-fiction; b) books written by MBAs; c)pseudo-scientific self-help manuals. It avoided for the most part a's tendency toward repetitiveness (although it was definitely filled with beating-a-dead-horse, jargony prose, and I think the copy-editor must have nodded off in the last third); b's insufferable superficiality and barely-below-t ...more
An interesting take on social interaction and relationships. While the focus was more professional related, like does tend to self-select. The premise is there are five stages that people exist within, and they are as follows:

1. Life suck (this is the person that goes postal)
2. My life sucks (this is the person that sees everyone keeping them down)
3. I'm wonderful (I'm so wonderful - the ME culture)
4. We're great (cooperative for better of group)
5. Life is great (group works for the better of th
Jurgen Appelo
Important book with many great stories, but suffers from too much hyperbole and model-building.
While I'm not a manager, nor do I foresee a career in becoming a "tribal leader coach" anytime soon, if you're a leader of any group of people, you may find this book useful. You'll find it especially useful if you already recognise the power of a tribe or have the need to leverage a groups' already existing talents.

I picked up this book because I teach middle school, a natural environment for tribes and cliques, and figured I might gain insight into how to manage their day-to-day. Instead, I ga
This book reminds me of Jim Collins book Good to Great in that both are presenting findings from lengthy research studies. While Collins book talked more about their underlying methodology, Tribal Leadership shows five cultural levels and describes the transition from one to the next. Briefly, the five statges are:

1. Life sucks
2. My life sucks
3. I'm great
4. We're great
5. Life is great

As tribes (groups of 20 to 150 people) improve culturally through the five levels, vallues change and a noble ca
Daniela Fantaziu
Logan states that there are 5 stages when comes to tribes and how people define themselves and their contribution to life:
1. Life / everyone sucks
2. My life sucks
3. I'm great, and you're not and I have the means to prove it to you
4. We're great
5. Everything is great - our goal is global.

What captures the attention the most is the epiphany of an authentic tribal leader, which is the central theme of this book is that you are only as smart and capable as your tribe, and that by upgrading your tri
Ali Sohani
An excellent book on a leadership, draws heavily from a research, the 5 stages for cultural transformation:

Stage 1 - "Life Sucks" - pathological, gang-like, angry.
Stage 2 - "My Life Sucks" - a mix of learned helplessness, bitterness.
Stage 3 - "I'm Great" (and you're not) - Productive and dynamic but egocentric.
Stage 4 - "We're Great" (and they're not) - tribe-oriented, creative, productive, tight.
Stage 5 - "Life Is Great" - Big-picture, tribe-connecting.

"Change the language in the tribe, and you
John Norman
Read this if you have great performers in your company who think they're great, but also secrretly think others are not great . . . Such a company needs to evolve to understand how everyone in the "tribe" can say: "We're great."

The basic message here is compelling, but it is so involved in dubious philosophical / psychological claims about human development, I just can't give the book a very high rating.

Like a lot of self-help books, the rhetorical strategy starts from the assumption that you ar
Erika RS
I want to give this book 5 stars on content and 2 stars on presentation. Every time I worked on reading this book, I got something valuable out of it. Oftentimes, something I could apply that very day. But the whole time I read it, I was vaguely bored.

I think that this is because, while the content is valuable, the book itself is quite repetitive. I feel it could have been half the length (or even less) and contained all of the same content. And a good fraction of that reduction could have come
Really liked this book. Unlike a lot of leadership books that tell you what a good leader "looks like", this book tells you how to grow them. It does a great job of explaining the development cycle a person must go through to get to "Stage 4" which is considered a "Tribal Leader". The emphasis placed on relationships was powerful as well.

It got 4 stars instead of 5 stars because at times it was confusing as to whether the authors meant to be referencing the leader or the "tribe" when they were t
Tim McGrath
I think for this books category which is under "self-help" books the book was a decent read. It is written towards people in the business world. It, like most self-help books, preys on others insecurities. Which isn't always a bad thing, sometimes those vulnerabilities need to be addressed.

My biggest problem with "self-help" is they often approach the viewer with the "used car salesmen" marketing filth. For me, I do not think this books purpose was to be rigorous, and sometimes it seems to go ov
Hope Harris-Gayles
I'm listened to this as audiobook (free download from, and I really enjoyed it. As a budding leader, the book brought some behaviors to my attention that I will need to work on and improve so I can reach my full potential. I'm easily bored with audiobooks (mind wandering, etc) so its a true testament to Tribal Leadership that those didn't happen (or at least happened minimally). Recommended for leaders and leaders to be.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2013.


Companies have been trying to organize more effective work teams for decades. Whether they’ve realized it or not, the highest-performing organizations have taken a different approach. According to researchers Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright, there are naturally occurring groups
Dan Graham
There are some good parts to this book but overall it makes a bunch of claims that seem a bit made up to me. It puts business folks into 5 categories of development and asserts that certain traits are better than others without any data to back it up.
Uttam Kini
A great book that changes the way you look at teams and people. Whenever I see people now, I go, there's a typical stage 3 trying to sell himself, this guy is a stage 4 leader putting the team before himself. It will keep you interested till the very end.
Great book. I definetly need to reread or rehear it to come up with a meaningful review...
Sarah Young
Highly recommend this book for anyone working with or leading teams within an organization. I found Dave's descriptions of the different levels to be spot on.

I also appreciate the way it offers different approaches for working with teams at the different levels - for example, we must approach working with or on a team at Level 2 much differently than we would approach a team that is already at level 4.

As a side note, if you ever have the opportunity to hear Dave speak live, I highly recommend do
Without being life-changing, I think this book was valuable in providing a framework for evaluating the work culture around you. Whether or not you are in an official leadership position, it will make you reflect about what type of leader you are, how your company's culture influences you, and how you can influence your company's culture. While reading it, I definitely caught myself trying to assess at what "stage" my workplace was at, and asking myself how I can contribute to make it evolve to ...more
Tribal Leadership offers insight regarding Human nature. More importantly, it identifies how group dynamics are influenced and defined by the types of people who, by nature, are attracted to group interactions. The authors identify five different levels of groups based on levels of sophistication and what draws people to them.

This is more than a self-help book. It attempts to describe the nature of various tribal associations, how they come about and why they can be utilized as vectors to effect
I really enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot from it.

The authors of this book did years and years of research on numerous great companies and their leaders. They arrived at the conclusion that companies are made up of tribes of people that share common interests and values and that these tribes birth leaders that take them to new heights.

Their research shows that companies and individuals operate at five distinct stages. As I learned about the fives stages I discovered-sometimes regretf
Lars-Christian Elvenes
Very interesting book on the variations of cultures that exist in organizations.

Tribal leadership describes five different levels of tribes, as well as real case studies of organizations and people that fit the description of the various tribe stages.

The overall theme of the book is on how you yourself can take on the role of a tribal leader, and how you can define the stage that your tribe (organization, group, community, whatever is relevant for you) is at, and how to move it to the next stage
Omar Halabieh
To begin the authors define a tribe as "a group between 20 and 150 people. Here's the test for whether someone is in one of your tribes: if you saw her walking down the street, you'd stop and say "hello"". The continue: "Tribes in company get work done - sometimes a lot of work - but they don't form because of work. Tribes are the basic building block of any large human effort, including earning a living. As such their influence is greater than that of teams, entire companies, and even superstar ...more
Ala' Abuhijleh
Amazing! really Amazing!

This is the best book I've ever read or should I say heard - as I listened to the free audio version.

It is a great insightful, spiritual yet practical book! If you have been in business quite enough, you can relate to every single statement, example and metaphor!

The Idea of the book is very simple. All culture - including business cultures - Falls in one of 5 stages: Life Sucks, My Life Sucks, I am Great, We're Great and Life's Great.

The book illustrates the symptoms of e
After reading Marcus' review I knew this was exactly the type of book that I love to read. (see his review for a great summary of the book) I am always in search of people who inventively shift the way we think, perform, perceive, interact. This book does that very well. It is somewhat similar to "Blue Ocean Strategy" in that it proposes powerful shift of typical economic philosophies. The examples that they describe are pretty successful at supporting their theories. My only reservation is the ...more
Jo Murphy
May 21, 2013 Jo Murphy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, coaches, students
A "tribe." is a network of 20 to 150 people. Everyone knows each other, or of everyone else within a collegiality.

Mapping the Dynamics of Tribal Leadership

The authors show leaders how to assess their organization's tribal culture by listening to and ascertaining each members level. These stages will be recognised by the groups way of speaking. As levels are explained, strategies are suggested to elevate each stage to the next.
Through a rigorous eight-year study, the authors refine and define thi
Paul Mcatee
Tis book was a very insightful look at how groups form and how they function. I won't go into the five stages of tribalism here but if you do a little search on line you can find out about all of the. Super relevant if you work or play in any group of 10 - 150 people....which is everybody. This will change your perspective on groups and you will be able to immediately see examples of the functional principles in the world immediately around you. He could have spent a little more it talking about ...more
Tribal Leadership is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright provide a clear, coherent theory for how a group's discourse and attitude affects group members' satisfaction and the quality of the group's work. It explains the best and worst of my experiences working in groups: from banding together with others to complain why things seem to work for everyone but us, to feeling like I'm doing more work than anybody else in a group, to feeling engaged with a t ...more
Andy Konwinski
Did like:
the underlying theory. e.g. evolutionary stages of groups ("tribes"), the importance of culture in groups. the use of language as the metric to measure a groups functionality.

Didn't like:
feels like they've tried to turn empirical/quantitative social science into an easier to digest story but they want you to continue to believe that the story only came after the quantitative science and thus they actually have both the scientific *and* the narrative. I believe that both approaches are v
You can get the audiobook version free here:

This book gives you a great way to talk about behaviors types in your workplace by ranking them in stages. In order to get to people to a higher stage, you need to take people from one stage to the next, you cannot skip stages. One someone does soemthing that cause you to "go down to their level," it is actually means to behave in a way that is one or more Stages below your own current stage.

Stage 1 is gangsters and c
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
  • Competing Against Time
  • The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life
  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
  • The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership
  • The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World
  • What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation
  • Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas
  • Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workshop
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
  • Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
  • The Connected Company
  • Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion
  • The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance
  • The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE
  • Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning
Tribal Leadership The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life (J-B Warren Bennis Series) Managez votre tribu Coral Reefs and Climate Change The Guide for Education and Awareness Managez votre tribu

Share This Book

“Change the language in the tribe, and you have changed the tribe itself.” 3 likes
“[Don Beck] said, after hearing about the three stages of epiphany, "There's a word in the Bantu languages that [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu has used to help bring the entire country of South Africa together: ubuntu, meaning 'Today I share with you because tomorrow you share with me.'" The word can also be translated "I am because we are.” 1 likes
More quotes…