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Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

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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.

“An unusually nuanced view of high-performance cultures.”
 —Inc.

Within each corporation are anywhere from a few to hundreds of separate tribes. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright demonstrate how these tribes develop—and show you how to assess them and lead them to maximize productivity and growth. A business management book like no other, Tribal Leadership is an essential tool to help managers and business leaders take better control of their organizations by utilizing the unique characteristics of the tribes that exist within.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2008

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Dave Logan

17 books63 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 445 reviews
Profile Image for Marcus.
311 reviews288 followers
January 22, 2015
I would have never read this book had it not been for the free audio version I found through Zappos.com. 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 purpose. We're great.
5 - Our values are everything. We're not fighting competition, we're fighting for a cause.

Admittedly, this list sounds pretty straightforward, possibly even obvious, but reading the examples of what kind of thoughts people in each of the five stages think was like having my mind read. It became clear to me what stage I've been in (3) and what stage my company is in (mostly 3, possibly occasionally dipping into 4).

It's one thing to find out exactly where you are, it's another thing altogether to know exactly where you could go next and have a good idea how to get there. This book gave as clear an indication of that as I've ever seen. I feel like after having read this it will be much easier to recognize the next "stage" when I see it and to consciously move in that direction. Great read, and since the audio is free and relatively short (6 hours), there's really no reason not to give it a try.
Profile Image for Jennifer (formerly Eccentric Muse).
441 reviews887 followers
January 29, 2012
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-the-surface best-seller goals; and c's new-age bullshittery posing as science.

For the most part.
Profile Image for Chantie.
15 reviews
May 9, 2013
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 the group)

After reading this, you will never look at your groups the same again. =)
Profile Image for Erika.
3 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2015
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 gained insight into several of my own situations, as I've worked for a number of organisations (as a freelance artist and teacher) and this book was able to provide sudden insight into why certain workplace situations seemed to work better for me than others.

For example, this is what I understood from the analogy: If you exit school enthusiastic and ambitious, you may be entering the workforce while operating as a "3" - ambitious but maybe a little self serving, as personal achievement is a prime focus in school - and if you enter the workforce in an office of "2's" - people who have already seen the duplicitous nature of the game and either gave up or stopped caring in order to cope - you eventually adapt to your situation by also reducing your ambition (and optimism) to blend in to the existing environment or else rising to leadership status within the organisation. However, there may come a time when you realize that you want to find or build a tribe of "4's", a happy tribe intent and focused by a shared vision and values, and this book discusses those various situations with interviews from successful CEO's, actors (such as Gary Cole, who portrays a prototypical "3" boss on Office Space) and writers (like Scott Adams, who capitalised on the "2" office culture in the Dilbert comic strip).

I always wondered why so many of my friends left college dreaming of changing the world only to emerge years later as jaded and miserable as the grown ups we swore we'd never be. While nothing in here can be considered a "quick fix," this book, by addressing the language and culture of our various environments, has at least made it all make a little more sense.
Profile Image for Jay.
88 reviews5 followers
June 15, 2011
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 cause for the organization is found. The discussion about how tribes can get stuck in the interaction between stages 2 and 3 was interesting and explains why there are so few organizations at the hiher levels.

The big aha moment for me in this book was the discussion of developing three person relationships (triads) and how this can be vastly more effective for an organization than the 1:1 relationships found at lower levels.

My recommendation: read this book, share it with others, and tell them I said so.

Profile Image for Tõnu Vahtra.
527 reviews72 followers
October 31, 2019
Having read so many books on organizational development and organizational culture recently I was starting to get disappointed as most of them were repeating each other. This book was a surprising exception and especially considering the fact that it was written over 10 years ago and I have so far came across only a few references to it from other books. Recently I have read a lot about leadership development (Leadership Pipeline, Performance Pipeline, 5 Levels of Leadership...) and also books about organizational change and organizational culture. This book is talking about taking your organization to the next level through culture. The most valuable takeaways for me were that group maturity level is characterized by the words that they most commonly use and how they interact with each other. A strong leader should "speak" the language of all the relevant levels in order for his message to come across and you cannot expect higher level initiative or level of abstraction from a lower levels. There is a systematic and structured approach on each level for motivating and supporting individuals in moving towards the next level. Definitely one of the best leadership books I have read during this year. Need to take up Zappos book (Delivering Happiness) soon..

The five stages of groups:
1. Life sucks (nothing matters)
2. My life sucks (but I see others doing better so progress could be possible)
3. I'm wonderful (I'm so wonderful - the ME culture; most organizations on this level, such managers avoid hiring people that could be stronger/smarter than them)
4. We're great (cooperative for better of group, but needs a common enemy)
5. Life is great (group works for the better of the group and does not need external enemy)

“Tribal Leadership focuses on two things, and only two things: the words people use and the types of relationships they form.”

"Change the language in the tribe, and you have changed the tribe itself."

“It is literally true, Burke’s groundbreaking arguments suggests, that if people change their words (or, more accurately, their words and their words’ relationships to one another), they change their perception of reality. As they change their reality their behavior changes automatically. Instead of people using their words, they are used by their words, and this fact is unrecognized.”

“We see Stage Two mostly when people believe they cannot act creatively, where jobs are so mechanized that they feel like part of a machine.”
“Signs of Stage Two. People talk as though they are disconnected from organizational concerns, seeming to not care about what’s going on. They do the minimum to get by, showing almost no initiative or passion. They cluster together in groups that encourage passive-aggressive behavior (talking about how to get out of work, or how to shine the boss on) while telling people in charge that they are on board with organizational initiatives. The theme of their communication is that no amount of trying or effort will change their circumstances, and giving up is the only enlightened thing to do. From a managerial perspective, nothing seems to work—team building, training, even selective terminations appear to do nothing to change the prevailing mood. The culture is an endless well of unmet needs, gripes, disappointments, and repressed anger."

“Signs of Stage Three. People engage in anything that’s going on, with energy and commitment, but when you listen closely, they talk mostly about themselves and focus on appearing smarter and better than others. They think they’re focused on team concerns, but their actions show their interest is personal. People tend to form two-person relationships, so if they manage a group of ten, they have ten relationships. They rarely bring people together, they resist sharing information except when it’s necessary, and they pride themselves on being better informed than others. Winning is all that matters, and winning is personal. People at this stage complain that they don’t have enough time or support and that the people around them aren’t as competent or as committed as they are.”
“Some companies we’ve consulted cut off the Stage Two tail (by firing people), but it always grew back (through new hires). Why? People at Stage Three like to hire those at Stage Two, or others at Three who aren’t as accomplished as they are, so they can dominate the Stage Two position. Stage Three, to be successful, needs people at Stage Two to do the work, but this lower cultural stage will never produce the passion or initiative necessary to provide full support. As a result, people at Stage Three often say, “I don’t get enough support.”
“COACHING TIP: Encourage mutual contribution. People at Stage Three rely on themselves. The issue that they need to address, especially later in the stage, is that their effectiveness is capped by their time, which is a limited resource. The more the person can accept help from others, the more he will see that help from others is not only helpful but necessary to his becoming a fully developed leader. Once he begins to form strategies that rely on others, and in which others rely on him, he will have taken a big step into Stage Four.”

“Signs of Stage Four. Teams are the norm, focused around shared values and a common purpose. Information moves freely throughout the group. People’s relationships are built on shared values. They tend to ask, “what’s the next right thing to do?” and to build ad hoc partnerships to accomplish what’s important at the moment. Their language focuses on “we,” not “me.” If two people get in a squabble, a third will step in and repair the relationship rather than create a personal following for himself. Unlike Stage Two, the group is composed of people who have played the Stage Three game and won—and are ready for genuine partnerships. Your first job is to make sure each person is stable at Stage Four, as most groups at this level crash down to Stage Three when under stress.”
“The single most important takeaway from Stage Four is that Tribal Leaders follow the core values of the tribe no matter what the cost.”

“Signs of Stage Five. Your tribes hardly ever refer to the competition, except to note how remarkable their own culture is by comparison, and how far their results outstrip industry norms. The theme of communication is limitless potential, bounded only by imagination and group commitment. People in this culture can find a way to work with almost anyone, provided their commitment to values is at the same intensity as their own. (Unlike Stage Four, the focus isn’t on “our values” but on resonant values.) There is almost no fear, stress, or workplace conflict. People talk as though the world is watching them, which may well be the case, as their results are making history. Your job is to make sure the infrastructure to maintain these leaps to Stage Five is in place. ”

“The process of an oil change is for the group to talk through three questions: (1) what is working well, (2) what is not working well, and (3) what the team can do to make the things that are not working well, work.”

“Alignment, to us, means bringing pieces into the same line - the same direction. The metaphor is that a magnet will make pieces of iron point toward it. Agreement is share intellectual understanding. Tribes are clusters of people, and people are complex and nonrational at times. If a tribe is united only by agreement, as soon as times change, agreement has to be reestablished. If people learn new ideas or see a problem from a new perspective, they no longer agree, so tribes based on agreement often discourage learning, questioning, and independent thought. Tribes based on alignment want to maximize each person's contribution, provided that they stay pointed in the same direction like magnetized iron filings.”
Profile Image for Erika RS.
701 reviews182 followers
March 30, 2014
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 from just not using the word "tribal" as a descriptor all the time. At some point, just assume the audience knows you mean "tribal leader" when you talk about a leader.

All that said, I do expect to reference this book often. The key insight -- that groups have different levels and that those levels can be detected and change through choice of language -- is a good one, and the authors present many practical tips for upgrading a group's culture.
Profile Image for Quinn.
510 reviews39 followers
September 15, 2015
I think the more I read the less each book makes an impact on my life. This is one of those books that if I had just started reading business books it probably would have got a 5 out of 5 and had me getting extra copies for each bathroom. I felt like what was suppose to be a broad expanse of interviews and careful peering behind different corporate curtains by the authors ended up being a recount of handful of experiences that fit their mold. Although it was a quick read I found it a little long with lots of repeat. Unless you really want to read this one I suggest you go to your book store go to Appendix A "A Tribal Leaders Cheat Sheet" and then call that good.
Profile Image for Megan Highfill.
135 reviews2 followers
September 20, 2022
This book has some really great points and suggestions regarding leadership and the function of group dynamics and personality within an organization. I did not love that the writers pretended to be social scientists when they are actually business people, and kind of picked and choose what generalizations they wanted to share. This felt inauthentic. It also felt very corporate and, in the end, financially driven. The authors chose not to include demographics (they explained this is intentional), but I don't know how you can talk about the workforce or leadership without taking into account aspects of discrimination, oppression, and privilege. I read this book for a class and feel that there are better options out there where people are not pretending to be something they are not. If you want to read a book about the workforce and dynamics within that, grab a book by a sociologist, economist, or even an anthropologist. If you want a book on leadership, read something by a psychologist or someone like Brene Brown who has properly studied and surrounded herself with experts. This is a definite "skip" but I gave it three stars because it helped me write a bunch of papers.
Profile Image for Graham.
75 reviews9 followers
October 21, 2015
So, the story goes that our CEO, Jost Stollmann, asked Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder & co-CEO of Atlassian and one of Tyro’s board members, something along the lines of…
“If you had to recommend just one book to your leadership team, what would you choose?”

And Mike recommended: Tribal Leadership. I think I can see why.

What’s the book about?

The book is about the results of ten years of research by the authors and how they found that people in organisations form tribes; that each tribe has a prevailing culture; that the cultures can be roughly grouped into five different levels; that the culture of the tribe can be an indicator of organisational success; and that the culture of individuals and of tribes can be “upgraded” through the levels using actions they describe, undertaken by tribal leaders. (Note that it’s not about leaders trying to create tribes in order to succeed - the tribes are a natural phenomenon, and the benefit comes through recognising them and influencing them. It does talk about building and enhancing networks within tribes.)

The book is well-written (i.e. not boring), contains lots of case studies and interviews, has excellent summaries at the end of each chapter (no highlighting necessary!), and it doesn’t just focus on what to do to become “great" - it also covers basket case cultures and how to start progressing people out of there.

What did I like about the book?

The number one thing I like about this book, as a leadership book, is that it pretty quickly gets a thoughtful reader looking not merely at their own actions and what they can do to improve, but also at how the people around them in the organisation are acting and interacting. You start to think about how to improve the company by influencing the culture, not just about how to improve your own output and your team’s output by doing a few things differently.



As soon as I started reading all this, I could see how problems which I’d observed at work were caused by the behaviours detailed in the book. I also started to see problems I hadn’t noticed before, or areas that were about to be problems, based simply on how people were talking to each other or about each other. I recognised in myself some things I’d been doing which were contributing to holding the culture back from where it could be.

The book has many examples of great companies to aspire to, and not just the ones you’re used to reading about. Yes, there’s analysis of raging startup successes like Zappos, but there’s also a lot of time spent describing a hospital that focuses on creating excellent customer experiences.

The book has great advice, much of which is easy to start following, and it changed the way I behave, even as I was reading it.

Should you read it?

If you're in any kind of leadership position, in any kind of organisation, I highly recommend this book. Maybe it won’t change your world, and you may not have all the influence you would need in order to affect the whole organisation. At the very least it should help you to start seeing the culture around you for what it is, and start to move it forward from the position you’re in.
Profile Image for John.
397 reviews394 followers
May 9, 2019
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 are a weak person who is doing it wrong (therefore, you need to read the book). That may be, but I think the core insights of the book could have been expressed in about 50 or 60 pages, without inventing a theory of developmental stages in the business world.

I now dread hearing colleagues describe someone else as "Stage 2" or "Stage 3" or "Stage 4": What could be more condescending than to toss people into reductive boxes like that?

Read with an open mind . . . but at your own risk.

Full review here: https://7fff.com/2013/06/tribal-leade...
Profile Image for Pascal Wagner.
114 reviews29 followers
May 25, 2014
I believe in the premise of the book and they made a few good points but they writer lost me often. I ended up just reading the bullet points at the end of every chapter.

I'd probably recommend watching a TED talk about the subject instead of reading this book.
Profile Image for Rézina Dějová.
289 reviews39 followers
October 3, 2022
Knihu mi doporučil kamarád, takže je tu vidět, že ne vždy doporučení kamarádů fungují. Stejně jako u většiny knížek v rámci self-improvement žánru pro mě bylo čtení utrpením a poslední čtvrtinu jsem už jen rychle prolistovala. Příšerný, nestravitelný jazyk, neustálé opakování již několikrát zopakovaných faktů a přínos sám je podle mne taky celkem pochybný, jelikož nevěřím, že je možné lidi jednoduše kategorizovat do pěti skupin. Nedopo. Jestli se chcete stát vůdčí osobností v zaměstnání nebo svojí sociální skupině, pochybuju, že vám k tomu pomůže zrovna tahle kniha.
Profile Image for Pavel Koshak.
17 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2019
Интересная теория, увлекательное повествование, местами смотрел в книгу и видел свою компанию. Кроме теории и выводов в книге есть конкретные советы к действию.
Однозначно буду пробовать полученные знания на практике.
Спасибо переводчику Светлане Кировой — без её перевода книгу было бы читать не так интересно.
Profile Image for Jessyca505.
333 reviews13 followers
October 10, 2017
⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 “[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.” ~ David Logan

I want to be part of a tribe! At stage four! I want to be inspired so that I can inspire!
David Logan visits many avenues that I have read in other books this year, but it is good to hear (read) them again and again so that I can learn deeper. It references Apple and Southwest Airlines (also mentioned in Simon Sinek's "Start With Why". It also references true tribal leadership, as in David Kelly at IDEO, and it took me down memory lane. I remember watching "The Deep Dive" with my Truman staff in 2009 and it helped move us to the Golden Years! Really thinking about innovation, and collaboration at a deep level and moving us down the continuum to a tribe.

The tribe made us move from an "F" rating in the district to a "B+" rating in the district. We had real student achievement and worked diligently and with purpose in using the data, modeling for our students, and going deeper in our professional learning.

I read these books to help lead me, point me, align my compass in a way that I can try to be as inspiring as my mentor was to me. At the end of the day, our students deserve a tribe. A tribe willing to work with them. I will continue down my journey until I "get it right".

In the meantime, here are the stages....I would think I am between a 3 and a 4 on any given day. I need to find a way to collaborate myself (with job-alike leaders), because that is how I will move from a 3 to a 4 in my current setting.

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best. The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and outthink their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.
Profile Image for Carolyn Kost.
Author 3 books100 followers
December 31, 2021
The authors are management consultants, those folks you pay dearly to swoop in and pontificate about what needs to be done before they swoop out. As the late great Dr. Edwin Friedman wrote so often, consultants only assuage anxiety; they are of little utility in reality. In any case, readers should glean something from this book helpful to building organizations that thrive. In a pinch, skip to the Tribal Leader's Cheat Sheet for a pithy summary.

The focus here is on organizational culture, language and behavior, not "cognitions, beliefs, attitudes, or other factors we cannot directly observe" and ways to upgrade the organization's tribes (groups of 20-150 people who know each other). Each chapter features a helpful summary of key points, coaching tips, leverage points, and success indicators. There is plenty of practical advice here, though each culture is different. Each stage has identifying cultural marks that a casual observer will note. For example, an "I'd rather be fishing" mug here, a "Hanging on for the weekend" poster there, Dilbert cartoons, etc. indicate disaffected workers.

The authors posit a model of five tribal stages (it's a mixed metaphor, but let's just go with it), each of which has a beginning, middle, and end.
Stage 1: despairing hostility, "Life sucks"
Stage 2: apathetic victim, "My life sucks"
Stage 3: lone warrior, "I'm great and you're not" <--about half the professional population is stuck here
Stage 4: tribal pride, "We're great and they're not" <--rare
Stage 5: innocent wonderment, "Life is great" <--nearly theoretical ideal, but possible in some cases, if you could just have a noble mission worthy of being served and instill the right attitude in your people

I worked in universities and then in high schools. In some, there were divas and divos who were great at what they did in the classroom and/or contributions to their fields (and knew it). Predictably, they did not play well with others, a common issue in educational institutions. The research is abundantly clear regarding the motivations of those who pursue teaching as a career: they are most often lone wolves who eschew close supervision, don't welcome collaboration, like to be on center stage, and thrive on the a-ha! moment. As the book's authors state, "no amount of team building will turn this group of self-described star players into a team" (22), but more importantly, regarding superstars in many fields:
"Coaching people to drop behavior that is required by the system is harmful to everyone. 'If he's doing what the job requires, don't bother him.'"
For these reasons, schools often do not fit into any of these stages, since people often don't collaborate much, resent being asked to attend fundraising events, etc., but
can nevertheless be happy places for staff and students alike where students succeed.

Loved this line: "The moment a job candidate looks more intelligent, ambitious, or promotion-worthy than the boss, they are nixed from consideration" (93). But it worries me when authors or businesses talk about the importance of "turning a group of professionals into a family" (162). People relive their dysfunctional family dynamics in the workplace. We do not want that.

Dealing with culture, language and behavior is really far more difficult than the authors indicate here. They are well aware, however, that many people are addicted to negativity, cynicism, and complaining and difficult to re-engage. My own tip relates to my experience. It never ceases to amaze me how often as a candidate for a job, I am paired with a deeply disaffected and negative employee for a meeting, lunch, or a conversation, leaving me with an extremely negative perspective about the organization. And when I don't accept the job, I'm not asked probing questions about why.

One might assume this book by a management consulting firm called CultureSync has something to say about the new DIRE religion (diversity, inclusion, race, equity), but it was written in 2007, before the collapse of 2008, and long before the "martyrdom" of "St. George Floyd." Since every management consultancy is cashing in on the ten billion-dollar DIRE industry, I'd love to know how they torture their ideas to fit, since there is so much here that is not aligned with the current emphasis on DIRE.

For example, "Getting a job...means convincing the tribe that the candidate will make a contribution and fit within the culture" (135); now, organizations are coerced to focus on the employee's wellbeing if that employee is a member of one of the privileged groups:
those who have an ancestor who came from Africa unwillingly or willingly, even quite recently as an oligarch;
those who have an ancestor who may have lived in the Western United States prior to 1848 (its sale from Mexico to the U.S.), or who lived, however briefly, in any of the 33 countries in Latin America even though originally from any part of Europe;
those who have sexual relations with people of the same biological sex;
or those who pretend to be a sex other than his or her biological one.
Organizations are forced to elevate and center DIRE to the detriment of all other possible values. DIRE will not distinguish an organization and will not lead an organization to succeed and flourish because such values are not unique to the organization's overarching mission that is worthy of being served and "principles without which life wouldn't be worth living."

In Chapter 9, they quote David Burr, expert on the Spanish Inquisition, which bears so many similarities to DIRE: "it starts with a concern for orthodoxy--a specific interpretation of a set of values" and continues by "purging anything that isn't in agreement (notice: not alignment) with the values and noble cause...the society is then made subject to this tyranny, and...people descend to Stage Two" (176).
"'If a group of people take over and start conducting a purge within an organization, it's based on their insistence that these people are poisoning the atmosphere, and that decent collegial atmosphere cannot be established unless those others are purged… It's always about something else…about power.' Ironically, but predictably, a purge...regresses the culture" (177).

The difference between alignment and agreement is it important (177). "Tribes based on alignment want to maximize each person's contribution, provided that they stay pointed in the same general direction." "Tribes based on agreement often discourage learning, questioning, and independent thought" (178). Agreement is the DIRE foundation.

This was worth a read. The anecdotes were fun, and there were transferable takeaways like the power of the triad, the Tribal Leadership Strategy Map, viewing the competition in lofty terms, like "We're in competition with cancer" (rather than another company) from Amgen employees. I wish the authors had more background knowledge in sociology; they would benefit from it. Simply put, a company that wants to move to the pinnacle of functionality needs at minimum core values and a noble cause (Chapter 9). I agree and there is no better and more inspiring book on that subject than August Turak's Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. Read that.
Profile Image for Федор Кривов.
111 reviews10 followers
March 5, 2019
Интересная модель, хотя и довольно упрощенная.

Племя – это группа людей, в которую входит от 20 до 150 человек. Число 150 родилось, в частности, и из исследования Робина Данбара, ставшего популярным благодаря книге Малкольма Гладуэлла «Переломный момент». Когда численность подходит к этому значению, племя естественным образом распадается на два.
Племя всегда ищет своего конкурента, и единственный человек, который способен повлиять на его выбор, – это лидер племени. Поуанда доказывал, что у Griffin есть лишь один заслуживающий внимания конкурент – это сам принцип ведения бизнеса в сфере медицины. Правило четвертой стадии гласит: чем крупнее противник, тем сильнее племя. Griffin не добилась бы такого успеха, если бы выбрала в качестве своего соперника другую больницу.
Говоря о работе с отдельными людьми, мы не имеем в виду изменение их убеждений, установок, мотивации, идей или чего-то еще, что нельзя наблюдать непосредственно. Мы фокусируемся на двух и только двух вещах: на словах, которые люди используют, и на типах взаимоотношений, которые выстраивают.
Кен Уилбер, всемирно известный эксперт в области развития общества, автор более двух десятков книг и основатель Интегрального института, рассказал нам, что два параметра человека развиваются одновременно: его психология/мировоззрение/духовность и его речь.
«Труднее всего, – отмечает Келли, – было начать, даже осознав, что компания третьего уровня – не то, чего я хочу. Если вы посмотрите на любую дизайнерскую фирму, то все они, за небольшим исключением, названы по имени человека и оно же красуется на дверях. Я и сам пошел по этому пути. Сначала мы назывались David Kelley Design. Думал, со временем наберем человек пятьдесят. Сегодня у нас почти пять сотен. Но еще когда их набралось не более пятидесяти, мне необходимо было решить: или все бросить, или построить сцену, на которой смогут выступать и другие. Я изменил название компании, привел новых людей, и вот с этого все и началось»
Самый важный отдельно взятый принцип поведения на четвертом уровне сводится к тому, что лидер должен следовать базовым ценностям племени любой ценой и при любых обстоятельствах.
За небольшими исключениями организации четвертого уровня не печатают свои ценности на обороте бейджиков служащих, не наносят их на фирменные кружки и не вывешивают их на доске объявлений рядом с меню столовой. Нет! В таких организациях лидеры говорят о ценностях, основывают свои решения на них, обсуждают их значение с членами племени. Обобщая итоги нашего исследования, можем дать вам простой совет: встройте благородную цель в процесс коммуникации и не пытайтесь хитрить.

Что такое племя?
• Племя – это группа людей, в которую входят от 20 до 150 человек, достаточно хорошо знакомых друг с другом, чтобы при встрече на улице остановиться и сказать «привет». • Телефоны членов вашего племени наверняка забиты в ваш сотовый, а адреса электронной почты – в компьютер. • Небольшая фирма – это одно племя, �� крупная компания – племя, состоящее из племен. • Более эффективным, чем другие, племя делает его культура. Каждый раз, когда люди начинают говорить, в их словах открываются характеристики одного из пяти уровней развития культуры племени. Пятый уровень всегда будет превосходить четвертый, который сможет добиваться большего, чем третий, а тот, в свою очередь, справится со своими задачами лучше, чем второй, который намного эффективнее, чем первый. • В составе племени средне-крупных размеров (от 50 до 150 человек), как правило, в одно и то же время работают люди, находящиеся на разных культурных уровнях. Что такое лидерство? • В данной книге мы фокусируемся на речи и поведении людей внутри определенной культуры. • Эта книга не исследует когнитивные способности, убеждения, установки и прочие характеристики человека, которые не поддаются непосредственному наблюдению. • У каждого культурного уровня свой стиль речи, тип поведения и структура взаимоотношений. • Лидер племени делает две вещи: 1) отслеживает, кто из членов племени на каком уровне находится; 2) развивает свое племя, используя соответствующие точки воздействия на его членов.
Чтобы понять, какие культурные уровни существуют в племени, его лидер должен знать следующее

Краткое описание первого уровня • Человек, относящийся к первому уровню, чувствует себя отчужденным от других и разделяет мнение «жизнь – дерьмо». • Когда люди, находящиеся на этой стадии, сбиваются вместе, их поведение обретает черты отчаянной враждебности, например они формируют банду. Краткое описание второго уровня • Человек на втором уровне изолирован от других, но, в отличие от тех, кто на первом, окружен людьми, которые, кажется, обладают некоторой властью, не хватающей ему самому. Поэтому в его речи лейтмотивом проходит фраза «моя жизнь – дерьмо». В отличие от человека, стоящего на первом уровне, он считает, что жизнь других, похоже, складывается удачно. • Когда люди этого уровня собираются вместе, в их поведении прослеживаются элементы, характерные для апатичных жертв. Краткое описание третьего уровня • Человек, стоящий на третьем уровне, связан с окружающими серией диадических (двусторонних) отношений. Его речь несет послание «я крутой», при этом подразумевающимся, но невысказанным остается «а ты – нет». • Когда люди третьего уровня собираются вместе, то пытаются «перещеголять» и умалить достоинства друг друга (на индивидуальной основе). И хотя они делают это обычно в легкой, шутливой форме, эффект достигается тот же: каждый борется за доминирующую позицию. Поведение личности следует этике «одинокого воина», а культурная среда коллектива напоминает «Дикий-Дикий Запад».
Краткое описание четвертого уровня • Человек формирует структуры под названием «триады», в рамках которых выстраивает отношения с другими людьми на базе общих ценностей. В то же время речь людей, стоящих на четвертом уровне, пронизана лейтмотивом «мы крутые», при этом невысказанной остается вторая часть: «а они – нет». «Они» – это некое другое племя, которое может быть частью той же компании, а может и не быть. • Когда люди четвертого уровня собираются вместе, они излучают гордость за свое племя. Краткое описание пятого уровня • От человека, стоящего на пятом уровне, исходит посыл «жизнь прекрасна». Пятый уровень обладает теми же характеристиками, что и четвертый, с той лишь разницей, что нет никакого «они». Такие люди формируют постоянно растущие сети контактов со всеми, чьи ценности резонируют с их собственными. Те немногие культуры пятого уровня, которые мы наблюдали (в корпоративной среде), существуют до тех пор, пока есть проект, который вписывает их имена в историю, или до тех пор, пока племя настолько опережает своих конкурентов, что любые сравнения теряют смысл. • Как только ситуация меняется, культура регрессирует до четвертого уровня, с которого она снова может подняться, если появится или будет создана подходящая возможность. Поведение пятого уровня выражает простодушное удивление.
Profile Image for Katie.
342 reviews5 followers
December 26, 2016
This book, ironically, was required reading for a place I formally worked which I would classify as strongly "stage 2" or "stage 3."

I really enjoyed not only the material of this book, which seemed very well researched and applicable, but also the format. I thought there were perhaps a few too many examples, but in-general what information it had was what it needed. I don't really know how to summarize the book, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is a leader in an organization, or hopes to be a leader, and would suggest it'd be a good read for anyone. It was very eye-opening for me as I realized I'm barely halfway through the "stages" - "THIS ISN'T EVEN MY FINAL FORM!" ;)
Profile Image for Angelique.
73 reviews7 followers
October 26, 2011
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 talking about behaviors. However, that really was the only flaw I found - otherwise, extremely interesting and helpful.
Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews301 followers
June 16, 2014
Great book on leadership! It's crazy how accurately the 5 stages he mentions in the book reflect a lot of the companies I know. On top of that the book contains great practical tips you can use to create successful teams and when the time comes you'll know exactly how to motivate your people to great performance. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Dan Graham.
137 reviews39 followers
January 3, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Marcela.
10 reviews1 follower
September 11, 2019
I had to read this book for work and wanted to throw it away so many times. Horrible examples, tone-deaf, and poorly written. There is a lot of privilege in this book with the examples they use and especially using the word tribal.

Do not recommend.
Profile Image for Maria.
531 reviews40 followers
May 31, 2018
в общем, всё было довольно четко, пока они описывали первые три (отстойные) уровня развития групп, но только дошли до четвертого, как их повело. полились какие-то истории, в которых было так много слов, что терялась суть. ну то есть, интересно читать историю, в которой стив джобс о чем-то договорился с возняком, но историю про билла и джона из компании "рога и копыта", про которую в жизни не слышал - нет, не интересно, сорян

вот поэтому и не больше звезд

однако, сама теория в мою систему ценностей встроилась. понятно, что любая теория - это система координат, а не истина в последней инстанции, но конкретно эта со мной совпала. и думаю, ее неплохо было бы читать людям, которые размышляют и рассуждают по пронятие "лидерство", потому что как база для рассуждения тема с племенами, на мой взгляд, очень удобна
Profile Image for Wiet Vande Velde.
16 reviews1 follower
Read
September 26, 2017
Tribal leadership explains about an interesting phenomenon: the Level of thinking people are living in. As a leader, you want to understand the principles explained in this book. It will help you to understand why people say certain things. For me, an interesting read and a valuable lesson learned.
Profile Image for Alvin Soh.
106 reviews
October 25, 2020
Like the concept of 5 levels as it describes the model of the world of team members. The key idea of each stage and the key coaching tip are as follow:

Level 1: “Life sucks”. Give the person hope, encourage the person to cut ties with level 1 people.

Level 2: “My life sucks”. Remind that the person has a choice and encourage the person to build dyad connections.

Level 3: “I am great”. Give the person tasks beyond himself and encourage the person to build triad connections.

Level 4: “We are great”. Deepen the values held and align objectives.

Level 5: “Life is great”. This is when competition doesn’t really matter, but the team is genuinely committed to achieve noble objectives.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Grant.
61 reviews3 followers
May 12, 2020
I had heard of the perspective in this book through some conversations I had with other CEOs. It was interesting to read the evolution of their thought (to a point, see below) and the fact that they added a stage 5 only after they realized that SOME companies exhibited “higher” behavior. But this is also where I think they strayed a bit into the “Silicon Valley” mindset of grander missions over focused missions.

The book could have been about 30% shorter, but it is mostly well written (I listened on audible.). Some of the “journey” the authors took could have been consigned to another appendix.

But it is worth the time and helped me formulate a reason for a business difficulty I am experiencing. I recommend.
Profile Image for Riley.
125 reviews35 followers
March 9, 2022
I don't really go up for leadership and business books, but this offered a great perspective and a helpful framework for growing or improving a business in a way that is also healthy and beneficial for the employees.
Profile Image for Qasim Zeeshan.
26 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2018
Awesome, well researched and “based on real stories” book with tips to formulate teams to achieve a goal that’s beneficial for everyone. Highly recommended in the start of a career.
Profile Image for Luminiţa Apostolovici.
49 reviews8 followers
July 15, 2021
The kind of book that talks too much about social categories and not enough about what drives people to stay into/get to be in that category in the first place. Meh overall.
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