In “Tribal Leadership” (the audio version of the book is downloadable for free here), the authors summarize the results of their ten-year, 24,000 person research. Their tag line is: “Birds flock, fish school, and people tribe“. As a result of their experience, they’ve categorized organizational cultures into five “staged” types based on the general attitude of tribe participants.
The figure below and its accompanying annotations show my understanding of the TL authors’ message.
Notice that as one moves up the scale, the focus shifts from “me” to “we” and “all“. That’s why the authors assert that an epiphany is required to make the leap from stage 3 to stage 4. Successful people who are tired and frustrated at playing the dog-eat-dog game against other individuals at stage 3 shed their “it’s all about me” mindset and transform into sharers and effective catalysts for group advancement. Books and articles of techniques and tips for getting ahead, a multi-billion dollar industry targeted at the Donald Trump wannabes of the world, instantaneously become useless and irrelevant to stage 4 leaders. Those books and articles that concentrate on platitudes, community, and inspiration, formerly considered to be useless new age drivel, take on new meaning and serve as guidance for stage 4 leaders.
Reflecting on my behaviors and modus operandi over the years, I’m seemingly stuck in the isolationist world of stage 3 and impatiently waiting for the epiphany. How about you? Where are you, and are you at peace with your position?