Home » Blog » Book of the month June 2018 ‘Tribal Leadership’

First of all, a big thank you to all those who responded to my last Book of the Month email and web post, including interestingly enough Steve Shoulder the author of last month’s book of the month ’90 Days to Profit’, who I did not previously know and who took the time to write me an email to acknowledge my review…. a touch of class from Steve. It’s also nice to have confirmation that the reach of my ‘Book of The Month Review’ is gathering more momentum.

‘Tribal Leadership’ by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

Tribal Leadership Book CoverIn terms of understanding some of the deeper fundamentals of ‘cultural leadership’ and the ‘transformation of culture’ in business environments, this book ‘Tribal Leadership’ offers some wonderful insights, in fact, I must have recommended this book to dozens of business leaders in the last year alone.  There are many parallels between the concepts of ‘Tribal Leadership’ and the science of ‘human thinking systems’ known as ‘Spiral Dynamics’, which I have studied extensively and introduced to hundreds of business leaders over the last 11 years (In my own book on ‘Thought Leadership’ that I am currently half-way through writing I will be explaining these parallels.).

 In this book, the three authors identify 5 levels of Tribal Leadership that I would summarise as follows:

 Tribal Level 1 – ‘Despairing Hostility’ – Gang based. “Life Sucks”. Aggression and chaos prevail.

 Tribal Level 2 – ‘Apathetic Victim’ – Conformist based. “My life sucks”. Let’s do what we have to, to get by. It’s us against them. Dis-empowered order with a lack of innovation prevail.

 Tribal Level 3 –  ‘Lone Warrior’ – Competition & reward based. “I’m great and you’re not”.

Tribal Level 4 – ‘Tribal Pride’ – Collaboration based. “I’m great AND we are great!”

Tribal level 5 – ‘Innocent Wonderment’- Purpose based. “Life is great!”

The book provides us with important fundamental definitions that many books on leadership overlook. For example, they define ‘A Tribe’ as follows …. “A tribe is any group of about 20 to 150 people who know each other well enough that, if they saw another walking down the street they would stop and say ‘hello’,”

What I most love about this book is that it is not just a bunch of theory, it is based on numerous examples of practical application in the real world, so in this respect, it is right up my street. I also love the examples that they give of ‘moving people’ from one level to the next, a core component of both personal and business culture transformation.

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