Posted by: Knightbird | March 23, 2013

Tribal Leadership

A friend introduced me to a fabulous publication titled “Tribal Leadership.” It’s not about Alaska Native or American Indian tribes and their leadership. It is much more. Written by a trio including Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright, their thesis describes 5 levels of human behavior in the workplace. The levels are described as: Life Sucks, My Life Sucks, My Life’s Great, My Life is Great and Life is Great. I found great wisdom in this particular characterization. What is even more striking to me is the almost exact parallel between organizations and a community. The same levels are in both.

Aspiring to a Life is Great level is hard work, which cannot be be accomplished immediately. Employee’s must move through each level one by one. The dynamics of moving through each level requires bringing individual employees to the next level one by one and letting them help bring others to that level. The members join the “tribe” that is in the process of movement to the next level. Connecting people is critical, and  is the job of leadership.

There are great examples in the book of organizations that have made movement to level 4 and a few about movement to level 5. The concept of tribal leadership has some interesting application to lean workplaces and I recommend it to lean leaders.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: