The concept of a “tribe” has become very popular in both social and business settings.
Per Merriam Webster, the definitions of a “tribe” are:
: a group of people including many families, clans, or generations
: a group of people who are of the same kind or have the same occupation or interest
Best selling author Seth Godin describes a tribe as:
“… a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea… A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
I have found that I belong to several tribes… I belong to a tribe who is connected through common spiritual beliefs. I belong to a tribe of women where we all went to school together as children. I also belong to a small tribe of men and women from the area I relocated to when I was in high school. I have my immediate family and my extended family who are also my tribes. I have my husband’s family who “adopted” me into their tribe. I now belong to a tribe of coaches… coming together as a group while we were spending a lot of time in coursework and study groups.
I also just ended a relationship with a tribe. No, I wasn’t voted off of the island! I elected to leave to pursue other interests. While a part of this tribe, I was a corporate leader of an area within the business. There were several of us tribal leaders reporting up to the various tribal chiefs, who made up the greater nation (Company).
In most businesses, it is important to have a Chief… a leader who can provide direction for the tribe. I agree with Seth Rogan that there needs to be a common interest (which is generally the business’ vision), and there needs to be a way to communicate effectively. If there is no common interest or a lack of communication, the business will most likely fail.
Interestingly, none of my social tribes have a defined Chief. These social tribes have actually morphed into the first definition of a tribe that I listed above by Merriam Webster… my social tribes have become my family, even though we are not related by blood or legal adoption. We share our leadership depending on what strengths are needed to move the tribe forward.
When we went on a trip to Montana last summer, one of the tribal members became the leader of planning and securing our flights. Two other tribal members led creation of our itinerary of events. The rest of the tribe worked in supporting functions to ensure our trip went as smoothly as possible.
Imagine eleven women, all staying in the same house, being physically together 24/7, and not having any drama! It was AWESOME!
The making of a great tribe is fairly simple:
- A great tribe understands all tribal member have strengths and utilizes those accordingly.
- A great tribe puts all ego off to the side… no one is better than anyone else within the tribe.
- A great tribe has all members committed to a common goal.
- A great tribe always has each others’ backs. They rally around each other in both good times and bad.
I met with my tribe of girlfriends the other night (all who were part of that Montana adventure), and as I looked around the table, I saw how this wonderful group of women has created the most beautiful and unique woven blanket.
Our blanket has the interweaving of dark strands (sorrow, loss, and pain), blended with the most brilliant hues of threads, infused with the colors of playfulness, humor, and love. We all have taken turns weaving our individual strands, allowing the colors to fuse together, creating this beautiful tribal blanket that we wrap ourselves in when we are together.
One of the Life Lessons written in the book I am currently working on, is:
“Shared experiences and time spent with one another is how a family tapestry is woven together. Purposely choose threads of vibrant and Joy-filled colors.”
In other words, choose what tribe(s) you want to be a member of. Make sure you find one that is filled with light and happiness, and then take time to spend with your tribe! I guarantee, you will find incredibly Joy!
What Tribes do you belong to?