I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

Have you ever said that to yourself? I have. It really hit me between the eyes when I first read Tribal Leadership. You see, before becoming an executive coach I was a hospital executive for twenty years. I left that profession in 1995, following a merger, an acquisition, and a sale of three different hospitals in ten years. I was burned out and frustrated at trying to lead people through difficult times. Tribal Leadership wasn’t published until 2008, so I took solace in knowing this model of leadership and organizational culture wasn’t available when I was a hospital executive. If it had been, I would have seen my job and the challenges it posed very differently than I did then.

As I read the book, especially the case study on a hospital in Connecticut, I saw myself and my hospitals reflected in the pages – and not always in a flattering way. I was the type of leader who believed in the hierarchy. I saw the silos of people who couldn’t or wouldn’t collaborate cross-functionally. I saw far too many people with victim mentalities who poisoned those around them.

Yes, I had some great teams too, who worked seamlessly together to accomplish some remarkable outcomes unselfishly and without the need for individual glory,. However, those experiences were too few and far between, in large part because I didn’t work with my direct reports to replicate those cross-functional successes and learn from the process.

The Tribal Leadership model gives you the tools as well as the larger framework for seeing and experiencing your job and your organization in an entirely new way. The five stages of culture and individual growth and development are easy to grasp, yet they take time and effort to implement. There are many tips and tools in the book, and far more that have been developed since the book was first published. Like going to a seminar, reading a book can get you all excited about what you have learned, but 30 days from now the excitement is gone as the daily crush of work overtakes your best intentions.

You have to use it or you will lose it. The Tribal Leadership Intensive is designed to immerse you in the framework and tools of Tribal Leadership. There is simply no better way to learn than to do. As an approved Tribal Leader, I cannot stress enough how TLI was beneficial to me.

Dave Logan is fond of pointing out that great companies need four primary elements:

1. Strategy
2. Structure
3. Systems
4. Culture

Too often the culture piece is overlooked. Learn how to not only pay attention to culture, but also to make it the foundation for your strategy, structure and systems. Failure to do so comes with great peril. As Peter Drucker reminds us “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

I hope you’ll join Dave Logan, Carrie Kish, Harte Logan, and Jack Bennett for the Tribal Leadership Intensive beginning May 20 and running for 10 weeks. As a graduate of this program I can attest to its value and the impact it can make on you and your organization.

-Rich Maxwell is a TLI graduate and Approved Tribal Leader. He was a hospital executive for twenty years and has been an Executive Coach and business owner since 1995. He focuses on developing the leadership skills of executives, managers, and executive teams. He is certified in DISC Behavioral Style Profile and the use of the Workplace Motivators assessment.

You may also like

Send this to a friend