Tribal Leadership Tip #8

Rekindle the Love for the Tribe


Have you ever fallen in love with a company? Perhaps with a corporate tribe within a company? In researching and writing Tribal Leadership, we interviewed thousands of people who said they had. [br]

Most of them said they had fallen out of love for one reason or another—politics, the stresses of hitting the numbers, short-term financial thinking, or perhaps the actions of people at Stage Three (“I’m great and you’re not”). Great Tribal Leaders foster people falling in love with the tribe over and over. [br]

You can do this. Here’s how: [br]

Step one: Ask people why they chose to work there in the first place. Also ask about what they’re proudest of in their time with the organization .[br]

Step two: As people give their answers, listen to the meaning behind the words. Try to hear the “sacred flame”–the essence of what makes this corporate tribe so great. It’ll be some combination of values and a noble cause, and what people feel in love with originally. We heard: “This place was inventing the future of technology!”, “I love the ambitions of people to change the world”, “we said we wanted to do what no one had ever done before!” [br]

Step three: In meetings, or casual conversations, talk about the “sacred flame,” and encourage others to do the same. The more people talk about the sacred flame, the more it’s real for the them. You’ll find people—yourself included—fall in love over and over again, and are inspired at the same time. [br]

Needle moving challenge:
Once people are connected to the sacred flame of the tribe, and have fallen in love with the tribe again, ask them (as a group): “What initiative can we start that will be an expression of the sacred flame?” Said differently, “what does the sacred flame suggest we do?” Wait for the idea that makes everyone say, “Yes! That’s it!” Not only will the group be reengaged, but many petty problems will fall away. [br]

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