E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Tribal Leadership by David Logan

Gran Canaria - Roque Nublo & SurroundingsFor a little while now, my good friend Paula Thornton, has been educating me on a concept that, although it’s been there for hundreds, if not millions of years already, it is becoming more and more important by the day within today’s corporate environment. It has got to do with Leadership. With a "new" way of managing not only your organization, but also your workforce, as a leader, and not so much as the traditional manager. A "new" type of management that, if you ask me, surely has been very well hidden over the last few decades within the business world. And it shows still even today!

However, and, probably, thanks to the emergence of Social Computing within the firewall, this kind of leadership I would want to talk about today is starting to flourish once again, and, probably, without a small chance of going back into hiding. And that’s a good thing! We need it! Very much so!

Yes, if you have been following Paula for a while now you would know that I’m actually talking about Tribal Leadership. Quite a fascinating topic, to be honest! One that I’m very grateful that she pointed it out to me, because after reading a good number of the different resources that she has been putting together already, I’m starting to sense that is the kind of leadership that we would very much need for the corporate world to survive in the 21st century.

Indeed, it has got *that* kind of impact. So, in order to help spread the message around a little bit more on this topic, I thought that I would go ahead and share with you folks a video presentation from a recent TED.com event that Paula recommended I should watch. And I did. And WOW!! "Truly inspiring" would fall short big time, if I were trying to describe it in a just a couple of words.

It is actually a presentation done by David Logan, a USC faculty member, best-selling author, and management consultant, at the recent TEDxUSC event where over the course of nearly 17 minutes he gets to talk about the five different types of tribes that are out there and that we can all relate to. In his presentation he actually talks about the different levels of tribes and mentions how we should always try to aim to be part of rather type #4 or #5 of those tribal groupings.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil all the fun for you. Instead of me detailing what each and every one of those tribes are like, I’m going to go for a short blog post today where I would just point you to the video itself and encourage you to spend 17 minutes watching it. It would be worth every single second of it. In fact, I would even go one step further and state that it’s probably one of those TED videos that sure is going to change the way you view things (In this case leadership and management), to the point where it’s actually going to shake about some of your thinking and make you want to have that kind of leadership within your own business. Like… NOW!

Goodness! I would want that! Actually, I think every single business out there should be looking forward to try to find that new kind of tribal leadership. More than anything else, because not only does it make sense (you would know what I mean after you watch the video), but because that’s the kind of leadership that you, as a knowledge worker, we want to have for your day-to-day job. And if that is not the case, then you are not aiming high enough. And, perhaps, you should!

I tell you, I’m going to keep this blog post very short, but watching "David Logan on Tribal Leadership" is probably one of those things that you would be grateful you have bumped into, or you will be grateful as well to Paula (Like I am! … Thanks!) for sharing the link across and help enlighten us all. So without much further ado, here you have got the direct link to the video and in case you may want to watch it right away here it is the embedded version of it:

Excellent stuff, don’t you think? I told you, "truly inspiring" falls short time and time again! Oh, if you would want to read, or listen, plenty more around the topic of tribal leadership check out this other link to the Zappos Web site where you can download (For free!!) the audio book for "Tribal Leadership"… Talking about essential resources to go through that will help shape both the management and leadership skills of today’s corporate world… And those of tomorrow’s!

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  1. I’m very intrigued by systems or mechanisms that produce behaviors in people. What made him/her do that? What’s rewarded, and what kind of corporate cukture and individual behavior does that produce? I think all companies/organizations, big or small, ought to (for their own best) have a consciousness about those issues for the people in their domain. But then I’m very surprised at the seemingly primitive measurements appearing when companies need to cut back, cut costs. It’s one big message stream coming down in the organization, that we need to cut back here and cut back there for the company to survive or move forward, but it leaves the people feeling less valued and almost as a burden to the company (the personnel budget is one of the largest posts). I understand that a company has to be economic sound, but the same employees that feel/suffer all these measurements (even lay-offs) to cut costs by say $50 million also watch the share value of the company double. So here’s a mechanism for you. Under the current economic system that most companies operate, they are totally in the hands of willing investors – they are the one that rules (the Golden Rule – “He who has the gold rules, or make the rules”). So how is it possible under such governments to introduce those higher levels of leadership? I see this is much easier in privately owned companies. They are forced to operate under sustainable HR principles. The people asset mechanism is much more in force here than in big public companies.

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