My last article identified six characteristics of a tribe with focused discussion on the first three. This article will focus on the remaining three; where the first three characteristics seemed to share traits of complexity and decentralization, the remaining three are grounded in relationships.
The fourth characteristic of a tribe is that its members know one another well enough to stop on the street and say hello. Furthermore, the members of a tribe likely have the contact information of other members of their tribe in their cell phone or address book. This is a great method for distinguishing between a tribe and a mere teammate or coworker. Does you team simply tolerate one another or do you look forward to problem solving and innovating with one another?
The fifth characteristic of a tribe is that the tribe, and not the leader, decides whether the leader is going to flourish or fail. In the overall scheme of things a leader has very limited control, it is the team that has control, which to some extent includes the leader. Control is an illusion. Lose it. Take you hands off the reins and see what happens. The emergent team behavior will amaze you.
The sixth and final characteristic of a tribe is that the tribe decides the quality of the work performed and the amount of work performed. Similar to the preceding characteristic, the control of the leader in terms of workload and quality is an illusion. Empower the team and again they will perform beyond your wildest dreams. Empower your team to make the call on what is important and what can slip.
For more on developing a tribe read Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright.