Tribal Leadership – networking the tribes


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Happy Chinese New Year – the beginning of the year of the snake seems a great time to talk about this book Tribal Leadership – read last night and found very powerful and useful.

So much so, I was moved to mention put forward ideas triggered by the book in a comment at the blog about horizontal leadership by Charlie Detar at the MIT Center for Civic Media

Here’s the radical thought – Imagine if working with social networks and you were trying to figure out if they are strong and sustainable and growing, or weak and weakening and just hanging on.

What if you had a way to track what was going on in participant’s mind real time?

What if you had a way to track what was going on in participant’s heart real time?

And then discovering that we already have a way to do this – it is not automated but we have a way which has been developed over millennia that is just the way we humans have operated for such a long time, that we do it unconsciously.

To know what is in a participant’s mind – the best clues come from the words they use – – their words and language offer us a window. Do you think we might be able to make a first assessment about whether they are a surly individual, a rugged individual, an ocasional team player, a committed and competitive team player or someone motivated by the great civic good?

To know what is in a participant’s heart – the best clues come from the relationships they form – the strength and length and depth of the relationships offer us a window. Do you think we might be able to make a first assessment about how open their heart is to other people, and whether they are the kind of person who likes to invest in long term relationships or believes only in being able to commit for a medium amount of time, or prefer to have a short interaction and that’s that?

The book Tribal Leadership stimulated these thoughts – its a well researched book by USC professor Dave Logan and his consulting partners with an appendix about their research methods and how they came to these postulations about which kinds of tribes and tribal leaders perform “better”.

Many parts rang true for me, I highly recommend the book Tribal Leadership – for me, it was one of the moments…. when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Where was I when I read this book? I was staying 25 stories above Central Park at the time of the February snow blizzard that brought 11.4 inches of snow to NYC – Yesterday I walked from 12th st to 110 st, visiting the High line Park, The Russian Tea House for high tea, and Lincoln Center to watch a great film Sound City made by Dave Grohl who played in Nirvana and Foo Fighters. Great music and great heart – a tribute to analog recording in a world gone digital. The picture below shows the Chrysler building in Mid town from the UN Plaza. Amazing place to visit. Simone DeBeauvoir said you couldn’t sleep there was so much going on in Manhattan – I could understand why she said that – I’m tired but happy after my week in NY.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mei Lin Fung
Institute of Service Organization Excellence, Inc.
Mei Lin Fung, blogs on ebCEM – evidence-based Customer Experience Management. The Service Leadership Transformation Program developed in an innovative public private partnership with Avaya and Oklahoma State University received the Phillip Crosby Golden Medallion in 27. Her curriculum has been implemented by Microsoft Telesales in China, and Johnson and Johnson in Asia. She designed the first US Department of Labor approved Contact Center Apprenticeship Program in Oklahoma. Blog: Learning to Earn Customer Trust by Mei Lin Fung


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