A tribe as used by Godin refers to an ensemble of people who are connected to each other, a leader or even an idea. Godin argues that behind every successful venture there has to be well directed and guided tribes. He asserts that tribes are very imperative in realising and bringing about lasting effects in organizations (Godin, 2008). He outlines that one way through which one can generate life changing ideas is by gathering like-minded individuals, and leading them towards their desired destination. He further postulates that currently, through the internet, the geographical barriers can be overcome and connecting with like-minded individuals has become easier like never before. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have greatly facilitated sharing of ideas. Tribes are very essential in that they empower and enable the ordinary people to also make changes they may desire (Morrow, 2008). To lead a tribe, a leader should have certain values. This paper discusses how a tribe can be lead to its desired destination.
A tribe needs guidance and sound leadership, however leading an assemblage of people with similar passions and interests may not be that easy. Therefore for the success of a tribe the leader should have certain attributes and values to enable him or her lead the tribe. In a tribe the leader will have to make key decisions and in achieving this effectively he or she should have a good knowledge of the members and strive to ensure that the decisions that he makes are in the best interests of the members. Godin stresses on the importance of good communication with the tribe members. It is much important that the leader makes efforts to maintain communication more so with the leading figures in the tribe this is important in extremely large organisations where direct communication with all the members may be difficult. However, much as the leader communicates with the key members in the tribe, it is also imperative that the needs of individual members also be taken into consideration. The leader should also not allow deterrents like gossip and rumours to germinate within the tribe. He can achieve this by maintaining a very close contact with the members.
Similarly for effective growth of a tribe, the leader should strive to ensure that he puts the interests and ambitions of the tribe ahead of his or her personal agenda since by leading the tribe out of its founding principles, problems are likely to set in. The leader should also learn to delegate his duties to the members; he or she should not see himself or herself as the only one capable of steering the tribe. The leader should divorce his or her ego. Within the tribe, the members also have valuable ideas and skills that can prove useful in taking the tribe forward. The leader should also ensure that unity is upheld in the tribe and every member has the sense of belonging to the tribe
The leader should also develop effective strategies for the tribe, this is important because it is the strategies that provide a road map to the members. Strategies give a sense of direction to the members. When the leader fails to formulate the strategies, the members may lack direction and the tribe is likely to disintegrate. The leader should also develop strategies for tackling issues that arise within the tribe from time to time
Godin asserts that leaders should have the desire to succeed in what they do, he believes that leaders should have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about what they are trying to change (Godin 2008, 126).The leader should also be innovative be willing to try out new ideas for Godin believes that a leader who does not invent new methods of doing things is not actually a leader but a follower (Godin, 2008).
Leaders should be out to challenge the archaic ways of doing things and try new ideas so as to meet the needs of the dynamic society “nature of leadership is that you’re not doing what’s been done before. If you were, you’d be following, not leading”(Godin 2008, 146). Dogging the traditional ways of doing things for new ones is likely to draw much criticism from those who want to maintain the status quo. Times are changing and following the established way of doing things may not be effective. Godin asserts that sometimes heretics, those who sometimes disobey the laid down procedures and established way of doing things can do well in leading tribes to their desired goals than those leaders who enchain themselves to traditional ways of doing things To lead a tribe one should not be afraid of being criticised, instead one should maintain focus.
Within the tribe also the leader should encourage and accept diverse opinions since in a tribe everyone’s opinion counts and anyone can lead in an organisation in a given way. The leader should create an atmosphere in which everyone can express himself or herself freely without fear or the sense of feeling inferior. More important is that the leader should encompass the divergent views of the members in his actions. To create such a favourable platform, the leader should lead with passion and encourage interactions within the membership of the tribe.
To lead a tribe also requires one to be charismatic. One should be able to influence others through moral persuasion and also have excellent communication abilities. Effective leadership of a tribe goes with the ability of the leader to rally behind him the members of the tribe. Charismatic people are able to communicate and express their arguments and expectations well. To Godin, the most powerful leaders do not coerce or order members to follow them but instead they are able to use their unique abilities and charisma to influence and lead the people to their desired dreams. It is also imperative that the leader shares much interest with the members of the tribe.
For success, the leader should be quick acting and know exactly when to make decisions and also when to initiate key events and activities within the tribe. Godin argues that taking too long to act is dangerous in that it gives the status quo the opportunity to re-align themselves and counter-act the effect of the rising tribe. He asserts that it is never too early to initiate a project and that people fail because they wait until it is too late (Godin, 2008).
Tribal leaders should create movements and encourage the members to interact with each other. Leaders should provide platforms through which these connections can be enhanced. In the current era, the connections should not be difficult to make since the emergence of numerous social networking sites has made this much easier. The leader should make it easier for the members to connect with each other and he should also be easily accessible to the members. One of the ways through which these interactions can be enhanced is through developing effective e- mailing system through which direct contact with the members can be realised.(Godin, 2008).
A leader should not be satisfied with any level of success and instead should always be motivated to achieve even more. In his book Tribes, Godin challenges “sheepwalkers”, those who are contented with their present positions to always strive to achieve more. He calls on everyone in an organization or a tribe to rise up and lead since nowadays it is easier for someone to lead since internet has eradicated the geographical barriers that used to be an obstacle in the past. To drive a tribe to a level of actualisation, the leader should not be content but instead should work tirelessly until the dream of the tribe is realised.
Other than creating an enabling environment, the leader should empower the members and make them feel some sense of responsibility. He can achieve this by delegating some of his duties to the members so that the members get to feel a sense of belonging to the tribe. When members are not involved in the pursuit of the passion that they so desire then some members will feel alienated and this may cause lack of harmony in the tribe. The members can also be empowered by involving them in making suggestions that can be appropriate to the tribe.
It is also worth noting that for the success of a tribe, the leader should respect the members of the tribe and also encourage that the members also treat themselves with much respect. When respect lacks in the tribe then the existence of the tribe is threatened and hence the tribe shall have failed its purpose. The leader should also take care not to exercise control over the tribe but instead just create an enabling environment where members do not feel pressurised and oppressed. In a tribe every member is a leader (Godin, 2008) hence should be left to be free.
A leader of a tribe should also be a smart innovator who is able to create new experiences that can help in steering the tribe forward. The leader can innovate new products and should also be one who is quick at initiating actions within the tribe. Other than the innovativeness, the leader should also guide the tribe in setting realistic goals that the members will then strive to achieve. For much success, the leader should ensure that the members set for themselves goals that are quite high to motivate the members to work even harder.(Godin,2008).
Leading a tribe therefore requires one to act very smart and develop sound values. The leaders should be diverse in opinions, and create a platform where everyone feels like a leader. He should not follow the traditional methods laid down but instead should be willing to take initiatives and try out new ideas.
Godin, Seth. “Tribes: we need you to lead us “. New York : Portfolio. 2008.
Morrow, Jon.” Tribes casebook”. New York: Tribes.com. 2008.