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Value Creation Blog

Tribal Leadership Is About We and Not Me

Posted by Victoria Gehlmeyer

2137729430 11b29f9164Dave Logan talks about successful tribal leadership being about we versus me.  I find this concept true.  Most of time winning is about me.  Team sports are often about we, but many play team sports as if it’s about me.

Most business interactions revolve around winning and losing.  Winning seems to be about me and losing is about you.  The lack of personal responsibility in many businesses keeps them from being as successful as they could.

Having a culture where winning and losing is important keeps organizations from achieving excellence.  People aren’t going to give their best or highest effort if they’ve had experiences of being blamed when things go wrong.  They won’t give their best effort if that effort accrues to the benefit of their boss.

Instead of thinking about winning and losing, let’s think about constant improving.  If we as a tribe can do one little thing better a day, the cumulative effect over a year is often very impressive.

Excellence is always about us.  We can achieve great things together.  I’ve never done anything worthwhile by myself.  There has always been people who have helped along the way.  Show appreciation for those people who help makes them want to help more. 

A term I’ve heard for this behavior is the virtuous circle.  The more we help others, the more appreciation others show for that help, the more we want to help them in future. 

Appreciation builds trust.  We will take chances if we trust others and trust that if things go wrong we’re not going to be blamed. 

Rules that make for successful tribes might be:

  • We is more important than me.
  • Share success and take responsibility for things going wrong.
  • Create a virtuous circle in your actions.
  • Say thank-you when someone helps you.
  • Understand that constant improvement is often more important than winning or losing.
  • We stand on the shoulders of giants. 
  • Spend some time in appreciation of those who have come before us.

Josh Patrick

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Topics: Leadership, success, Team, Winning, Losing

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