One of my favorite books last year was Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan. In this book he talks about five stages of life and what the primary description was of each stage.
I’ve found the five stages useful when it comes to helping business owners understand their people and the opportunities they have in their companies. The five stages are:
Life Stinks (although Dave uses a different word) – The primary belief in this stage is that life for everyone just stinks so why bother. It’s the lowest level on the stages of tribes and one where dysfunction reigns. Since life stinks why try in the first place is the mantra of this group.
My life stinks (again a different word is used). People in this stage recognize that some people’s life is pretty good; it’s just not mine. Since this group recognizes that others lives are OK they might be able to see the possibility that a better state could exist for them. The goal with this group is to help them take steps towards having some success in their life.
I’m great and you’re not. This is the stage where we are in a win/lose situation. We need to make ourselves feel good about what we do. Often we do this by making another person wrong or force another to lose. In this stage teaching others that win/win often gets you more of what you want than win/lose. Having an experience of win/win will help you move to the next level.
We’re great and you’re not. This is what we call a highly functional team. We want everyone on our team to win. If everyone can’t win then we won’t play. The majority of the rest of the world doesn’t get it and that’s one of the things we sort of like. We’ve figure out how win/win works but we haven’t taken this experience outside our own group.
Life is great. Not only are we great, but we believe the rest of the world could be great also. This stage usually happens when the group your involved with has a huge lead over anyone else in their industry, geographic area, or peer group. It’s a great place to live and according to Logan one that is often hard to sustain.
The key isn’t to wallow in where you are or where others in your organization are. The goal with looking at the different stages is to find strategies to help others move to higher levels. The higher the level of the organization the more successful that organization will be.
Along with understanding the stage of the people in your company you should understand the stage your company is in. I’ve written a special report that review the three stages of a private business. I encourage you to click on the button below which will bring you to our sign-up page for this special report.
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