I started a new journey tonight, walking along a new path to turn myself into a Tribal Leader. Have you heard of the book Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King & Halee Fischer-Wright? It is an interesting book and they offer a course to help you learn how to apply the principles in real life. Tonight was my first class and I promised a few of my classmates I would start blogging about my journey through the course. How did I like my first class, you need to read on to find out…

The Tribal Leadership book is about how to help good teams become great. The basic premise is that people naturally form into groups, which you can also call tribes. Tribes go through five different stages which you can recognize through the language people in the tribe are using. Please note that different people in the same tribe may be at different stages. To make the entire tribe evolve, the people at higher stages need to nudge other members up one stage at a time.

I got my first glance at the Tribal Leadership book by reading a blog post last year by a former manager of mine at IBM called Ryan Shillington. He ran into the CultureSync web site while doing research of multicultural teams and he blogged about what he learned from the Tribal Leadership audio book. Having written about multicultural and distributed teams, the topic intrigued me so I signed up on their site and downloaded the audio book.

I noticed at the time they gave courses, but I was not sure of my interest level so I took no action then. As I was doing my development plan at work this year, I was trying to find interesting leadership related classes and I remembered the Tribal Leadership classes. I make my living coaching teams to adopt agile practices and I felt that adding a Tribal Leadership twist to my coaching could be worthwhile to me and the teams I work with. I also felt it would be easier to help teams evolve if I had insights on how they work together.

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for the course and my first class was tonight. The two-hour class begins at 7:00 pm Eastern Time so it causes some mayhem for me to make sure the kids eat supper and get through bath time by then. The organizers send a conference call number with a pin number to call in for the class.

I did not know what to expect when I dialed in, but the two hours flew by. The phone conference system they use is interesting because it allows the moderators to break out the participants in smaller groups for a set amount of time to have separate discussions. We were over twenty participants on the call and it allowed people to talk and share their experiences.

The Tribal Leadership Intensive One class is five weeks long and I look forward to see how I can use this class to evolve personally. This week, I need to work on defining a measurable goal to arrive at the end of the class. Yes, there is homework to do between classes!

I will regularly blog about my journey to becoming a tribal leader although I may omit personal details. Feel free to contact me for any questions about the course.