We completed the last class of the Tribal Leadership Intensive One class last week. My life is so crazy recently that finding time to blog is a challenge. To learn more about my recent adventures, my overall thoughts of the course and what I got out of it, please read on!

I am going to do something different tonight, I will break down this post in multiple sections to cover different topics.

Adventures in Podcasting

In my last blog entry, I spoke about how my disembodied genius Jim Bob helped me find a way to be able to record the first part of the podcast. After the class last week, I decided I was going to get through recording the missing part of the podcast. When I tried to merge both parts together, I realized my previous recording was corrupt so because I was more comfortable with the script, I recorded the entire podcast from scratch. Because of the now completed script, I made the raw recording in a single twenty minute take.

It took me around two hours to edit down those twenty minutes down to the thirteen minutes of the podcast, add in the music and produce an MP3 I could listen to the next day. I made this draft version available in the LinkedIn group and to select friends. To do my own quality control, I put it on my iPod the next morning.

When listening to the podcast the next day, I realized one of the effects I put on the mix caused the sound to clip occasionally. To correct the problem, I needed to regenerate a mixed version without the offending effect. To do this, I returned to my original twenty minute recording, found the offending effect, regenerated the mix down and then spent two hours editing it all back down again.

Lesson Learned: When creating a podcast, first record the raw clip as a WAV file and then edit it down in a WAV editor. Once you finish editing, bring the new clip in a mixing tool (such as REAPER or MixPad) and then add tracks for the music and the podcast track. You can then add effects (such as EQ and Compression) on your vocal track to sweeten the sound and finally, generate a mix down of the tracks. Following this sequence would have literally saved me hours of effort!

For those laughing because you already knew these tricks, remember you were a newbie once too! Part of the goal of doing this was to learn tricks to make it easier next time. I believe I learned enough in the last few weeks to allow me to create a podcast regularly. It scares me know to think about how long the post-production will take on a ninety minute talk if a fifteen minute podcast took me two hours to do.

Triads Triads Everywhere

We spoke a lot about the importance of triads in our last class and I am beginning to see them now around me. I also recently learned what can happen when working in a dyadic relationship (two people) instead of a triad.

The Dave Logan video from TedxSinCity called “Making a Genius Tribe”€ had a great explanation for a triad. He explained it as a three person relationship where everyone is responsible for preserving the relationship between them. When conflicts arise between two people in the group, the responsibility of the third person is to help them patch things up.

As the left side of figure 1 shows, a dyadic relationship is a direct connection between two people. The right side shows how two dyadic relationships can transform into a triad. In the illustration, John knows both Frank and Mark. To help them become a triad, he needs to introduce them to one another because of a common bond and help them build a working relationship so the three can work together. In this role, when John sees an issue between them, he will work to help them preserve their relationship. Eventually, as they know each other better, they share the responsibility for preserving the three-person relationship.

Figure 1: Dyadic to Triadic Relationship

Figure 1: Dyadic to Triadic Relationship

I was in a situation recently where being a dyad with a friend caused me headaches. I have a good friend that I enjoy talking to and respect the opinion of very much but this person lives far away from me. We had a communication breakdown recently and I realized that having been part of a triad would have helped us work through our challenges much faster. Unfortunately, aside from our spouses, I am not sure who would take us up on that.

I was in a few business meetings recently where I saw potential triads right in front of me. I noticed something interesting in a meeting where I had a difficult conversation with someone. I spoke about what happened to someone else who decided to clear things up to make the relationship work. I find it interesting to see group chemistry in this light now. I find it gives a clearer explanation for something I could notice happening at times.

Building a community

I started engaging in an interesting project at work this week. I am working on building a community of practice and am currently speaking to different people to encourage them to join the leadership team of the community. It is a nice stage four project and I find it stimulating to engage all these people, sometimes complete strangers and hear their excitement as I talk them through the project.

I built a presentation to walk them through how we would like to build this community. The deck also explains their potential role as community leader and what they should expect if they decide to join in. It was just like a pitch, but much longer than three minutes!

When I worked at IBM, the agile community of practice was a great example of a stage 4 tribe. The community leaders worked alongside the community members to deliver all sorts of interesting results. Building a community like this from nothing is a fascinating experience.

What I took out of the course

I really enjoyed my experience in the course. They could improve the course materials and I found it more difficult to remain focused during the calls without decks to follow along. The trainers were engaging and seemed genuinely interested in helping all participants grow. My triad was amazing and I met many other interesting people I will work to keep in touch with after the course.

The following are my favorite takeaways from Tribal Leadership Intensive One:

  • You can take control of your life, but you need to want to take control. Did you hear the old joke about how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb. You only need one, but the light bulb needs to really want to change!
  • Notice the bad patterns you keep repeating in your life… When a similar situation occurs, be bold and risk making a different decision. The outcome may surprise you!
  • Learn to build and work with triads. Be more aware people around you and how you can connect them to form new triads.
  • Build strategies for what is important to you. Take the time to think them through and then carry them out. Engage the people around you to get feedback, support you and allow you to reach the outcomes you want.
  • A leader LEARNS something new every day.

For those of you who followed my blog regularly during the course, I would like to thank you. At times, knowing some of you were reading gave me extra incentive to write. The experience of writing for you allowed me to assimilate the course materials. It excites me to know I will continue the journey with many of you in Tribal Leadership Intensive Two.