Frances 0. Thomas

National Certified Counselor

To Tribe or Not to Tribe

Do you have a tribe?  I tend to be someone who would rather do it all myself, so functioning in a tribe doesn’t come naturally to me.

Best-selling author Seth Godin says that the Internet has made mass marketing passé. He says tribes are what matter now. People want to be connected. Because of the Internet, people can easily find other people who care about the same things they do. Rather than a shotgun approach, marketers need to target special interest groups. Quality over quantity marketing.

Just caring about an issue or a product, though, isn’t always enough. Sometimes people aren’t satisfied with the status quo. What happens next? Sometimes a leader steps forward.

These leaders tell a story, connect a tribe, lead a movement, and make a change happen.

Dave Fleming’s definition of a tribe is a group of people, infused with passion, who are working toward a shared outcome.  He consults with such groups and advises them the best way to get things done is through tribal alchemy. I’m part of a nonprofit group and heard him discuss these concepts recently.

In his model, a group or tribe first sees a challenge or opportunity. Then they give it a name, engage it, and transform it. It is a collective effort. They take the raw material of their situation and turn it into something better in some way. Instead of looking too far outside the box, Dave says they should look at secondary relationships. People who can help them advance their cause are probably already connected to someone within their network.

I know the adage two heads (or more) are better than one is true. How else would it have become an adage? Yet I’m still struggling with trying to work in a team.

Am I the only one who feels this way? How can I get over myself and get with the program?

seth

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