Tribal Leadership
Tribal Leadership
Tribal leadership2.jpg
Front Cover
Author Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright
Country United States
Language English
Subject Management, leadership, organizational behavior, organizational development, coaching
Publisher Harper Collins
Publication date
January 22, 2008
Media type Hardcover
Pages 320
ISBN 0-06-125130-5
OCLC 144226689
658.4/092 22
LC Class HD57.7 .L643 2008

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization (2008) is a #1 New York Times Bestseller by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright that describes the results of an organizational research study. The authors found that corporate leaders could use the groups within their companies to maximize corporate productivity and profitability, and they suggest that learning how those groups communicate is the key to understanding how the company operates. The book is illustrated by case studies from such corporations as Amgen and IDEO.


Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright define a common theme from the ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations: "The success of a company depends on its tribes." The strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader.

The five stages

Tribal Leadership identifies five stages of tribal culture and advises how to support entire tribes of people to move from one stage to the next.

  • Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile--they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.
  • Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.
  • Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and outthink their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.
  • Stage Four: The transition from "I'm great" to "we're great" comes in this stage, wherein the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.
  • Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage, wherein members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.[1]


Tribal Leadership has some notable fans, including Zappos co-founder and serial entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who commented, "Just finished Tribal Leadership, awesome book! Codifies what we instinctually try to do with Zappos culture."[2]Tribal Leadership and Zappos collaborated on the Tribal Leadership Audio Book.

Influence on Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson references Tribal Leadership in his book Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.[3] Below are a few of the references.

  • Page 90

"After the game, the sports pundits began comparing the Bulls with the giants of the past. With this victory, we became only the third team in history--along with the Minneapolis Lakers and the Boston Celtics--to win three championships in a row. It was flattering to be included in the same sentence with these hallowed teams. But what they missed was the real story: the inner journey the players had gone through to transform the Bulls from a stage 3 ('I'm great, you're not') team into a stage 4 ('We're great, they're not') team."

  • Page 131

"In truth, it was a confluence of forces that came together in the fall of 1995 to transform the Bulls into a new breed of championship team. From a tribal-leadership perspective, the Bulls were moving being a stage 4 team to a stage 5. The first series of championships transformed the Bulls from an "I'm great, you're not" team to a "We're great, they're not" team. But for the second series, the team adopted a broader 'Life is great' point of view. By midseason it became clear to me that it wasn't competition per se that was driving the team; it was simply the joy of the game itself. This dance was ours, and the team could only compete against ourselves."

  • Page 141

"As we gathered at the University of Santa Barbara from training camp, I saw the Lakers as a stage 3 team with a decidedly 'I'm great, you're not' point of view."

  • Page 207

"What gave me the most pleasure, though, was watching this group of talented but undisciplined players shape themselves into a force to be reckoned with. They still had a lot to learn, but I was impressed by how quickly they had shifted from a me-oriented stage 3 team to a we-focused stage 4."[4]


  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, says, "Tribal Leadership presents a clear road map for the new reality of managing organizations, careers, and life. This book points to a new paradigm in not just information technology, but also business. It explains what to do in a world where every professional will have an electronic shingle on the Internet to create a vibrant, active network."[2]
  • In 2008, Harvey Schachter, of Queen's School of Business, called the book "An instructional manual with lots of tips, and sections on purpose and strategy, which the authors interweave with their tribal culture approach. It's an appealing brew, if complicated in a first reading, and of course making it work in your tribe will be a lot harder than reading the book."[5]
  • In 2010, VentureBeat posted an article on Tribal Leadership, calling it "a great aid for managers and entrepreneurs that want to build teams and cultures with a transformative impact".[6]
  • In 2011, called Tribal Leadership, "The book is well-written and easy to follow. In fact, you may start the book and become addicted to the ideas, unable to put it down."[7]


See also


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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