How to Become a Tribal Leader

Let’s face it – we are a control-freak nation.  We seem to have created a society hell-bent on managing and manipulating every possible detail that it can, when in reality we’re expending so much more effort than we need to with only incremental improvements in our results. The challenge is to learn how to become a tribal leader.

Is this you?

  • You’re exhausted and often overwhelmed
  • You are behind on your responsibilities and do not have a plan to get caught up
  • You’re spending so much time fixing problems and fighting fires that you can’t get anything productive done

These are the signs of a hub-and-spoke leader, a leader focused on control. And, hub-and-spoke leaders inevitably crash.

The Tribal Leadership leader on the other hand, knows how to surround themselves with strong, capable people, and nurtures these people to be empowered, connected and responsible.

In a hub-and-spoke scenario, the leader is at the centre and is the point person for ALL communication on the team.  Sometimes, the hub-and-spoke leader will provide information selectively in order to maintain control, thus leaving team members with incomplete information and needing to connect back in with the leader to complete projects.  This leader is often acting as a referee with problems and disagreements arise within the team.

A great leader is one who creates more great leaders not one who creates more followers.

In Tribal Leadership, the leader encourages and in fact, insists that team members resolve issues amongst themselves. The tribal leader will deliberately link 2 or more team members or collaborators to work together on tasks, so that the tribal leader doesn’t need to be involved.  It takes courage to open up communication flow, to share all relevant information, to trust that work will be done as agreed, and remove oneself from the hands-on work.  To do this, the leader must make the necessary resources available for the team members to be able to accomplish their work effectively and efficiently.

This is especially challenging for many entrepreneurs as they shift from being solo to building a team.  They are used to having all the information because they’re doing it all, and it can be scary to loosen the reins on their business and trust others to do the work and provide updates.

Hub-and-spoke leaders are chronically overworked and exhausted… because they’re too involved!  Once you learn to trust and let go to capable people, you can begin to re-design your approach and free yourself to do the creative and strategic thinking that your project or your business needs.

Share your thoughts with me. I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,


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