Unite the Tribes Excerpts

Leadership skills for technology managers

Never Leave One Of Your People Behind


If you want loyalty, you have to demonstrate it as wel

Your company is a collection of tribes, each in constant motion seeking advantage and gain. Every tribe is populated by individuals who are operating with the same focus on personal priorities. There will rarely be a week that goes by without the urge to tap someone in the head with the nearest brick you can find for being aggressively stupid or just stupidly opportunistic. They will test your boundaries and your patience, over and over again.

If you're pushing the envelope, you're going to push your people. You'll ask them for extra effort, to try new things, to take chances and be comfortable with risk. It's hard enough doing a boring job day after day, in any industry. In our little corner of the universe, it can be intense beyond description. The last thing a person wants in such a setting is to feel alone and exposed. If they do, the natural instincts of humans and other such creatures will kick in, encouraging them to build a shell, withdraw and try to find someplace safe. This isn't where they'll do their most brilliant work.

The motto of every elite fighting force in human history is the same. Leave no one behind. That's not a sentiment to ensure that your head count doesn't diminish. It builds a sense of loyalty and esprit de corps. It gives people the courage to take chances, secure in the knowledge that if they spin out trying to take a corner too fast that someone will be there to pick them up and dust them off. It also builds trust in leaders, giving them confidence enough in your decisions to go where you point without hesitation.

The single most effective way to gain loyalty is by first offering it. Be active in pursuit of opportunities to show both individuals and groups that come what may, you have their backs. The result will be the most daring and innovative force you've ever worked with.

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