For maximum impact and momentum, you need a tribe.

charles mattocks - in india

Diabetes Awareness Advocate and Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks (center) during an outreach trip to India.

“People don’t believe what you tell them.  They rarely believe what you show them.  They often believe what their friends tell them.  They always believe what they tell themselves.” ~Seth Godin

Those are some powerful words from guru, Seth Godin.  They are also unforgiveningly true.

So Godin poses the following questions:

  • What is the best way to join the conversation that is already taking place in the minds and hearts of your tribe?
  • What is the best way to seek out members of your tribe that have the same beliefs as you?

He argues that we don’t simply recruit or organize people who believe in a particular cause and want to take action but that we engage people who ask, “what’s vitally important and how soon can we start?” Then give this newly formed tribe a path, coordinating and reinforcing their actions.

Amplify the social connections and media cues (if appropriate) that would spread the idea of urgency to people less inclined to take action.

People like us do things like this.

We care, we work and we take action.

We can be the force of change. 

The tribe must embody these beliefs in order to move forward with focus and determination.

diverse group buy-in all hands huddle

This is where gathering people with varied life experiences, motivations and viewpoints around the same table becomes critical.  It’s important to think beyond the needs of your own self, organization, community, etc. 

The goal is not to find people who have already decided that they urgently want to go where you are going. The goal is to find a community of people that desire to be in sync and who have a bias in favor of the action you want them to take. ~ Seth Godin

Make an intentional effort to diversify your pool of stakeholders and descision-makers. This will bring you closer to seeing the complete picture of whatever problem you are trying to solve and hopefully increase your odds of producing a solution that is impactful. 

kapor center team

Team of Kapor Center for Social Impact

Having the right stakeholders at the table will not necessarily make the working sessions easier.  You will have contentious debate, but it is out of that debate, you will learn what is truly needed.  You will realize impacts, risks and benefits you and others did not consider. 

“Opening up the conversation gives you a bridge, the ability to engage people in the tribe, and then, and only then, do you have the privilege to change the conversation” and move towards a solution.


2 thoughts on “A Tribe Will Get You Far

  1. Pingback: NASCAR Diversifies Using the Tribal Method « Sherry Clayton Works

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