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Culture Stages

Creating a vocabulary is critical to both structuring thoughts and forming the basis for an effective conversation.Tribal Leadership Book

For leadership and relationship development progress can be discussed in terms of stages.  Two books in particular, Tribal Leadership and Leadership Agility define stages or levels as a framework.  Spelling out the five stages defined in Tribal Leadership gives a framework for this blog.

  • Stage One: “Life Sucks”, Life in a gang, prison or just in shutdown mode after a big part of your life crashes (bankruptcy).
  • Stage Two: “My Life Sucks”, Dilbert lives here! Dilbert sees his life sucks and blames it on the boss, but recognizes some people’s’ lives are OK.
  • Stage Three: “I’m Great… (And You’re Not)”, Top doctors and lawyers often are in this stage, having become an expert, but not leading a team.
  • Stage Four: “We’re Great”, An epiphany occurs moving from Stage Three to Four when core values and three person relationship take hold.
  • Stage Five: “Life is Great”, Beyond Stage Four’s values and noble goal, groups (tribes) at this stage end up changing the world.

The stages are ranges, not points and there are several dimensions to consider as well.  For example, a person’s leadership style may be largely stage four, but contain elements of stage three.  Further, a person can grow (or regress) from one level to another.  People are at levels at a point in time, not forever.


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