We’re all looking for our tribe. We want to be part of a group that accepts us for who we are and makes us feel like we belong. However, we often feel unhappy with our work, friendship, and family tribes. Often we’ll see the perfect friendships and happy colleagues on our favourite soapie and feel a bit jealous and desire those deep, personal connections that others seem to have.
If you are one of the popular kids you’re bound to end up in a situation where you feel like an outsider in a new and unfamiliar group. In life we move from different places and groups. We leave our school group and join different working environments where we need to integrate. We tend to feel nostalgic about the tribes we thrived in, whether it was a rugby team, chess group or just a bunch of drinking buddies at our favourite pub. Most of these tribal relationships are temporary and if we want to thrive, we need to keep building relationships in life.
We need tribes to grow professionally and accomplish greatness. Other tribe members see things differently from us and their insights can help us solve problems. The critique of our peers helps us see the flaws and missed connections in our own endeavours. We take strength from others who often help us through trying situations. The feeling of being alone is eliminated when you are part of a tribe. There is a certain joy in feeling comfortable within a group that allows us to flow and express ourselves.
One of the reasons I love living in the city is the opportunity to move between different tribes and not be limited to one group. Working in the city and connecting with different people makes it easier to find like-minded people. The internet mimics the dynamics of the city and its opportunities to connect with so many others around the world. Through social media or discussion boards we can connect with people who have similar interests and build our tribe.
In Seth Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, he has a unique perspective on tribes and how we function within them. Seth believes that we make our own tribes especially in the digital era. We draw others towards us with our passions and ideals while having the potential to become the tribal leaders we thought we could never be. The notion that leadership is for other people is outdated. Seth believes the leaders of tribes come in different and surprising packages and that generous and authentic leadership will always defeat selfish leadership.
If we have the desire to change things, we can become the leaders of a tribe. It could be a small book club, a weekend hiking group, or even an environmental political party that could change the course of history. We need to act and reach out both online and in the real world to build our tribe.
About the author:
Terence Visagie manages visual communications and the graphic design portfolio, providing support to business participants. This is achieved by conceptualising, formulating, designing and rolling out meaningful visual layout and graphic content that promotes and encourages engagement of clients, stakeholders and the target audience.