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The Leadership in Tribes

There are two important topics I have learned in Organizational Behavior of Sport Management that are very similar to experiences have had in my life. These two topics are the subject of Tribes from Seth Godin’s novel “Tribes” and Level 5 Leadership from Jim Collins’ novel “Good to Great”.


The definition of a tribe is “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.” Based on this definition, tribes exist in many different forms; whether they are businesses, sports teams, non-profit organizations, charity organizations, etc. However, tribes cannot be what they are without following the attributes of leadership, teamwork and generosity. Godin says that “Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get.” In my senior year in high school, I have experienced tribes as well as leadership that perfectly demonstrates the attributes of tribes.

The tribes I was involved in were sports teams such as the Varsity Men’s Soccer Team as well as student tribes such as the Jackson National Honor Society. In my experience on the soccer team, our goal was to not only win games and the State and Shore Conference finals but to have a good time together and to help the freshman and junior varsity players become leaders. In my experience in the National Honor Society, our goal was to promote academic excellence, service to the community, and leadership for the real world.

These tribes are different regarding ideology and activities they do, but one thing they have in common is that they demonstrate the same attributes that make up an excellent tribe. %tags Overcoming Challenges

Without these attributes, there would be no leadership or teamwork in the tribe and eventually the tribe would cease to exist. Not only did I have experiences of tribes throughout my life, I have also had experience with Level 5 Leadership. Level 5 Leadership is defined as Level 5 executives who build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. Through the experience I had with the Varsity Soccer Team and the National Honor Society, I had seen a bit of Level 5 Leadership. The soccer team’s captain had an agenda to lead the team to the State and Shore Conference Finals and win. Unfortunately, we did not win, but the captain did express personal humility which was a big and bold move for a captain.

That kind of leadership is what actually lead the team to the finals in the first place.

If only Rutgers Football and Men’s basketball had that kind of leadership and teamwork they would’ve been an excellent team that is very worth watching on television and spectating at the stadium and the court. Regarding the National Honor Society, the president followed the organization’s agenda to promote academic excellence and create great leaders which was the professional will of a Level 5 leader. There were some instances where followers didn’t follow their roles and broke a few of the organization’s rules, but the president took it upon himself to stop the disorder and take full responsibility for the organization’s mistakes.

The attributes of personal humility and professional will are considered a paradoxical blend because it is impossible to mix them into one single attribute. However, through my experience with both tribes, I was able to see the Level 5 Leadership in the team captain and the president of the National Honor Society. Both leaders didn’t let their ego get in the way of ambition for team and the organization and concern for their success. They also took responsibility for any mistakes or disorder that may have happened in the team and the organization.


This is why in today’s world we all need tribes and leadership like the tribes and leadership I have experienced. If we do not have them, then there would be nothing left to do in our lives and humanity would no longer function as a whole.

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