Why you need a tribe
In those moments where you feel overwhelmed, stuck or need added support, your tribe are there to help you.
So much of what I teach about leading change involves daring and challenging the status quo and that can feel lonely and relentless at times. To stay the course, we need more than a network, we need a tribe: a smaller group of people that we can depend on to hold us to account, to dust us off when we stumble, to add to our resolve when it may be waning and to celebrate our achievements along the way. Our tribe reminds us that success or change is not a solo endeavour.
Over 20 years ago, I had made major changes in my life – I moved countries, I founded my first business, and I was a new mother. I was feeling exhausted, and although I knew a lot of people, I felt quite alone and disconnected.
I aired these troubles to a girlfriend who gave me simple, life-changing advice: “Cassandra, you need to go and find your tribe.”
As I took a sip of the wine she had poured me, I knew she was right.
I gave thought to my network and who within it shared my values and were committed to being just brave enough to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. Whose opinion would I value, who could I learn from, and whose achievements could I also support?
People within your tribe don’t necessarily have the same skills and talents as you, nor will you always see eye-to-eye. However, a shared sense of purpose and an alignment of values, is really what bonds people of a ‘tribe’ together.
That is not to say that you shouldn’t listen to people who have different core values and beliefs; as it’s important to acknowledge and consider the unique perspectives and beliefs of people who think differently, because they challenge your worldview to be stronger.
However, we’re not always in a position to be challenged. When we are feeling lonely and disconnected, we want support from people who have empathy for what we are feeling. We want people who can lift us up.
Finding my tribe made me realize that I’m not alone; I felt safer and more connected. Moreover, I felt re-energized. I had more resolve.
A tribe is more than a network of acquaintances. It is a place where we belong: where we gain acceptance, and return the same to others.