Humans are tribal. We know that.
We like to hang around with other people like us. Who share our beliefs, values and ideally, our sense of purpose.
We can belong to many different, overlapping ‘tribes’ – when I was a student in Manchester, I could take you to more pubs than anyone else I knew, because I belonged to several separate tribes, who each had their own hangouts.
We also like to know where we fit within our tribes, our status.
Status doesn’t necesarily mean being at the top. We might indeed be a ‘leader’, but we could equally be an ‘elder’, a ‘wise one’ or a ‘poet’. We might be the ‘one everyone goes to for information or advice’. We might even be ‘the weirdo’. Status simply means knowing our position in the tribe, and knowing that everyone else knows it too.
Of course, our tribalism isn’t always a good thing. And like our other motivations, if we don’t find it at work, we look elsewhere.
So maybe we should offer it at work?
And not just for the team, for customers, suppliers and associates too?