How To Grow Your Tribe – Believing (Part Two)

Filed in Leaders & People by on January 26, 2010 0 Comments

We discussed that the first step in building a tribe was all about knowing – knowing yourself, your potential tribe, and the goals of your tribe.  It is critical to have an understanding of this information because this will serve as the foundation for your tribe.  Without knowing yourself, your tribe, or the goals of your tribe, you will be out of touch with yourself and your followers.

After you have discovered that you display genuine leadership characteristics and that your tribe is waiting, you must believe in your tribe and yourself.  As the leader, if you believe in what you’re doing, your tribe will believe, too.  In his book, Tribes, Seth Godin notes “Tribes are about faith – about belief in an idea and in a community.  And they are grounded in respect and admiration for the leader of the tribe and for the other members as well.” (pg. 9)  Belief goes a long way when establishing your tribe.

Believe in Yourself

In a society that dwells on failures and fallacies, it is sometimes hard to believe in yourself.  All to often, once you believe in yourself, someone calls you out and shatters your high self esteem.  As the leader of a tribe, it is important to always believe in yourself, even when the critics are tearing you down.  How do you expect someone else to buy into your message if you don’t believe what you’re saying?

Individuals often criticize because someone is being different.  This can range from dressing differently to reinventing processes in the office.  Everyone loves to criticize the revolutionaries of our society.

However, revolutionaries are leaders.

Think about this: how do things change?  How does new legislation pass?  How does a new style of music catch on?  How do new company policies take effect?  Everything changes because people are willing to step up, take a risk, and stick around to see what happens.

Godin states, “Heretics must believe.  More than anyone else in an organization, it’s the person who’s challenging the status quo, the one who is daring to be great, who is truly present and not just punching a clock who must have confidence in her beliefs.” (pg. 49, emphasis Godin)”

Commit to yourself and believe in what you’re doing, no matter what the critics are saying.

Believe in Others

After believing in yourself, you must believe in your tribe.  When you believe in your tribe, awesome things happen.  Seemingly impossible tasks are completed and your tribe begins to function as a community.  Belief breaks down barriers.

Although believing in your tribe is essential, it is not enough; you must convey your belief.  Your tribe must feel like they are trusted.  A great way to convey your belief is to have uninhibited communication between the tribe leader and members.  Communication without barriers gives your followers the notion that you trust them and are confident in their ability to function as a tribe.  Once your tribe feels trusted, they will begin to spread the word about your movement and before you know it, your tribe begins to grow.  Without belief in others, your tribe will slowly fade.

Having faith in yourself and others is the second essential step in growing your tribe.  If you don’t believe in yourself, who do you think will believe in you?  If you don’t believe in others, how will your tribe connect and grow?  Belief, simply stated, is the lifeblood of your tribe.  Don’t go without it.


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Eric Alpin is the Associate Editor of Folk Media and works for a telecommunications company in Baltimore, Md. He is a social media enthusiast, blogger, writer, and student with a passion for leadership and self-development strategies and techniques. Find out more about Eric on Twitter.

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*Photo by Clearly Ambiguous

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