Dave Rendall, Assistant Professor of Business at Mount Olive College and author of the Freak Factor writes "While you are busy diffusing your time and energy broadly in an effort to improve in a variety of different areas, someone else is obsessively developing their strengths and flaunting their weaknesses. They aren't allowing their weaknesses to distract them from focusing on the areas in which they have the greatest potential."
Tribes cannot be all things to all people.
Parents were outraged when the once wholesome family image of Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus was destroyed when she posed in less than full dress for Vanity Fair.
Restaurants promoting organic food from local farmers may save a penny or two by using plastic and Styrofoam take outs, but as Moshe Mena, Director of MyGreenTable explains "Their customers see value in using Eco-friendly, biodegradable products."
Attempting to expand the Harley Davidson popularity by incorporating a soft and fluffy teddy bear approach to bikes would destroy the tribe.
Friday afternoon the Gravy Boys played at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. They play great music of their own and also a rendition of Hank Williams' 'Hey Good Lookin'. Williams recorded the hit in 1951. It has been subsequently recorded by a dozen artists and covered by countless bands.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame notes "The words and music of Hank Williams echo across the decades with a timelessness that transcends genre. He brought country music into the modern era, and his influence spilled over into the folk and rock arenas as well.... The “outlaw” school of country singer-songwriters who followed in Williams’ wake - including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and his own son, Hank Williams Jr. - would have been inconceivable without Williams’ rough-cut artistry. However, problems with drugs and alcohol led to Williams’ premature death by heart attack at age 29 while en route to a show. In 1961, Williams was the first artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a tribute indicative of his impact."
Lesson to learn from Hank Williams:
1. Create something worth re-recording and covering. Hey Good Lookin is almost six decades old and still meaningful.
2. The tribe is not only greater than the person, it makes the person. Williams is great not despite the many re-recordings and coverings, but because of it. Paving the way for others to succeed built his legacy.
3. A business can do well by re-recording and covering if they can add value and their own voice. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, William's Jr. and others took off where Williams left off. Bernard Cova of Euromed and Seth Godin, leadership guru did not create the concept of business tribes, but they did repackage from the academic literature to a form MBA programs and businesses could use.
4. Avoid tribal pitfalls. Alcohol and drugs may sound appealing, but they do kill. What is your business' pitfall.
I like this approach. Weeding out a few a___e from your organization can do wonders.