The Power of a Tribe

The Power of A Tribe

In my book, The Joy Model, I talk about how our “tribe” (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.) fit into the notion of living with greater joy.  Over the last three days, I witnessed the power and joy that comes from being a part of a close group of friends who want the best for each other, have no desire to steer one another in a certain direction, and are in it together for the long haul. 

In this case, I was with 8 men  going through the Halftime Fellows Program trying to discover and engage in God’s calling for their life. There are three simple things these men did for each other that provided quantum leaps in their thinking, direction and joy:

1.    They encouraged each other.  This may sound simple, but the encouragement went beyond how they were doing in managing their lives. The encouraged each other on their character – their being. My friend Ken Blanchard (author of the One Minute Manager) once told me he is convinced that the thing people need the most these days is more encouragement.  As an aside, you don’t have to be in a life group of some sort to start encouraging others.  A simple text, email, phone call or face-to-face conversation will do.

Anne Frank once said How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Amen to that.

2.    They received encouragement.  You may be thinking “Well, isn’t that just the flip side of point 1 above?” Yes, but here’s the subtle difference:  Being an encourager is great, can be done immediately, and can bring us joy (“It is more blessed to give than receive.”), but being in an encouraging environment where you are the recipient of positive, genuine feedback is truly amazing.  I saw eyes glisten frequently this weekend when deep truth about a man’s character was conveyed to them by another man.

3.    They brainstormed for each other.  Seth Godin wrote a wonderful book on community called “Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us.” It was geared toward marketing and building movements by engaging people in shaping pathways towards a specific goal. The subtitle of the book is what is relevant here: We need other people with different perspectives -- but shared vision -- to help us along our way. Of course, the key to getting people to brainstorm on your behalf is that you need to share what your struggling with or dreaming about and then ask for help. You have to:

a.     get clear for yourself on what you need in life

b.    humble yourself enough ask for help

c.     clearly articulate your needs to others.

It’s amazing how huge challenges can be overcome with a simple idea from someone with a new perspective. 

Find your tribe and help each other.

As Henry David Thoreau once said:  “Friends cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”

Jeff Spadafora2 Comments