Tag Archives: Halee Fischer-Wright

Follow The Leader: The #1 Task Of The Leader Is To Attract Followers!

Nearly everything I read has something to say about leadership.  In one way or another, authors tell us:  “this is what a leaders does; this is what a leader needs to do; this is what a leader should focus on.”

In the book I presented last Friday at our monthly event, the First Friday Book Synopsis, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt, we learned that “developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader…

I don’t disagree with that, or most of the other things I read about leadership.  The fact is that leadership is an all-encompassing, incredibly important role.  Good leaders can create good and successful companies and organizations.  Bad leaders can lead to genuine problems, even the destruction or disintegration of a company or organization.  Many stories of each are everywhere available.

But I think there is one “this is the main task of leadership” consideration that trumps them all.  It is the task of a leader to attract followers.  Because, if there are no followers, there is no leader.  Leadership is not a “title,” it is a fact.  And followership may be the single biggest signal of successful leadership.

In the book, Tribal Leadership:  Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright focus on the “tribal” metaphor for companies and organizations.

It’s as though our tribe is part of our genetic code.  Birds flock, fish school, people “tribe.”   

In a tribe, leadership is truly critical.  And as they describe successful tribal leadership, they give this short, simple assertion:

Tribal Leaders are talent magnets, with people so eager to work for the leader that they will take a pay cut if necessary. 

People have a need for good leaders; people need to follow good leaders.  Tribal leaders attract followers — followers practically fight to get “under the leadership” of a good tribal leader.

The book proposes five stages of tribal leadership (from the book):







Innocent Wonderment

“Life is Great”



Tribal Pride

“We’re Great (and they’re not)”



Lone Warrior

“I’m Great (and you’re not)”



Apathetic Victim

“My life sucks”



Despairing Hostility

“Life sucks”

In this list, the goal for the tribal leader is to aim for stage 5, and help each tribe member move up the stages together.  Yes, to “move up together – to “follow the leader.”

The leader says, “this is where we are going – together.  Now, let’s go.”  Building followership to take that journey together is the test of, the proof of, genuine leadership.



For Your Own Talent Management & Career Ascendancy – Choose Your Boss Well

Tribal Leaders are talent magnets, with people so eager to work for the leader that they will take a pay cut if necessary.
Tribal LeadershipLeveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright


Ok, I’m ready to give the biggest and most important career advice I have ever given.  If you don’t own your own company, and you ever change jobs again, follow this advice.  There is nothing else this important.

Choose your boss well.

That’s it.  Because your boss means everything.  The wrong boss can be a disaster.  The right boss can shape your career for the better for the rest of your life.

So, what do you look for in a boss?  Mainly, you look for the qualities you want to learn and emulate when you will move up to your next position as the “boss.”  Here are some qualities to look for:

1.  Choose a good teacher.  If the boss wants to develop the talent  of those who report to hem/her, then the boss needs to be a good, effective teacher.  So, choose a boss who has much to teach you, and, knows how to teach you – is good at teaching.  This is important because you have much to learn, and someday you will have much to teach, and people to teach it to.

2.  Choose a good “carer.”  (“Carer” is probably not a word, but the idea is clear — choose a boss who cares for people – genuinely, deeply.   Because after all, a boss leads real people, and the ability to care for each person is really critical.  You need to develop this trait.  And it helps to learn from someone who is good at it.

3.  Choose a good team leader.  If a boss is good at building a team, then the future will be a lot better.  You need to be part of a team with a good leader, so that later you can be a good team leader yourself.

These are just a few of the traits to look for in your next boss.  There are probably a few more just as important as these, like: choose an ethical boss; choose a boss who cultivates an environment of fun; choose a boss who is a good coach as well as teacher…  You can add to this list.

But this I know for sure – choosing your boss well is really important.