Leadership Traits and Tribal Leadership

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The Module 1 Case

requires that you complete the Leadership Traits Questionnaire (LTQ), and use the results of the LTQ to formulate your personal leadership traits.

Case Assignment

You will find the LTQ at the link below:

https://studysites.sagepub.com/northouse6e/study/materials/Questionnaires/03409_02lq.pdf

Complete the LTQ, and request that a minimum of three (and maximum of five) individuals who know you well complete the LTQ on your behalf. Follow the instructions at the end of the survey scale, noting the following:

  1. The items on which you scored highest and lowest.
  2. The items for which there were notable differences between your self-ratings and the average of others’ ratings.

Assignment Expectations

After you have taken the LTQ, please respond to the following requirements in a well-written, 4- to 5-page paper (not counting the title page or reference section):

  1. Discuss your scores on the LTQ, detailing what surprised you about the results, as well as what did not surprise you.
  2. Compare the scores you received from your peers to the scores you received based on your own LTQ answers. What was most different? What was similar?
  3. Write a 5-step action plan for improving your leadership skills based on the feedback you received from your LTQ as well as the scores you received from others.

______________________________________________ASSIGNMENT 2________________________________

Drawing from the materials in this module, you will administer the Tribal Leadership survey to a member of an organization to which you have access.

After you have determined the organization’s present stage, you will interview the organizational member to glean more detail concerning the culture of his or her organization.

This can be any type of organization (some examples include a business, church, sports team, or volunteer organization). The person should be willing to participate in an interview about his or her organization’s culture. You may conduct the interview in person, via phone, or via email.

  • Prior to the interview, ask the interviewee to respond to the Tribal Leadership Survey questions (you will need to provide your name and email address to receive the survey results). Access the survey at http://www.culturesync.net/toolbox/culturemeter-survey/. (Note the results of the Tribal Leadership survey, specifically the tribal stage of the interviewee’s organization).
  • Interview your subject (interviewee) to discover information regarding his/her organization’s culture by asking the following questions:
    • Tell me about the relationship of your organization’s people to the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
    • Are the people in your organization used to taking risks (innovation) or is organizational stability more important (the status quo)?
    • Are the people in your organization more focused on the details of their work (the means) or toward the outcomes (the end results)?
    • Would you say that your organization’s leadership is more process-oriented or people-oriented?
    • Does your organization focus more on recognizing the accomplishments of individual members or the accomplishments of teams?
    • Do people tend to be easygoing and cooperative, or are they aggressive and highly competitive?
    • Describe the general demeanor of the organization’s people. In other words, are people mostly disengaged and apathetic, or are they engaged and energetic?
    • Is your organization more formal or less formal in its day-to-day operations and approaches?
    • Are there any organizational standards or ideals that are particularly important to the people in the organization? If so, what are they?
    • What words best describe the overall “mood” of the organization?
    • What rituals are important in the organization?
    • What symbols are most important to the people in the organization?
    • Are there any stories that people tell newcomers that help to indoctrinate them into the organization? If so, what are they?
    • What artifacts are most important to the people in the organization (e.g., mottos, slogans, meetings, awards, new hire trainings, etc.?)
    • What are people most proud of?
    • What do people complain most about?
    • What shared assumptions come to mind (that are important to the people of the organization)?

SLP Assignment Expectations

The objective of this SLP will be to accomplish the following:

  • Determine the organization’s tribal leadership stage (using the Tribal Leadership Survey).
  • Recognize the tangible and intangible cultural characteristics that define the tribe and tribal stage (using the interview questions).
  • Determine how well the identified stage of tribal leadership (based on the Tribal Leadership Survey results) aligns with the characteristics of the organization’s overall culture (based on the interview questions).
  • Write a 3- to 4-page paper (not counting the title page or reference section) applying tribal leadership to organizational culture by noting the impact the tribal stage you observed has on the organizational culture of the interviewee’s organization.

REQUIRED READING

Introducing Tribal Leadership

We are tribal. This is our past, our present, and our future. Tribal Leadership is the result of years of research, writing, and presentation by David Logan and his colleagues. It details the way we, as human beings, align ourselves with tribes based on a number of factors.

As we explore tribal leadership further, it will become clear that every tribe operates at one of five levels. Below is a chart that breaks down those basic levels (cultures) and provides brief insight about each one. Once you have taken a few moments to view the chart, watch the linked video on Tribal Leadership by David Logan.

Adapted from Logan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright, H. (2008). Tribal leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Now, take about 20 minutes to view David Logan’s video before you move on to the next section. Here is the direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTkKSJSqU-I

Exploring Organizational Culture

Let’s take a short pause from our study of tribal leadership and broadly define organizational culture as “the way we do things around here.” It instills shared meaning among people within organizations. And while an organization’s culture includes tangible characteristics such as rituals, stories, artifacts, company logos, colors, mottos, or slogans, there are other aspects of an organization’s culture that are intangible, and therefore hard to see and understand by outsiders or newcomers. These parts of culture are largely symbolic.

An example on a larger scale is the United States flag. The flag has clear characteristics that we can see and explain (the tangible side of culture), but it also has symbolic significance (intangible) that means different things for different people and different groups of people.

This is not always cut and dried. For instance, some sub-cultures in the United States use the flag to represent beliefs and views that are completely counter to the beliefs and views of others… even though those others view the same flag as a representation of their alternate views and beliefs. Can you think of an example of this?

Organizational Culture is often carried on through language in the form of stories. It is also carried on through behaviors in the form of acceptable norms. But the purpose of this course, and specifically this module, is to explore how we might begin to identify an organization’s natural culture by understanding how its members think and behave. Only then can we make a realistic plan for cultural shift and take specific steps to “nudge” culture in a new direction.

Hopefully, you are beginning to see similarities between the description of culture and the description of The Tribe. Like culture itself, each tribe is characterized by a unique blend of language and behaviors. As we explore these concepts, it will become clear that different tribes are found to be at different tribal stages of organizational culture. Sometimes, different tribes at different tribal stages exist within the same organization. Consider how this could explain how some working groups are more successful than others.

The Stages of Tribal Leadership: A Deeper Dive

Before we transition to trait theory, let’s take a closer look at all five stages of tribal leadership and check out some of the additional resources to help you learn even more.

Stage 1 (2% of organizations): People feel alienated. Behaviors and language used are hostile, angry: “Life sucks!”

Stage 2 (22% of organizations): In the absence of teamwork, behaviors and language are apathetic and disengaged (e.g., “My life sucks!”).

Stage 3 (49% of all organizations): People work independently, hoarding knowledge with the aim of “outdoing” others; behaviors and language used are energetic and engaged, yet self-serving (e.g., “I’m great and you’re not!”)

Stage 4 (25% of all organizations): Behaviors and language are prideful, values are shared, the language used is focused on the “we” (partnerships). The tribe is keenly aware of its competition. If disagreements arise, they are quickly tamped down by a member of the tribe.

Stage 5 (only 2% of all organizations): The rarest form of tribe/culture – “Life is great!” – Stage 5 organizations tend to make history (e.g., landing the Rover on Mars or landing a man on the moon). The organization transcends the individual. The focus on the tribe is not on competitors, but on the task at hand. Fear and stress are non-existent.

The following resources are available in the library. If you have never used the Trident Online Library, these instructions will help you utilize this powerful resource: https://mytlc.trident.edu/files/library_help.pdf

Read the following interview of two of the authors of the book Tribal Leadership (Dave Logan and John King). Keep in mind that it is possible to determine – through observation of behaviors and language used – at which of the five stages a tribe functions.

Hall, G. (2009). Tribal leadership: An interview with David C. Logan and John King. Reflections, 9 (3-4), 15-19. Retrieved from [EBSCO host] Business Source Complete, AN Accession Number: 57520554 in the Trident Online Library.

Finally, read the following article, which explores the relationship between Organizational Culture and Leadership and Tribal Leadership.

Partridge, A. (2012). Tribal leadership. How does it affect your company culture? Enviable Workplace. Retrieved from http://enviableworkplace.com/tribal-leadership-and-your-company-culture/

Students with a keen interest in Leadership may want to purchase a copy of Tribal Leadership for this course. While this is not required, it is an excellent resource.

Logan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright, H. (2008). Tribal leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

For an in-depth discussion of Tribal Leadership, watch the following video, in which Dave Logan, author of the book Tribal Leadership, talks more about tribes in organizations:

Logan, D. (2011). Tribal Leadership. Google Tech Talks, [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jirePLc0U1A

For an overview of the characteristics of Organizational Culture, please read Section 15.3 of the Organizational Behavior text:

Chapter 15.2: Understanding organizational culture. (2012). In Organizational behavior. Retrieved from https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_organizational-behavior-v1.1/s19-02-understanding-organizational-c.html. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Trait Theory of Leadership

The trait theory of leadership, which has its roots early in the 20th century, remained mostly unchallenged until Ralph Stogdill’s groundbreaking 1948 article, Personal Factors Associated with Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. This article is not available in the Trident Online Library, but the pertinent information is contained in the following summary:

Stogdill, critical of the Great Man Theory, questioned the idea that certain traits were necessary for leadership. Stogdill discovered that the traits of leaders around the world were not distinct from the traits of non-leaders. Rather, Stogdill found, the traits found in leaders had to be matched with certain situational variables before they became leaders.

The Great Man Theory, which was referenced above, focused much more sharply on traits of a leader that were either present or predetermined from birth. Some examples include: height; appearance (beauty); cognitive ability (intelligence); and even the size of a person’s head or hands. Early theorists simply gathered characteristics of the leaders they were studying and made the assumption that the common characteristics of these leaders were the innate characteristics necessary for leadership. This concept favored the idea that people were born leaders rather than made into leaders.

Leadership and Personality

Within the family of trait theory, we also find the concept of personality as a leadership factor. The acronym OCEAN (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) contains the most widely accepted characteristics of personality. How these five personality factors (referred to as The Big Five) link with leadership is shown in the table below:

Adapted from Ackerman, C. (2017). The big five personality traits & the 5-factor model explained. Positive Psychology Program. Available in the Trident Online Library and retrieved from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/big-five-personality-theory/

Note that three of the factors link positively with leadership (meaning leaders tend to embody these personality factors), one has only a weak association with leadership, and one has a negative association with leadership (meaning people who exhibit this factor are more likely to not be leaders).

Each of the five personality factors is explored in the following book, available in Books 24×7 in the Trident Online Library:

McCredie, H. (2018). Improving managerial talent: Practical psychology for human resourcing and learning & development professionals. New York: Routledge.

Read the following:

  • Chapter 5: Extraversion
  • Chapter 6: Agreeableness
  • Chapter 8: Conscientiousness
  • Chapter 10: Neuroticism
  • Chapter 12: Openness

Leadership Traits, Personality, and The Tribe: Making Your Own Connections

Now that we have explored trait-based leadership, let’s apply that knowledge to The Tribe. This is your opportunity to make your own connections between two major concepts. Rather than providing you with an application of tribal leadership to trait theory, you will look for these links yourself in the SLP for this module (where you will apply trait theory to organizational culture through the lens of tribal leadership) and the second discussion questions for this module (where you will apply personality traits to tribal leadership).

Required Reading

Ackerman, C. (2017). The big five personality traits & the 5-factor model explained. Positive Psychology Program. Retrieved from the Trident Online Library. Retrieved from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/big-five-personality-theory/

Berson, Alan S. (2013). Changes in conversations from manager to leader. [Video File]. Retrieved from the Trident Online Library.

Hall, G. (2009). Tribal leadership: An interview with David C. Logan and John King. Reflections, 9 (3-4), 15-19. Retrieved from [EBSCO host] Business Source Complete, AN Accession Number: 57520554 in the Trident Online Library.

Logan, D. (2011). Tribal Leadership. Google Tech Talks, [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jirePLc0U1A

Partridge, A. (2012). Tribal leadership. How does it affect your company culture? Enviable Workplace. Retrieved from http://enviableworkplace.com/tribal-leadership-and-your-company-culture/

Chapter 15.2: Understanding organizational culture. (2012). In Organizational behavior. Retrieved from https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_organizational-behavior-v1.1/s19-02-understanding-organizational-c.html. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Optional Reading

Logan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright, H. (2008). Tribal leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

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