A Tale of Two Tribes


Since humans first started living together in groups for safety and community, I believe that we have used recognition to strengthen and empower one another. We built one another up, because in doing so, we were also strengthening our tribe and improving our chances for a healthy and successful life.

Imagine if you will, two tribes that live on neighbouring islands. The people in both tribes work long hard hours, trying to survive and build a better life. 

In Tribe A, the people work hard every day. They mostly work alone, wandering from job to job and doing what they can. They are continually exhausted, yet they soldier on with the same routine, month after month, year after year. It’s dreary, but at least the work is getting done. 

The folks in Tribe B do the same hard work, however they also make time to appreciate one another’s skills and celebrate their accomplishments regularly. By recognizing the qualities they appreciate in one another, each person begins to understand their own strengths and roles within the tribe, and how they can best contribute to its success. The celebrations uplift their spirits and give them time to reflect on what they’ve accomplished and what they can achieve together.

Over time, which tribe do you think will be more successful? Which tribe would you rather live and work in?

In this regard, recognition is primal. It’s something that we’ve likely done with and for one another since we started living together as groups of people, in tribes and communities. We helped to build up and empower our fellow tribe members because their successes translated to our tribe’s success and our personal success. Our fortunes were intertwined.

Tribes still exist, though today they’re called companies, organizations, associations, departments, and teams. The underlying idea of community and shared interests persists,  however in many ways, the art and practice of appreciating and uplifting one another has virtually vanished.

Luckily though, these skills can easily be regained and we can learn to strengthen and empower our communities by recognizing and appreciating the people within them.

Recognition comes in many forms - encouragement, appreciation, acknowledgment, mentorship, gratitude, awards, plaques and certificates - yet the goal is the same: to generate positive energy, to bestow confidence, to empower, to cultivate and to uplift. Strengthen your people and you will also power up your tribe!

Remember, our fortunes are interconnected, so how will you recognize and appreciate the people in your tribe?

Toby Signature

Recognize. Empower. Repeat. 

Toby Barazzuol