A Tale of Two Tribes...

Jul 27, 2015 | All Blog Posts

Since humans first started to gather in groups and live together for safety and a better life, 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 of people that live on neighbouring islands. The people in both tribes work long hard hours for a better life.In one tribe, the people work hard every day, but they mostly work alone, wandering from job to job and doing what they can. By the end of the week they are exhausted, yet somehow they soldier on, keeping up the same routine, month after month, year after year. It’s dreary, but at least the work is getting done. 

The other tribe also works hard, however they also take the 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. Their celebrations 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, in communities. We wanted fellow members of our tribe to be successful because their success would translate to our tribe’s success and our personal success. Our fortunes were intertwined.

Today our tribes still exist. Though they are now called companies, or organizations, or departments or teams, the underlying idea of community and shared interests remains. However in many ways, the art and practice of appreciating one another has virtually vanished. Luckily though, we can still strengthen and empower these 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 underlying goal is the same: to bestow confidence, to empower, to cultivate and to uplift. Strengthen 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?