The Intimate Tribe

trichur-pooram-crowd-508657-swWas on a great group coaching call with Keith Ferrazzi, best selling author of Never Eat Alone and who’s got your back today. (Many thanks to Elizabeth Marshall for setting that one up.)  Keith mentioned an idea of “The Intimate Tribe”.

We love tribes.  We join them for the sense of community.  Some of them we join with a sense of passion and purpose, looking to work together to make a difference.  Some of them we just join.  And in “just joining” we become part of the problem.  Because while we love tribes, we don’t like crowds.  Every group, organization and company faces a tipping point, the point at which the passionate and driven group starts to get watered down by those who are “just looking”.  The crowd starts to form.

Tribes have purpose and direction.  Crowds haven’t bought in, they haven’t commited, they’re just … there.  Startups can hit this point when they get to a certain size.  Churches, alumni organizations; we all suffer from it – the inevitable watering down of the tribe.

Keith’s solution is to keep the tribes to a certain size (6-10 members in the case of a mastermind group).  It makes sense in theory, but begs the question – how do we still include those that are “worthy” (aka are going to contribute) while minimizing the window shoppers and maintaining our sense of purpose?

I don’t have a solution, so I’m posting the question.


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