Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Diversity Of Tribes

My wife made a comment to me this morning, remarking on the diversity of her Facebook “friends". She said that she had "good ol' boys" from the South, South Africans (not to be confused with African "good ol' boys"), locals from our current place of residence in DC, Australians, and even people from Guatemala.

I began to think about my Tribe (see Seth Godin's book Tribes), and the fact that like my wife's Tribe, it is very diverse. I too have friends from several nations (some of them developing), and I am connected with people I went to high school with...years ago.

I regularly communicate with church planters, missionaries and pastors. There are also former students from my days as a youth pastor, and current students who for some reason listen to my thoughts and musings.

Current and former colleagues find themselves part of my social network, and of course there are the life-long friends whose relationships and influence have endured for quite a while.

Then there are the singers, songwriters, musicians and worship leaders who are part of my "world". (Now that is a diverse group...). I even have a friend who was one of the first guys who mentored me as a twelve-year-old new believer.

Other than believing that Jesus is the "way, truth and life", I don't believe that you could get 50% of those who I have assembled through my social networks to agree on much else.

I began to wonder if that is a good thing, or a bad thing. Godin states that, "Smart innovators find or assemble a movement of similarly minded individuals and get the tribe excited by a new product, service or message."

I understand the reasoning in his comments. But, in keeping with my seemingly insatiable desire to challenge the status quo, I wonder if I have a wider influence and a more balanced understanding of the culture by maintaining a group of widely diverse relationships.

Is my leadership be more effective because there are those who argue, as opposed to those constantly agree? Am I widening my influence, or simply wasting my time? Is preaching to the choir a good leadership strategy?

Question: Do you believe that your relationships should be based on similar beliefs, or diverse opinions?

1 comment:

Philip A. Guzman, Esq. said...

If one has a group of "followers" of the same belief, what are you leading? . . it is a group moving together.

Jesus showed us leadership in conflict - (1) when Peter tells him "I'm your guy, I'll never deny you;" (2)when the apostles fall asleep; (3) his calm demeanor in speaking with Judas. . that is how a leader responds. . . One really "leads" only in conflict. . .

. . .Obama leads in the current health care debate. Come hell or high water. . whether this bill eventually causes the downfall of his presidency. . he leads.

Groups on people who agree, "organize" . . they don't lead.

. . . .one man's humble opinion.


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