Pulling Your Tribe Together

Michael Miller, this one is for you.



We talk a lot about community here, and I really believe that in order to succeed as an indie musician today, you need to band together with others to reinforce each other’s efforts and spread the risk and costs. That is why I envisioned new music labels as artist collectives.

But putting together a great community if often easier said than done. As Jim Collins would put it, you primarily need to focus on ‘getting the right people on the bus.’ While this means you have to be very selective about who you work with, it also means that once you put together the right group, there will be a lot less ‘managing’ and uphill pushing to be done. Good things will happen more naturally. If someone is in your community to fulfill some kind of hidden agenda, that person is going to weigh down the efforts of everyone else even if he is contributing. It’s not that their intentions or efforts are wrong, but that they aren’t working towards the same goals as the rest of the team. And it’s really that mutual end goal that unifies a community.

And as the article asking What’s Your Tribe’s WHY? correctly states:

What sets a tribe apart from others is an “agenda,” the progress collectively made toward a shared goal. An agenda that is implicitly, if not explicitly, voiced. One that every tribe member is aware of. One driven by the guiding purpose, or spirit, of the tribe. And one that will guard against sudden (or even gradual) attrition.

If you are trying to form a community or collective of sorts, identify your values and your actual end goal, and let that be your guiding light. Make sure everyone else is seeing the same light. When you do this as your community grows, you will find that your collective efforts result in a synergistic drive rather than erupting into chaos.