The Pillars Of Tribe Connections

the pillars of connection

Everybody loves a good pillar. They’ve been around for ions.

You’ve got your Doric pillar. And your Gothic pillar.

There’s always your Ionic pillar and your Corinthian pillar.

Not to mention the ever-popular Tuscan.

A short history of pillars

Traditionally, pillars have been used to hold up buildings.

But in modern times, pillars apparently hold up brands.

Why, you can’t explain a brand without pillars. Everybody’s got three or four pillars.

Why should we be any different?

So here are the six pillars of connecting a tribe.


You can use them to test what you’re doing. They will help you  focus on making emotional connections with your tribe and not just communicate with them.

Because, when it comes to tribes, making connections builds strength and stability. Mere communications will eventually give you a sinking feeling.

That’s because, as I might have mentioned before, messages don’t work anymore.


Tribes are not about stuff and messages.

They’re about connection. Deep, emotional connections that extend to others. Person by person.

That’s what makes a powerful tribe. People caring about people. Talking to each other, not at each other. Moving forward side by side. Multiplying exponentially.


Before you can do anything you need to coordinate a group of people to carry it out.

Leaders assemble and connect people by giving them a platform for action. That used to mean getting everyone together at the same place, at the same time.

Today, you can use digital technology to create interactive platforms that do the same thing. And much more.


Earning the trust of the people you’re trying to engage and motivate is a must in a connected world.

Trust comes from being connected to people we care about through a cause we care about. It creates a unity that increases the tribe’s effectiveness.

This trust creates a kind of shorthand between people. You understand how you will work together. Even if you’ve never met before.


Unity starts inside the tribe. When everyone works together. Not in silos.

Unity happens when everyone has the same understanding of the tribe’s worldview. And how they are emotionally connected to their shared cause. And the stories they tell.

These three areas of internal unity put everyone on the same page. And allow everyone to collaborate equally.


Permission is the opposite of interruption.

It works by giving people the relevant experiences and inspiration they want to have. Not what you want to give them.

It’s a privilege to connect with people who are predisposed to listen to you because you share the same worldview. You don’t have to waste time with the masses that don’t see things the way you do and, thus, won’t engage with your cause.

The Exchange of Ideas

What happens when you create an environment of connection?

You create a network of people, both inside and outside your tribe, who want to pay attention to one another.

You create a proactive environment where people freely and easily share their stories and ideas.

In such an enabled community, all of us, connected together, are smarter than any one of us.

Meanwhile, back at the foundation

Underpinning those ideas are two human traits that must exist for connections to take place.

They are the foundation of any human endeavor that seeks to change the status quo. And thus make a difference in the world.


No one wants to connect with a selfish person. No one wants to connect to someone who is always going to take.

Or an organization that just talks about itself and how great it is.

We want to connect with people whose hearts are in the right place. The same place as ours.

We want to connect with people and tribes who give. Who are willing to share.

We seek out those with a generous heart.


We don’t want to connect to someone who’s going to do just what he or she did yesterday.

Art is the human act of choosing to connect. The human ability to do something for the first time. Something that may not work.

Art is the work of a human being doing something real and personal that might change things.

But this world of art is not a world of rules or best practices.

Every tribe is different. Every tribe’s worldview is different. The minute someone gives you a map or a checklist, is the minute it’s not art anymore.

Making art

Art is an original gift.

A connection that changes the recipient. A human ability to make a difference.

Art isn’t a painting or even a poem.

It’s something that any of us can do.

Art is the opposite of trigonometry

Art doesn’t follow instructions or a manual or a boss’s orders.

Instead, art is the human act of creating the uncreated, of connecting with another person at a human level.

Kathy Sierra does art when she teaches us about user interfaces. Mary Ann Davis does art when she pushes the edges of what pottery can become.

Art feels risky because it is

The risk that the artist takes is that you might not like it. Might not be touched. Might actually laugh at the effort.

And it’s taking these risks that lead us to the rewarded.

If you interact with others, you have the platform to create something new. Something that changes everything.

That’s art.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?