Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

How to Build a Loyal, Powerful and Growing Tribe Your tribes can help you accomplish your business and life goals.

By Patti Fletcher

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the film Wonder Woman, a band led by the eponymous hero fight and win a battle at a place called No Man's Land. After they emerge victorious, Steve Trevor, a member of Wonder Woman's crew congratulates her for winning the fight. Her response surprises him.

She says, "No, we did this."

And that is how Wonder Woman solidified her tribe.

The concept of a modern-day tribe came to light in the business world when Seth Godin's book, Tribe: We Need You to Lead, hit the market in 2008. Godin described a tribe as "a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate."

No one gets to the finish line alone. If you want to create your own tribe, here are some tips.

Related: 10 Books Every Leader Should Read to Be Successful

Provide connectivity and doses of reality.

Entrepreneurship and remote workers have one important thing in common: loneliness.

"As an independent consultant, I found myself missing 'water cooler' conversations, professional development opportunities, a sounding board and someone to have a glass of wine with at the end of the day," says Stephanie Goodell, founder of Samaya Consulting and Business Engagement Lead at IBIS Consulting Group.

Over 36 percent of small businesses are started by women, and those businesses account for $1.4 trillion in transactions, so Goodell knew she was in good company. Doing something professionally for the first time provides the perfect opportunity for self-sabotaging dialogue.

"I am amazed at how often I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. The good news is that I am a perpetual learner," says Goodell. That's where her tribe helped by creating a peer-coaching model where specific business challenges are discussed and a plan of action laid out.

Goodell's advice for creating your tribe: Rather than look for cheerleaders for your tribe, look for truth-tellers with the expertise and perspective you don't have.

She says, "A tribe provides an essential sounding board and place to share those personal doubts and frustrations. Insights offered by others can be powerful and can remove the intense burden of self-criticism that we carry."

Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

Align on common goals while cultivating a culture that embraces evolution.

Dr. Cheryl Anne Lampshire, corporate problem solver and adjunctpreneur, sees tribes as part of the human experience.

"We have the opportunity to be part of many tribes in our lifetime. Sometimes, tribes come to you, as in families, work teams and functional groups. Sometimes you need to create a tribe to reach a common goal," says Lampshire.

Tribes often transcend the boundaries that appear after leaving a job. One of Lampshire's most valued tribes is xBBN, an online tribe comprised of former BBN employees where shared corporate cultural norms and experiences form the common bonds that enable members to help each other with both professional and personal challenges.

When Lampshire is forming a tribe, the origin story becomes the thread for cultivation throughout the lifetime of the tribe. Lampshire focuses on establishing common goals and revisiting those goals for relevancy throughout the tribe's lifetime. A sign of a healthy tribe is one with shared language and norms, where all members can actively contribute and each member's needs are met. When engagement drops or common goals are no longer relevant to all members, it may be time to exit the tribe.

Lampshire's advice for creating your tribe: Cultivate the health and quality of life for your tribe just as you would a living being.

"A tribe needs attention and nourishment to flourish. Like any living organism, the needs of the members and the purpose of the tribe can change and evolve," says Lampshire.

Related: Inspirational Quotes From 100 Famous Business Leaders (Infographic)

Bring the best version of you to the table.

Godin sees tribes as a place where everyone is a leader and a marketer. One of the most important roles of a leader is to raise the next generation of leaders. You are responsible for supporting your peers in achieving their goals, just as you are responsible for representing your own point of view. As a marketer, you get to practice your pitch as well as offer insights for your peers on how to pitch their big ideas and create something from nothing. Receiving this kind of wisdom from your tribe replaces months of wasted time and dollars.

My advice for creating your tribe: Have a shared purpose of collective power. I remember hearing Vivek Wadhwa, researcher, writer and entrepreneur, talk about his early days in the Silicon Valley when he and his fellow Indian transplants worked together to test product demo ideas, pitch decks and share business connections. When you are in an under-represented population, coming together with other people in your demographic is a powerful way to provide a platform for accelerating success while building life-long relationships.

Patti Fletcher

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Leadership Futurist and Gender Equity Advocate

Dr. Patti Fletcher is the author of Disrupters: Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold (Entrepreneur Press 2018). Dr. Patti is an enterprise tech CMO, gender equity expert, board member and keynote speaker who has spent her career at the intersection of technology, business and people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

'Creators Left So Much Money on the Table': Kickstarter's CEO Reveals the Story Behind the Company's Biggest Changes in 15 Years

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor explains the decision-making behind the changes, how he approaches leading Kickstarter, and his advice for future CEOs.


Is Consumer Services a Good Career Path for 2024? Here's the Verdict

Consumer services is a broad field with a variety of benefits and drawbacks. Here's what you should consider before choosing it as a career path.

Business Ideas

87 Service Business Ideas to Start Today

Get started in this growing industry, with options that range from IT consulting to childcare.

Business Models

How to Become an AI-Centric Business (and Why It's Crucial for Long-Term Success)

Learn the essential steps to integrate AI at the core of your operations and stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.