Women and Tribal Leadership

by Tribal Leadership on March 4, 2008

My passion is women’s leadership. There is no better audience for this book than women in business. Women have had a challenging time finding positive and supportive role models in business leadership to emulate, or a way to leverage their unique abilities to be Tribal Leaders. Helping women to lead from who they are, with their values and their strengths is a personal mission.

One of the personal insights that co-authoring Tribal Leadership has given me is the special message to women.

One of the companies we have worked with and written about is CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). CBRE is the largest and most successful commercial real estate services firm in the world. We have been working with CBRE for about 10 year. When we first started, commercial real estate was a male-dominated industry. When we started, we led executive education programs for their teams, managers, and individual professionals-and working to support to the Women’s Network. Our role has grown: now we are faculty for their corporate university, we work with leaders throughout the company, both women and men, and with their executives.

The change we’ve seen in that time has been gratifying, and remarkable. More than a decade ago, CB was mostly at Stage Three—individual brokers working on deals, often in competition with each other. Women found it challenging to make a dent a largely male-dominated industry. We started working with them to discover and deploy their own “Tribal Leaders,” who build the group culture around a strong commitment to values. They also develop “tribal strategies” with those they work with—pulling in anyone who has a contribution to make, regardless of gender, skin color, etc.

While the industry is still dominated at men, that is changing. More importantly, CBRE has gotten ahead of the curve, with many of their most successful teams led by women. CBRE has many Stage Four tribes among its thousand of employees. One of most successful tribes created from these efforts is the Women’s Leadership Network.

Women have an advantage in setting up Stage Four cultures. It’s my mission to help women discover and deploy their natural abilities, becoming Tribal Leaders.

by Halee Fischer-Wright

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