Exercise: Analyze & Elevate Your Tribe To Better Align With Your Values
Something To Do Often in Life!
In this Medium, I write a personal reflection and go through an exercise (shoutout to the Morning Brew’s Founder’s Journal Podcast) to analyze and elevate your tribe to better align to your personal values and goals. Our tribes consist of our personal connections, role models, communities, and content. It is important to methodically build our tribes because we are the products of all of these inputs in our lives. On my end, I think that it is a good time to do this exercise since I’m going through a career transition and have been feeling very ambitious lately. Try it on your own! Additionally living in this digital age where the internet has made connection with people and things so easy, we have so many more connections that we need to ensure are valuable to us and our well-beings.
One of my Why’s for Intentionally Working On My Tribe.
What you worry about it what you worship, and a few months ago, I found myself falling into this trap while struggling with worry more than usual. These worries stemmed from me navigating the beginning of my career, striving for success in my twenties and how to get it, navigating friendships and relationships, and living in a pandemic year, which has impacted us all internally and externally. All of us can relate, and I’m thankful that I am self aware of my worry and how it got worse during this time so that I can take back control, live happier, and always be thankful for everything in my life :).
Remember that we all worry, and that it’s okay because our worries and anxieties do not define us. Rather, what defines us more is how we learn from our failures and environments, move forward in the face of adversity and challenges, and strive to improve everyday to be better to ourselves and others. For myself, I’ve found that immersing myself in community and surrounding myself with people who challenge me and inspire me has energized me to be a better me and take action rather than worry about things I cannot control.
Thank You Self Development Podcasts!
I enjoy listening to podcasts focused on building ourselves and careers and recently started listening to the Founder’s Journal Podcast by Alex Lieberman, Co-Founder and CEO of the Morning Brew. The episodes How to Build Your Tribe and How to Elevate Your Tribe resonated with me a lot because I look forward to being apart of more meaningful communities and continuing to develop meaningful connections and relationships in my life, especially after the pandemic year. I highly recommend giving these podcasts and the Founder’s Journal a listen. I especially love to in the morning when beginning my work day.
Your tribe is a combination of all things that you spend the most time connecting with — Personal 1:1 Connections, Communities, Role Models, and Content ~ Alex Lieberman, Co-Founder and CEO of the Morning Brew
In the rest of this Medium, I go through an exercise on paper to analyze my current tribe, look at how my current tribe aligns with my values and goals, and identify actions I can take to elevate my tribe going forward. I’m writing this introduction and reflection before I even fully went through the exercise, but I’m looking forward to learning form the experience and improving my everyday from it. As Alex puts it in the podcast, building our tribes intentionally and auditing it regularly “is the bedrock of being a fulfilled and successful leader,” helps us accomplish our goals, and helps us become the person we want to become.
THE EXERCISE: 2 Sheets of Paper.
My handwriting is not the neatest I apologize! However, please read on to see the value I got from this exercise.
Sheet #1: Your Current Tribe
On a piece of paper, I spent 10 minutes outlining my current tribe consisting of my 1-on-1 personal connections, virtual/physical communities, content I take in, and role models. I think I hit the major ones, but I would probably iterate on this if I were to do it again. Additionally, I divided these categories up by time (daily, weekly, monthly, and bi-yearly) since in our lives, we don’t interact with all of our tribe tribe equally and doing this helped me visualize potential areas of growth.
Sheet #2: Your Personal Values
On the second sheet of paper, I spent 10 minutes writing my values and connected them to my name circle. Our values are important to keep at the forefront of everything we do because of how important they are to us, how we desire to live our lives, and the impact we want to have → purpose, happiness, and fulfillment.
Here are key words and phrases I think of when each value comes to mind:
Challenge: Practice makes perfect; Build off the fundamentals; Apply my knowledge and learning in new ways; Make connections between things that may not be the most apparent; Think creatively & differently; Improve a little bit each day to reach my goals and then set new ones.
Growth: Embracing the learning journey and the process; Understanding that it is not always linear; Failing forward.
Contribution: To society; To give back and help others in need; To use my talents for others; To my family and people I care about.
Health: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, Environmental for myself and supporting those around me.
Integrity: Striving to do the right thing reliably and responsibly; Staying true to my values and the things I believe in and standing up for those things; Encompasses a lot.
Fun: In the little things; In learning about new things; In new adventures and experiences; In media; In nature; In friends; In family; In games + competition; In every aspect of life even work.
Curiosity: How can we do this better? Desiring to learn from others and taking advantage of those conversations to learn; Actively seeking to learn about new topics outside our areas of expertise; Taking advantage of new opportunities thrown our way.
Family: First! Always being there for those who have always been there for me, loved me, supported me; Having fellowship with a feeling of fellowship /with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals; Building communities.
Modifying Sheet #2: Connecting Your Current Tribe With Your Values.
Now, this is where this becomes fun, visual, and eye-opening. Analyzing our Tribe = Sheet #1 + Sheet #2. In this part of the exercise, assign members of your tribe on Sheet #1 to your values by writing them and connecting them to values on Sheet #2. This part of the exercise took about 20 minutes. Even though doing this made my paper a little bit messy and even less legible, that’s okay! The goal is to visualize which members of your tribe connect to your values and which do not! For example, for me, it didn’t feel natural to connect Social Media to any of my values, so I didn’t write it down. Therefore, I think this is valid reason to delete my Social Media apps from my phone sometimes so that I don’t use them on a daily basis. Making note of things like this is part of the point of this exercise.
Looking back on Sheet #1, I forgot a few members of my tribe and added some additions. In faint yellow sharpie, you can also see the newer elements of my tribe that have especially positively impacted my life this year in 2021.
Modifying Sheet #2 Again: Highlighting Unoccupied Areas as Opportunity to Elevate My Tribe
Analyzing the Tribe = Sheet #1 + Sheet #2 + Highlighting Areas that are Unoccupied. For the final part of this exercise, I took 5 minutes, used a red marker, and drew some blobs on the page to highlight areas of opportunity to elevate my tribe. Looking at my paper, I see a variety of areas of opportunity for me to elevate my tribe for specific personal values. Nice.
Looking at my paper after highlighting unoccupied areas within each value, I see areas of opportunity and growth for my tribe! For example, I found that there is room for me to be a bit more challenged by my tribe. Therefore, I’ll identify some actions I can take, content I can add, and connections I can make in order to create a tribe that challenges me more to help me grow, improve, and learn.
Final Step: Identify Actions to Take & JUST DO IT.
Reflecting on this exercise, I identified a few actions (I’m just brainstorming for now as this is a draft and I will make them more specific and actionable later) that I want to take to elevate my tribe consisting of my personal connections, communities I’m apart of, content I take in my mind, and role models for the remainder of this year!
- Find a new mentor or connect with an existing mentor who will challenge me on a monthly or bi-yearly basis.
- Find 2 more role models and spend time to understand their life path, voice, values, and how they align with mine so that I can truly say and explain why they are role models to me.
- Focus on my mental health a little bit more. Find something to do daily, weekly, or monthly to rejuvenate myself a bit in this area. When I wrote this, I still needed to hash out these next steps, but I just did The Six Morning Habits of High Performers on LinkedIn Learning and will be adding 10 minutes of intentional meditation to my daily routine! Why? When you sit in silence, it is scientifically proven that you will lower your stress, improve your clarity, and helps you gain new insights. Practice makes perfect, and I will intentionally do this and add it to my planner from now on. Rant over.
Finally, Reflecting on this Exercise & Reflection :).
Looking back on this exercise and on my accomplishments this past year, I’m very proud of myself and how far I have come! As Alex Lieberman put it at the end of the podcast, “One of the fastest ways to become your values (and reach your goals) is to surround yourself with a tribe that lives those values.” I have a good tribe, and I’m going to make it even better.
Thank you for reading! Once again, I highly recommend listening to the Founder’s Journal Podcast by Alex Lieberman and the episodes How to Build Your Tribe and How to Elevate Your Tribe and trying this exercise yourself! I’ll return to it and this Medium post in the future. Let me know if you have any thoughts or other podcasts or articles to read about related to this (or not).