How to build a tribe
You build a tribe, family, and circle in your life by bringing other people into your frame, nurturing them, providing safety and security for them, and by building positive relationships and cooperative infrastructures into your life to facilitate a better life experience for everyone involved. This is a very leadership-oriented, team-focused affair. Building a successful tribe is crucial and important to the human instinct to survive and thrive.
Building a tribe as an alpha leader is a topic that’s not only often misunderstood, but that’s also pretty complicated.
However, it falls right in line with our alpha mandate to be leaders, to invest in others, and to foster better cooperative relationships that facilitate not just surviving, but also thriving for our friends, family, loved ones, and larger communities.
At the basis of the concept of tribe building is a fundamental evolutionary and human truth.
Humans are, by instinct, social and cooperative creatures.
In fact, this is exactly how we’ve achieved evolutionary success thus far as a species.
We learned to work together, watch out for each other, share resources, and cooperate.
In doing so, we’ve evolved and adapted to claim the mantle of dominant species on this planet—and we’ve done it by working together.
When we, as humans, work as a team and help each other—there’s really nothing we haven’t been able to achieve.
However, that doesn’t mean that tribe building is always automatically successful.
In fact, there are many humans in this world who are assembled into ineffective tribes that are administrated by ineffective leadership—tribes that are much less efficient (and thus, less healthy) than the ideal tribal infrastructure.
And you don’t have to travel very far into our recent past to uncover some pretty serious dystopian leadership atrocities (especially those orchestrated by minds like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao).
As a man who takes the leadership principles of the alpha mentality very seriously, I have a heart for this topic because I want to see humans living and thriving in tribes that actually work—and I wish to see an increase in tribal leadership that’s effective, empathetic, and focused on the important task of seeing each individual member of the tribe succeed.
But all too often, these important items are not given the attention that they truly deserve.
All too often, the vast majority of humans suffer from tribal and leadership infrastructures that more often turn to abuse, exploitation, and neglect than to nurturing, nourishing, and supporting.
All too often, the cost exacted upon humans for the ineffective tribes that they belong to is unfairly skewed toward those who hold the least power to orchestrate meaningful change.
All too often, humans fall to the mercy of unjust tribes and corrupt leadership.
Instead of being encouraged and supported to help them succeed, they’re used for the value that they provide until they’re run down, discarded, and cast aside—casualties of the machinations of power-hungry leaders, corrupt hierarchical structures, and tribal organizations that prioritize power, wealth, greed, and individual advancement over collective survivability, safety, security, health, and wellness.
Now, don’t get it twisted.
I’m not trying to make a political case for some kind of socialist utopia.
Far from it.
Actually, I’m a pretty big fan of individuality and capitalism.
And I believe very much in the power of the free market.
I also believe that every human in this world should be radically self-responsible and that they should take their own existence and success in life very seriously.
With that being said, I also believe that not every human is going to fall within the realm of the alpha mentality.
I also believe that those of us who do embrace the alpha mentality do so because we’re drawn to it because of something within us that also calls us to be natural leaders for our tribes and hierarchies.
Furthermore, I believe that it’s not only in our best interest, but also our responsibility to become the best leaders that we can possibly be, and to help create the healthiest, most sustainable tribes possible for those within our sphere of influence.
When humans are nurtured, nourished, supported, and cared for by the tribe and the tribal leadership—they tend to not only be more self-sustaining, but they also tend to give back even more to the tribal infrastructure.
And this value tends to far exceed the cost of the nurturing it took to help each individual to achieve an optimal state of wellness.
I know that when the members of my tribe, family, and circle are well cared for—and when I take radical self-responsibility for the care and nurturing of these individuals—they provide an undeniable return on that investment that truly far exceeds its cost (as long as the leadership provided is in alignment with successful alpha leadership principles, values, and standards).
I believe this to be a universal success principle that all alphas must study, practice, and embrace.
And in this blog post, I’m going to outline what I believe to be the 8 crucial phases of tribe building.
Keep in mind that we could fill volumes and volumes of books on how to engage successfully in each one of these phases.
This article will by no means be able to cover everything to a sufficient depth.
However, my hope is that this guide will help to give you an overview of the basic foundations of how to succeed in this endeavor of tribe building, while also communicating what I believe are some of the most important principles that we need to keep in mind when striving to be effective leaders and build successful, nurturing, and empowered tribes of our own.
Remember, an alpha’s power, status, and potential effectiveness in life can never exceed the sum value of their tribal resources and success.
We can, and should, strive to become powerful alone.
However—true legacy-building alpha power will always come from the alpha’s ability to successfully build and nurture an effective tribe.
So let’s dive into it, and talk about how this is accomplished.
The 8 Phases Of Tribe Building
1. You Start Out In Life As A Member Of A Tribe
When you’re born into a family, you’re not yet a leader.
You’re a member of the tribe, and your family probably has a leader—either your mother or your father, or a combination of the two of them.
And for most people, this is how it starts.
You’ll also start out your journey in different parts of life being a member of a tribe as opposed to being a leader.
This is the natural way of things. You need to learn what it means to be a good follower before you can hope to become a great leader.
- You’ll probably be an employee before you own your first business.
- You’ll probably play a sport as a player before you become a coach.
- You’ll probably attend school as a student before becoming a teacher.
This is good.
- You start at the bottom.
- You learn to develop yourself.
- And you work your way up.
This is what self-improvement looks like.
This also encapsulates the alpha mandate to level up mind, body, and spirit—always seeking to become 1% better every day—always striving to become your own best version of yourself.
2. Eventually, You Set Out On Your Own
At some point, every alpha will reach a point where they will disengage from some of the crucial tribal hierarchies of their life that they ‘grew up’ in to embark upon their own mission and purpose in life.
This happened for me, for example, when I quit my job back in 2009 to become a freelance writer.
It also happened when I moved out of my parents’ house and got my own place.
At first, you won’t necessarily be a leader—or even engaged in the process of building your own tribe—at least, not quite yet.
There’ll likely be a period of time in every human’s life when they will probably live and act as a lone wolf.
They may still be plugged-in as members in various different tribal infrastructures in their life… but they will not yet be leading.
For example—after I moved out of my parents’ house, before I got married, my life was that of a lone wolf. I was a ‘tribe of one.’
There’s nothing wrong with this.
In fact, this is a stage of life to be embraced.
As humans, we can learn a lot from solitude.
This shouldn’t be the end result, but it can, and will, serve as a useful period of growth and transition wherein you learn crucial lessons that you’ll carry with you as you begin your own leadership journey.
We should truly learn to master ourselves before we can ever hope to successfully lead anyone else—and this process is best started in the phase of life where you embark on your own, alone, as a lone-wolf for the very first time
3. Once You Create Your Own ‘Life’ For Yourself, You’re Effectively A Tribe Of ‘1’
At some point, you’ll probably realize that you’ve been on your own for long enough—and you’ll be ready to settle into some kind of normal plan for achieving your overall purpose in life.
For example, when it came to my work, I drifted a lot in my own creative endeavors—not quite sure what I wanted to do—until I came to the realization that I wanted to start writing and podcasting about masculinity, dating, attraction, and eventually the alpha mentality.
In many ways, I’m still operating as a lone wolf in this endeavor, since I haven’t brought on any employees or hired any additional help.
With that being said, I did organize and facilitate a private community for a while.
And when people started to join that community, the project turned into its own social infrastructure.
In many ways, this was, in itself, a small tribe that grew out of the remnants of my solo journey—the journey of me trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to have a positive impact on the world.
See, hierarchies are very fractal.
For example, my family consists of my two kids, my extended family, my girlfriend, her kids, and my cat.
At this point, I don’t live with any of them (except for my cat).
In that sense, I’m still a tribe of ‘one’ in the context of my home.
But in the context of my life and family relationships, I’m a part of a much larger family/tribe that combines many different parts into a complex conglomeration of people.
And I’m the connecting point for those people.
But the basic point of this step is really this.
At some point, you’ll become aware of the fact that you should probably begin the process of building a tribe for yourself.
This will usually happen when you’re ready to start a family, and/or when you’ve decided on the purpose of your journey, when you’ve decided to embark on the hero’s arc, or when you decide to do something like start a company, launch an organization, etc.
At first, your tribe may begin as a tribe of one—just you.
But when people begin to join you in your journey, that’s when your tribe will begin to grow.
And that’s when you’ll need to start practicing the art of leadership—to help nurture and grow your tribe.
To learn more about how to be a leader, you can read this guide: How To Be A Leader – 21 Alpha Leadership Qualities That Truly Matter.
To learn about leadership practices that’ll make you an even more effective leader, read this guide: 13 Leadership Practices That Make You More Attractive & Effective.
4. Once Other Members Start Joining Your Tribe, You Must Take On The Responsibility Of Leading Others
Leadership is a crucial and complicated thing to learn.
In many senses of the word, leadership is a lost art amongst the vast majority of people in our modern society.
Personally, I’ve learned a great deal about how to be an effective leader by reading/listening to the works of men like Jocko Willink—especially his book Extreme Ownership.
I actually believe that he’s probably one of the foremost wisest authorities on leadership in our modern world.
At any rate, it’s crucial that you continue to learn about leadership.
You should be reading books about it, listening to podcasts about it, reading memoirs of other great leaders, and just in general studying the science of how to get people to work together and thrive as a group.
Another person that I would seriously encourage you to study is Frans De Waal.
He wrote the book Mama’s Last Hug, which is a book that I would definitely recommend that you read if you want to learn about the true meaning of alpha leadership.
At the end of the day, the truth is simple.
If you become a capable, high-value alpha leader in your life, your tribes will grow, flourish, and succeed.
If you struggle in this, or you become an ineffective leader, your tribes will struggle to grow.
They’ll end up stifled, restricted, and less effective.
Or even worse—they may fail and fall apart altogether.
5. At Some Point, You’ll Probably Start Your ‘Home Tribe’ By Bringing On An Intimate Partner
On this platform, I talk a lot about the process of dating, mating, and engaging in intimate relationships.
Here’s the thing.
Humans evolved to pair bond with one another.
And in these pair-bonding relationships, they often engage in sexual intimacy and procreation.
And this is really the beginning of the human family tribal unit.
This will serve as a baseline starting point for your own home tribe.
At some point, if you’re a man, you’ll probably want to find a high-value woman, date her, bring her into your life to become your girlfriend, and maybe even get married and have children with her one day.
And if you’re a woman, you’ll probably, at some point, want to engage in this process as well. You’ll want to eventually find a great man to marry—a man to team up with you in life as a husband, and as a father to your children.
And hopefully, the two of you can work together, create amazing children, and start building your own family unit and tribe.
This is another complex topic that I could fill volumes of books about, and there’s no way to explain all of the important nuances and complexities that you need to know in order to do this effectively in just this one blog post section.
However, I will say this.
The person you choose as your intimate partner—the person you choose to start your home tribe with—will have a massively profound impact on the overall quality and success of your life.
Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that you choose this person well.
This is why it’s so important to learn how to date effectively, how to vet partners, and how to find high-value people to engage with on the dating marketplace.
This is also why it’s so crucially important to level up your own dating marketplace value metrics—so that you can attract high-value partners to start this tribe with.
To learn more about my dating system, read this guide: How To Master Your Dating Life – The Complete Guide.
People who fail to date successfully often end up with a subpar intimate partner (or sometimes, with no partner at all). And thus, they end up with a subpar relationship experience in life.
And eventually, this leads to an off-kilter tribal infrastructure that eventually winds down and spirals into chaos.
This is exactly what happened in my life back in 2017, when my marriage ended in divorce.
The fact of the matter was that I never learned how to be a high-value man—a true, powerful leader, or a true alpha.
And as a result, the entire tribe that I tried to start by getting married and having kids ended up failing in a heartbreaking divorce.
Thankfully, I learned from it and was able to rebuild my life.
But this just goes to show how important it is to get this step right.
If you really want to have a successful family, just like any other hierarchy, a family needs a strong leader.
They need to be nurtured, protected, provided with security, and encouraged to be successful in their own destinies.
Do not neglect to learn how to be a strong capable alpha for your family.
This is true for men and for women.
And honestly, kids thrive a lot better when they have both parents in the home.
So it is absolutely in your best interest to have a successful pair-bonding relationship, where your marriage doesn’t end in divorce—and wherein your children can have both parents available as they grow up—and thus. enjoy their best possible odds for success as they grow up and forge their own pathways in life.
6. Now, It’s Time To Continue To Grow Your Tribe, Circle, And Empire
Once again, hierarchies and tribes are fractal.
For example—my family is a tribe.
I also have a circle of friends, and that’s another tribe.
I also have business contacts—and that’s another tribe.
When you go to church, that’s also a tribe.
When you show up for work, your workplace is its own tribe.
With that being said, these are all extensions of your own tribal social dynamic to some extent or another.
And of course, the alpha mentality demands that we always strive to be the best man or woman in the room within these tribes.
In other words, we want to rise to the top of the hierarchies within our tribes.
With that being said, I generally break the idea of tribal hierarchies down into three different types of tribes.
The different types are as follows.
1. Growing Your Base Tribe
The word ‘tribe’ really means a social collective of humans who are working together toward some common purpose.
With that being said, when I use the word ‘tribe,’ I generally use it to mean your base family unit.
This includes your intimate partner, your children, maybe your brothers and sisters, maybe your parents, and maybe even extended family.
As you get older, it may also mean your children’s children, their partners, your grandchildren’s partners, etc.
If we’re fortunate, and if we do a good job of being strong alpha leaders for our families—and if we embrace the foundational tenets of powerful alpha mentality leadership, then we can grow our tribes to be strong, healthy, and successful.
This will help you to proliferate your genetic legacy, and to create a family that will really leave their own mark on the universe—and their own legacy in time.
This is truly a great blessing. And it’s something that every alpha should strive for.
2. Growing Your Circle
I generally use the term ‘circle’ to describe a tribe of close friends and colleagues who may not necessarily be related to you by blood—but who are important fixtures in your life.
Your ‘circle’ could be made up of important friends and colleagues whom you can trust to vent to, socialize with, and share in life with.
As strong, powerful alphas, we should keep our circle stocked with high-value men and women who will challenge us, motivate us, inspire us, support us, and encourage us to always do our best.
And in return, we should be ready and willing to step up and do the same things for them.
When you have a circle of high-value people in your life with whom you can forge truly nurturing relationships, the results will be noticeably and massively beneficial.
Everyone needs good friends and colleagues in their corner.
Don’t neglect this vital aspect of tribe building.
3. Growing Your Empire
I use the word ‘empire’ in this context to define the reach of your business and/or purpose project.
In the future, when I hire people to help me run my business, those people will be a part of my empire.
It’s also true that you’ll bring other people into your tribe on the business or purpose side of the equation who may not necessarily be your employees, but who will still play a vital role in the tribal infrastructure of your empire, who would also be included by definition in this group.
If you have a business, your biggest client who’s responsible for the majority of your contracts and income would doubtlessly be considered a prominent figure in the growth of your empire and the hierarchies within it.
As alphas, we should always be focused on growing and expanding our empires in this world.
We should be striving to become the successful, powerful leaders that our tribes require us to be.
And we should seek to always better ourselves so that we can continue to grow our sphere of influence, pursue our purpose to accomplish our mission, and leave a lasting legacy of greatness in the world after we’re gone.
7. Create Safety And Security, And Give Back To The Community
In other words…
This is the part of the tribe-building process that a lot of fake alphas overlook.
See, the truth of the matter is that there’s an adaptive, evolutionary reason for why humans arranged themselves into tribes to begin with…
Because they’re hardwired to find their greatest potential for safety, security, and means for survival.
See, at the end of the day, humans join tribes and assimilate into social groups because they want to survive and thrive.
And successful, thriving tribes, families, and communities take this into account to provide the necessary infrastructure to make it more likely to happen.
As an alpha, it’s crucial that you understand the value of giving back to your tribal community.
A lot of people try to build communities for selfish reasons.
And as a result, these communities always struggle to grow and succeed.
By contrast, the tribes and communities that are focused first on helping their members to survive and thrive are the ones that tend to see the best results.
These are the tribes that grow, become self-sustaining, and become truly capable of achieving even bigger, better things for everyone involved.
This is true regardless of whether you’re starting a family, starting a business, starting a church, coaching a basketball team, starting a book club, or doing anything that involves bringing humans together for community and cooperation.
As an alpha, it’s always in your best interest to prioritize giving and providing before receiving or taking.
It’s always in your best interest to prioritize providing nurturing, support, and value for your tribe’s members before you profit or benefit in any way from the tribal infrastructure.
When you follow the simple formula of giving before you plan to receive, this will help you to make your tribal infrastructures stronger and more successful than ever.
8. Continue To Expand The Borders Of Your Empire
Once you establish a fully functional, self-sustaining, thriving, successful tribe, family, business, or community—it will be time to build upon that infrastructure to expand not only your success, but also your positive influence in the world.
Generally, this is accomplished by expanding the borders of your empire and the success of your business—and by incorporating members of your tribe into that process alongside you.
I believe that we have an alpha mandate to create positive change in the world.
To learn why I believe this, read this post.
Sometimes, the best way to succeed at this is to continue to apply yourself to do the very best job you can at growing the borders of your empire in a sustainable fashion—so that you can create bigger change not only for the members of your tribe, but also for the rest of the world at large.
Why Is Building A Tribe Important?
Building a tribe is important because humans need healthy, thriving communities within which to survive and succeed.
We never evolved to be solitary creatures, and a singular human alone and on their own in this world is most certainly going to face a tougher experience than humans who band together to form bonds of friendship and cooperation.
The tribal infrastructure is really a cornerstone of evolutionary human adaptation and survival.
Embracing The Crucial Responsibility Of Leadership As An Alpha
As an alpha, it’s crucial that you take up the mantle of leadership for your own tribe, circle, family, empire, and community.
Alphas must learn to be effective leaders.
There is no compromising on this.
You cannot call yourself ‘alpha’ without also synonymously acknowledging that you have a great responsibility to learn to be the most capable leader you can possibly be.
This isn’t always an easy thing.
Leadership is a very complex subject—and one that takes years to learn about and master.
However, the fact of the matter is that a tribe will only be as good as the quality of its leadership.
A great leader can help to create an amazing tribe from virtually nothing—whereas, a poor leader could take a tribe with the potential for greatness and absolutely destroy it.
The Tribe Building Differences For Men And Women
Here’s the truth of the matter.
Both men and women can be alphas.
Both men and women are capable of being effective leaders.
Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, if you truly wish to embrace the alpha mentality, it is incumbent upon you to learn how to lead effectively.
Once again, this is non-negotiable.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, you have a responsibility to become the best leader that you can possibly be, in order to lead your tribe to success and teach them to thrive to the greatest extent possible.
In fact, this is true even if you’re not necessarily the top leader.
This is also true if you’re a member of middle management, if you lead a smaller subset of members of the tribe, and/or if you only have a responsibility over some tribal infrastructures.
Those infrastructures, even though they may only be a portion of the greater infrastructure—are still important. And while you’re in charge, they are your kingdom to manage with wisdom—and this is still a great alpha responsibility.
With that being said, it’s also true that men and women bring different strengths to the table as far as leadership is concerned.
This isn’t to say that one or the other is better in leadership.
It’s simply to say that men and women should embrace their most potent strengths, while also taking great care not to let their weaknesses detrimentally affect their ability to lead.
It’s also in a person’s best interest to study their strengths and weaknesses in regard to their masculinity or femininity—so that they may equip themselves with the proper training and tools to increase their leadership effectiveness.
Books To Help You Learn How To Build Your Tribe Like A True Alpha
By Jordan B. Peterson
An amazing book that would be helpful to any human who wants to start succeeding in life in all of the ways that matter the most.
By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
If you want to level up in the areas of leadership and radical self-responsibility, this book is an absolute alpha MUST READ.
By Sun Tzu
This book is truly a MUST READ for every alpha, due to the practical and strategic life wisdom that it contains. It’s relevant for combat, business, and any other endeavor that requires you to think through a strategy to achieve victory.
By Frans De Waal
If you want to understand your emotions and utilize them to help you succeed in life, then this book is a MUST READ.
By Vanessa Van Edwards
Every alpha must learn how to be charismatic – and this book is a MUST READ due to how well Vanessa Van Edwards teaches these skills within it. If you want to master your own charisma and level up your ability to succeed with people, this book is crucial!
By Vanessa Van Edwards
Every alpha must learn to understand the importance of body language – both how to appropriately read it and project it. This is crucial for business, dating, relationships, and leadership. And for that, this book is a MUST READ.
By Barack Obama
Barack Obama may have been a somewhat controversial figure – but I feel that the leadership insights to be gleaned from his personal leadership style are VERY alpha – making this a MUST READ for any alpha who wants to understand how to be a caring, empathetic leader.
I hope that this blog post has given you some useful information on the topic of tribe building.
This isn’t an altogether simple concept.
And as you’ve probably correctly observed, this guide only really touched on the major outline points of the greater process.
At best, this guide could help to serve as an introduction to some of the more intricate details of what it truly means to build a tribe as a successful alpha.
However, this is a crucially important process that we must not overlook.
And the reason for this is simple.
We, as alphas, should want humans to survive and thrive to the best of their ability—and to see all humans partake of the safety and security that they need to accomplish that.
And as alphas, we have the power and the responsibility to help make that a reality.
The burden is on our shoulders, ladies and gentlemen.
It is the alphas of the world who must stand up and take responsibility for this very important mandate.
That’s all I’ve got for this one.
Go with grace, and never give up your power.
Joshua K. Sigafus