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So far, the ORIGINAL three people, A, B, and C have been the only ones doing any triading. Where we have gotten to now is a tribal structure of 18 people in 16 triads with the ORIGINAL triad of A, B, and C at the center, as shown in the last post. I repeat it here for easy reference.

This is the LIMIT to what A, B, and C can do for building the tribe via the principle of triading people into the tribe across the opposite leg.

A, B, and C will have failed if they have not taught the new people in the tribe also to triad. That is, there is no way to continue building the tribe to the size that the authors of Tribal Leadership refer to as a tribe. The MAXIMUM number of people in your "non-tribe" created by three leaders A, B, and C triading new people in WITHOUT teaching them, too, to triad is LESS THAN the size of a "tribe" and cannot grow any bigger.

You can imagine that for each new person brought in who doesn't in turn triad new people into the tribe, there WILL be at some point a limit on how large your tribe can grow. However, if EVERY new person brought in starts triading new people in from the beginning (or after reading this), then the sky is the limit!

Here is what it would look like after A, B, and C, and then D, E, and F "maxed out" triading new people in across the opposite legs, and no one else after that had yet started triading.

And here is what it would look like after G, H, I, J, K, and L did the same thing without further people picking up the triading habit:

Thus, these last two diagrams suggest two further important points:

(1) If only a core group of people (of whatever size) triads new people into the tribe, there is a MAXIMUM size of tribe that will always get reached, and growth will stop.

(2) If you are building a tribe from scratch, the ORIGINAL three people -- A, B, and C -- MUST teach the next generation of people -- D, E, and F -- to triad or the tribe will stop growing, and this teaching needs to be picked up and run with BEFORE A, B, and C have maxed out the tribal expansion to 18 people in 16 triads.

This suggests that there is room for each generation of people triaded into the tribe to experience the power of triading being conducted around them before being expected to start triading a subsequent generation into the tribe.

(You would then have to make it clear that that is what there is for them to take on BEFORE expansion grinds to a halt.)

This would amount to optimizing the building of your tribe. You could thus train each incoming generation of triadees in maximizing their triading while training the people they triad in newly in the same two-pronged focus on triading people into the tribe while training them in turn to triad.

Symmetry would result from optimizing building your tribe from scratch in this way. If you don't care about optimizing the expansion of the tribe, then only SOME of the new people will pick up triading and max out their triads. The actual shape of the tribe would then be lopsided and asymmetric.

Either way, the living, growing life at the edges of the tribe of triads will allow for infinite expansion!

The LAST POINT to remember and keep present is that triading is done via conversations about core values and suggesting to the people being triaded together how they can contribute to each other given these shared core values.

So the game is to triad the next person in across the opposite leg based on core values!

The game is on!
So far, we have built a tribe of triads in the shape of a giant triangle with its corners missing. We have triaded together 12 people into nine triads. I repeat the image here:

Again, looking from the perspective of the ORIGINAL triad of persons A, B, and C, we find that they each have two choices of action, both of which can now be carried out in any order.

Here is what it looks like for A, B, and C to triad in two more people each, following the same principle I've been discussing called "triading a new person in across the opposite leg":

On the left above, you can see the two directions A, B, and C can now triad in their next two new people. On the right is the result of doing so -- a stable formation of 18 people and 16 triads.

This looks like A, B, and C have triaded together six incomplete hexagons around themselves at the center.

This DIFFERS from the diagrams used in the Tribal Leadership book showing a complete hexagon to represent Stage 4 and an array of connected hexagons to represent Stage 5.

If Stage 4 is represented by a hexagon of six triads containing six people configured around a seventh person in the center, this is nothing other than a squaring off the circle showing a Stage 3 leader at the hub of numerous dyadic relationships. This is shown below.

Actually, you could end up at the hub of a gazillion triads if you regarding triading as only connecting two people who previously were each in dyadic relationship to you at the hub. This, of course, would keep you in the overwhelm of Stage 3 time burn-out and defeat the point of triading.

This is shown here:

Obviously, the hexagon of six CONNECTED triads is NOT the same as the circle with you at the hub of DISCONNECTED triads. Disconnected triads keeps you at Stage 3. The trick is to triad the triads together.

The correspondence between the circle with you at the hub of dyads and the circle with you at the hub of triads pointed to something that seemed "off" to me every time I saw the diagrams of the structural differences between Stages 3, 4, and 5.

So I started looking for what actually would work and NOT result in having the person at the center be limited by the time-overwhelm that occurs in Stage 3.

As I said above, the result of taking Step 3 here is the shape of incomplete hexagons connected along the sides of the ORIGINAL triad of A, B, and C. Compare this with the inclination to build a larger triangle instead -- which can only be done by following a different principle than the one I am describing. This is shown below.

On the left above is how far we've gotten by ALWAYS triading the next person in across an opposite leg. It results in, as I have said, a tribe of 18 people in 16 triads. On the right, in contrast, you'd have to add a different principle to connect K and I who aren't across opposite legs from each other, thus creating a leg across which A can then triad in the next new person at the topmost tip of the triangle. This is OKAY, but not as efficient and doesn't include the possibility of always triading new people in who are taking work off YOUR plate. And the resulting triangle is smaller: Only 15 people in 16 triangles.

If you give up the attachment to triading in the way it was described in the book -- amounting to triading each new person into a triad with you and one other person vs. triading each new person into a triad with two others across the opposite leg, then you could have had three more people in your tribe for LESS work.

Way cool!

Step 2 in Optimizing Your Tribe of Triads

After you have built a stable triangle of four triads, what is the next step for the ORIGINAL threesome of A, B, and C? Each of them, if they continue to triad new people into the tribe across the opposite leg, is faced with two choices. This is easier seen by looking at one choice at a time.

In the lefthand diagram above, A triads a new person in across the opposite leg next to B -- i.e between B and newly-triaded-in person F (not labeled). B does the same across the opposite leg next to person C, and C repeats this same action across the opposite leg next to A.

The result is the diagram above on the right: The tribe now consists of nine people and seven triads.

A, B, and C then repeat the process and triad new people into the tribe across the opposite leg on their other side -- i.e. A triads in a new person next to, B introduces a new person next to A, and C puts some into the tribe next B. This is shown on the left below, with the resulting newly expanded tribe of triads diagrammed on the right below.

We now have a tribe of 12 people stablized into nine triads.

As mentioned earlier, the above two steps can be completed in any order, and at the outset, A, B, and C are faced with two options each. The diagram given below is thus a summary of what happens in what I am calling Step 2 in this process.

What you have created now is a much larger triangle of triads with the vertex triangles missing. Notice that G and L have not been triaded in with each other, nor have H and J or K and I.

One might think that this would be the next step, but it actually defeats the principle of optimizing the triading. A would have to triad K and I together first, and then add a person "above" them to complete the vertex. A could do this, given that A does actually know these two people already, but why do it when there's actually one more step that is even more efficient and follows the exact same principle as the first step and second step I have been discussing here.
I started combining the ideas from the 3rd Entrepreneurs' Call with John King in December (when Dave couldn't lead it, so John did) and the idea of shifting the culture of a tribe by building triads that we have been reading about in Tribal Leadership and listening to in the audio version of the book.

The distinction from the call with John was the following: If you identify all the roles that you have been filling/performing as an entrepreneur, and you want to build a Stage 4 tribe, then instead of creating Stage 3 "mini-mes", you would replace yourself in each of the roles with people who were actually better than you at each one, and thus free yourself up to continue to build the tribe into a Stage 4 or Stage 5 enterprise.

By replacing yourself with or building an expanding tribe of people better than you at the things you were doing, you could still do the things you loved to do, but you could be completely freed up to do other things than you've been stuck with doing because you were in Stage 3 and couldn't tolerate having people get better than you or be better than you.

So - I saw that the way to triad more and more people into your initial triad to expand the size and effectiveness of the tribe was to triad the next person into the tribe opposite to the perpendicular leg that you are at the vertex of. If you are person A, triaded with person B and person C, then given that the vertex is accountable for the quality of the opposite leg, then A is accountable for the quality of the relationship between B and C. If you are performing Role R and accountable to B and C for role R or working with B and C on Role R, then what there is to do is triad a new person, D, who is better than you at Role R, into relationship with B and C. By doing so, you can turn over accountability for Role R to person D, who is now accountable for role R or working with B and C on Role R, and you no longer have to do it.

This is different from how triading was described in Tribal Leadership. Instead of triading new person D into relationship with person B only, so that you're still in the triad, you triad the new person into a new triad with B and C, without you. In some ways, what you'd be doing is triading by "quadrading" two-dimensionally or by "tetrahedroning" three-dimensionally. You'd be accountable for the quality of the relationship between B, C, and D at the outset, but once that triad is stabilized through core values and project accountabilities (and the Noble Cause), B would be the accountable vertex for C and D, C for B and D, and D for B and C.

To do this most efficiently, A, B, and C could simultaneously find new people D, E, and F and triad them in to the opposite leg and you'd end up with a tribe of 6 people in a triangle of 4 triads instead of in a hexagon of 6 triads containing 7 people that looks like an angular version of you at the hub of 6 dyads -- i.e. much like the structure found in Stage 3.

As you can see from the diagram, if A triads in D opposite B and C, and the others do the same, you would end up with a stable triangle of four triads consisting of six people A, B, C, D, E, and F. A would have handed off Role R to D, and B and C would have done the same with other Roles with E and F.
In the Tribal Leadership Coaches Challenge, we have been randomly assigned to triads and are putting in structures to stabilize the whole tribe of triads at Stage 4.

What's next is for each of us to triad ourselves in with people in other triads, so that we become a tribe that is actually connected via triading - not just a tribe of unconnected triads working by ourselves. We're not going to have a stable Stage 4 tribe unless we're triading in more people.

If the vertex A is accountable for the quality of the relationship (based on resonant core values) between the people on the opposite leg (B and C), then one thing A can do is triad someone (person D) in on the other side of the leg, connecting B and C with D based on core values. If everyone takes this one, then A stabilizes B and C through D, B stabilizes A and C through E, C stabilizes A and B through F.

I drew a whole diagram of who to add next after A adds D, B adds E, and C adds F. A, B, and C can keep adding people to stabilize the opposite leg people. The most # of people A, B, and C can triad with in this way adds up to 18 people - not quite a tribe. But if anyone one person added (D, E, F, or the others up to the 18th) starts triading others into the growing tribe, then we can quickly get to a stable Stage 4 tribe.

I will take photos of my diagrams and add them to this journal later today.

The Tribal Leadership Coaches Challenge

I haven't written anything here in over a year, and now I'm finding plenty I want to write about.

In late November, I read the book Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King, and Hayley Fischer-Wright, and participated in a series of free coaching calls with Dave and John.

(You can order the book here: Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization)

I saw the value of the book and the calls and loved the whole idea of working with Strategy Maps in every area of my life. I brought the practices and the tools I was learning to The GP2 Project, and we started producing results at a much higher level immediately.

I wanted to learn more, and I was inspired by John's articulation of the community of coaches on the calls in December as a think tank, something which I have always aspired to be part of.

Excited by Strategy Maps, I created an Excel spreadsheet for creating Strategy Maps quickly and easily in a format that could be shared by others online via Google Documents.

(You can view a blank template of this spreadsheet here.)

Now I'm three weeks into the Tribal Leadership Coaches Challenge that includes nine weeks of coaching calls with John, weekly meetings in triads, and the completion of several prerequisites and weekly assignments.

The wonderful thing about Tribal Leadership is that it appeals to everybody. We have people in the Challenge as young as 19 and as old as 69 - maybe older! Because of this, here are two videos worth watching on Tribal Leadership just to see its appeal to different age groups and audiences:

Dave Logan on Tribal Leadership

Dan Brown on Tribal Leadership

Since the program started, I have had my mind blown on many levels, and am eagerly looking forward to what's next. And I'm going to use this journal here to share the process as those of us in the Challenge go through the process of stabilizing first ourselves as a tribe and then the tribes around us at Stage 4.

What do you think? What tribes do you belong to? What are the core values of those tribes?

Let me know!

Goals At Rushmore

I have several goals at Rushmore, only one of which is to bring myself up to date with what’s been done in RRG and NSM since I left school in 1995. My main goal is to complete my Doctorate in Business Administration, having launched a successful online business that gets physical products based on RRG and NSM out in the world in the hands of language learners. These products may be DVDs, CDs, podcasts, or board games. (I fantasize about a language learning board game of mine being distributed around the world through Starbuck’s.)

I also intend to make real in the world what one of my students in Japan specifically requested of me -- to give her and other Japanese learners of English a simple, powerful, and reliable – and (I add) scientifically replicable -- way of learning to think in English (or another language) on some kind of affordable, accessible handheld computer (PDA) while enduring the two- to three-hour train commute in and out of Tokyo each day. Once I have learned how to and have in fact delivered some kind of “Thinker’s English” to the Japanese market, I can expand my market to reach learners of English and Spanish in the US and -- later on -- learners of languages everywhere. The vocabulary will build up from NSM, and the grammar instruction will combine insights from NSM and the IRH, as ultimately fleshed out by my other advisor Robert Van Valin, Jr.’s., Role and Reference Grammar (RRG). My goal is to train people to think for themselves from these two ideas to learn what they need to learn to stay thinking in the new language.

At the same time, I need an income sometime soon, and I am fascinated by and taken with Timothy Ferris’ The Four-Hour Work Week, with board games that interrupt fundamental misconceptions about money (or other fields) like Robert Kiyosaki’s Cash Flow Game, and with the possibility of somehow translating my love for finding people on the Internet, for social networking (on Facebook especially), and for teaching others what I am learning as I’m learning it into a lucrative business for myself ASAP.

Why Rushmore? Because I can design my own program around exactly what I want to do and still have the space to explore the tangents, and because I can get top-notch business training at the same time as I ground myself in theory and develop applications from those theories in the areas I’m interested in. At the same time, I expect the Rushmore program, faculty, and staff to support me in making it past testing myself and my ideas and realizing my dream of making a real and lasting difference in the way people think about their own and others’ languages. In doing so, I intend to create a profitable business that allows me, my friends and family, and anyone who works with or for me to live comfortable, stress-free lives for the rest of our lives, and provides us all with the means and the inspiration to make a sustainable contribution to others and to society for generations beyond our own lives.

Getting my degree at Rushmore provides me with the opportunity to document what I am doing and what I am thinking, and have the process I go through in completing my program count. Rushmore allows me to write not only for my past and future students, but also for myself, and to write a book on my life and how I have come to learn to have my life count.

Influences: NSM

David introduced me to Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM), which his teacher Anna Wierzbicka and her colleagues have been researching for over 30 years:

[NSM researchers] have been attempting to discover, by trial and error lexical-conceptual analysis, the smallest set of basic concepts in terms of which all other words and concepts can be explicated; literally,“the simplest lexis of paraphrase and explanation.” (Goddard and Wierzbicka, 2007)

This “ultimate core mini-vocabulary” consists of the lexical equivalents of concepts such as do, happen, and say, which can be combined according to an “ultimate core mini-grammar” which, in turn, can be paraphrased using the core vocabulary. Together they amount to the “intersection of the set of all languages” (ibid.).

X does something
X does something to someone [patient]
X does something to someone with something [patient+instrument]

something happens
something happens to someone [undergoer]
something happens somewhere [locus]

X says something
X says something to someone [addressee]
X says something about something [locutionary topic]
X says: “ — — — ” [direct speech]

And David introduced me to an idea from anthropological linguistics called the Interclausal Relations Hierarchy which, in combination with NSM, changed the way I thought about languages and permanently altered the way I went about learning them and teaching them. Anything I want to say in my native language can be broken down into parts based on the meanings of the parts in relation to one another and the order in which they can (or must) be said. Grammatical patterns that are usually taught late in language classes can be taught from the beginning, as long as they are presented in terms of these patterns, so that learners even very early on in learning a new language come to experience the “high” of thinking in that language while in conversation with its native speakers.

That is, when I’m speaking another language, and there’s something I want to say, and I go to say it, but I don’t know how to say what I’m thinking in the new language, I can very quickly go from my complex idea to a sequence of simpler ideas that I do know how to say by paraphrasing the complex idea in simpler language.

For example, if I want to say, “ Show me how to input these words to the screen”, or “Help me enter these words into the computer”, I can quickly break down what I want to say into simpler and simpler language until I’ve found a way to say it in vocabulary I already know and grammar patterns (or “packages”) I already know how to use. If I’ve been studying in the usually way, with grammatically complex ideas taught last – or very late in language learning (e.g. the end of second year French) – or only very cursorily, without any goal to impart fluency on the part of the teacher – then it’s hit or miss whether I manage to say something intelligible to the person I’m speaking to. “How do I make these words go on the screen?” As if by magic? No – “by using a keyboard”. Using it how? “In this way” or “Like this”. “How do I keyboard these words to the screen.” How? With my hands, with my fingers, with the keyboard – it doesn’t matter, does it? I got my point across. And I might have been clearer if I said something like “I put these words on the keyboard, and they go on the screen.” No one would misunderstand me, however, if I said, ‘How do I say “I did something like this” ...’ while wiggling my fingers over an imaginary keyboard ... and went on to say “with my keyboard” and paused and then said, “... and because of that, these words came to be see-able on the screen” which I then pointed to. I might even point to my eyes while saying “see-able”. The person I’m speaking to will love that I’m using everything I can think of to get my point across and will usually come to my rescue and give me the words I’m missing: “Oh, you mean, they became visible on the screen!” or “Oh, you typed the words on the keyboard, and they showed up on the screen!” Wouldn’t you rather learn how to explain yourself and have others help you stay in the new language and give you new vocabulary while in the middle of a real conversation than have them switch to your language (those nice Parisians!) or feign incomprehension while you dig in your bag for a phrase book that doesn’t give you any examples even close to what you’re trying to say!?

Influences: David

I arrived at UC Davis for my first day of graduate school both scared to death and excited at the same time. Riding up by van pool in the morning, I walked across the parking lot to Sproul Hall and took the elevator to the top floor where I soon found the interdepartmental studies office where the Linguistics program was housed. After meeting the administrator there, I peeked into the tiny departmental library to the right of the counter and found a young man not much older than me with dark hair and a beard looking around at the books. When he greeted me in an Australian accent, I learned that, just as I was an incoming graduate student, he was an incoming faculty member, and that he was really nervous about starting the year, too. This man, four years older than me, in jeans and a t-shirt – a man with a wardrobe after my own heart – would turn out to be the single most influential teacher in my life. This was David, and the field he introduced me to was lexical semantics, the study of word meanings, and its relationship to and impact on grammar.

What can I tell you about what David taught me? Besides linguistics, David taught me to speed read. He taught me that my questions were good, and that there was no such thing as a stupid question, and that I could usually work out an answer to my own questions in dialogue with others and didn’t need to depend on him or others to answer them for me. David taught me to think. David taught me that, no matter how scared or nervous I was about whether or not I was qualified to teach, I knew more about languages and linguistics than any of the students in the introductory classes and that I could count on him if they did somehow manage to ask me a question I couldn’t answer. David taught me that it was okay to come and go from a field throughout my lifetime and that it was okay to leave a job if something didn’t work about it for you. David also taught me that mentors and landlords are human beings with human feelings, and that I should practice what I’m learning before I preach it.

David taught me that any idea can be paraphrased in simpler language and that just because we’re born and grow up in one language and culture doesn’t mean that the way we think is the only way people can think. David taught me Dwight Bolinger’s dictum that languages differ not by what people can say, but by what they must say. David taught me that I could love my teachers’ theories with a passion and apply them in any way I pleased, and that that still didn’t make them right, or good, or true, but that they could be beautiful, exciting, and fun.

Influences: Dad

When I was in the seventh grade, my family moved to Toledo, Ohio, after spending a year in England, and as usual started school late due to the timing of our move from California. I was assigned to all honors classes – one of the smart kids. Immediately, however, I found myself lost – with the other kids making mysterious calculations full of explanation points and no one referring to or even hinting at why the heck anyone would want to emphasis a seven (7!) or a five (5!) and what they might be intending by doing so! I recovered my head, and some months into the year, we moved from pre-algebra to algebra, and I was doing pretty well again.

One day, I took an algebra test and got my answer sheet back with 14 out of 15 marked wrong with red pencil and, having never failed a test before, stumbled home crying at the lunch break in my shame to my math professor Dad. Dad took one look at my answer sheet and asked me how I’d come up with my answers, and I said I’d done it all in my head. He said, “Oh!” and proceeded to get out a ream of lined notebook paper, lay it out before me, and suggest that from now on I should show every step of my work on paper, “even if it was as simple as 4 minus 3 equals 1”. He said that I should show all my work, no matter how trivial a step I thought it was, because then I’d be able to catch myself when I was making a mistake, or – when I didn’t – the teacher would be able to see that I’d gotten the whole set-up of the problem right and had “merely” made an arithmetic error instead of simply not understanding what was going on at all.

My Dad was certain – and he turned out to be right – that my teacher (and others thereafter) would give me partial credit for having shown my work. My Dad said that showing all my work was the secret to learning algebra, and, to emphasize his point, said that he would pay me a penny a page for each side of each sheet of paper that I used in my math homework for the rest of the year, so that I would learn to show all my work. Within three weeks, I had stopped making anything but arithmetic errors, and them only infrequently, and by the end of the year, I was at the top of my math class again.

This simplest of instruction from my Dad – “You can learn anything if you just show your work and do it step-by-step” – turned out to be one of the major lessons in my life, and I have often looked back admiringly on the places where my Dad, too, has applied this teaching to something non-mathematical like recorder-playing or Hungarian folk-dancing.