The Modern Tribe – How To Sharpen Your Tribal Instincts To Lead In Modern Society

In the olden days, when civilization was strictly hierarchical, a man’s value and status was determined by his lineage or how he could ascend to the top. There were many problems with this, namely bloodshed, foul plays, manipulations, and nepotism. However, it did serve a purpose to bring order and structure to tribes. Those leaders who seemed to be just and competent were able to expand their civilizations and gather much resources (and vaginas).


However, these days, especially in more demographic settings, such outright thirst for power and resource only signals neediness and weakness. What happened? What changed? More importantly, what must the modern man become to lead his modern tribe to the promise land?


In essential, my argument is that neither good nor bad, the evolution of a freer society will necessitate a man to use age-old intuitions to shape the new world according to his standards and values. He does so by defining what his modern tribe means to him, and to sharpen and channel his aggression to protect and further its influence.


What is the modern tribe?


We are primitive-thinking beings living in a technologically driven world. Although we surround ourselves with technology and would like to believe that our days walking the plains of Africa are far behind us, the truth is that our brains still contain beliefs and impulses of those days. The more we try to repress this, the more troubling they become to us. The more we distract ourselves with frivolous activities, the more depressed we become.


The answer is not to abandon technology altogether (though some have taken this extreme route). The answer is to realize that technology is a tool used for us to express our purpose. So then this expression of purpose becomes the core of what I define as the modern tribe. This tribe is not defined by a set of particular physical traits, or physical boundaries, or by our chosen names.


This tribe is defined by our ideas and how we carry them from inception to fruition.

Who belongs to your tribe?

The modern tribe

Through this purpose, and all the trials and tribulations that it, and you, will go through, that your intuitions as a modern leader will sharpen and harden into a set of true personal power that you can use to influence others. Who are the others? They are those who hold and cherish the same values and ideals as you do. They deserve to be protected and taken care of by you. They serve your purpose just as you serve their well-being. They give you something to live for, and if necessary, to die for.


Understand that the modern tribe is constantly in flux according to new information and ideals. However, your core set of values will remain constant and hardened. At the outer edges of this tribe, there are the people who share hobbies and interests with you. They interact with you in a fairly regular basis, but at a low amount of engagement. At the middle layer of your tribe, those who labor alongside you, but don’t necessary share all of your visions and objectives. They are here because your interests overlap with them for the time being. Once that change, they will no longer be there.


At the core, the most devout people who believe in you and your beliefs sit. These people are often not who you grew up with or share a demographics with at all. They may come from an entirely different set of circumstances. However, they share a common set of values and beliefs with you. Robert Greene remarked in his book the 50th Law that he and 50 cent share more ideals and visions than anyone of his other close associates ever will. Your job in life is to seek out these people and work tireless with them.


What does it mean to be a leader?


Through my years of schooling, university, and even a job at a top consulting firm, no one has been able to concretely describe to me what a leader truly is. Not until I got into Game that it became overly clear to me than a leader is someone who seeks moments of danger and overcomes his fears through them. There are other traits and qualities, such as confidence, charisma, vision, etc., but I can always argue that these qualities are developed through the constant facing of one’s own vulnerabilities. The thrill of overcoming one’s own fear is so exhilarating that it injects pure adrenaline and endorphin to the brain, creating feelings of fearlessness and untold personal powers.


The leader of the modern tribe needs to have the initiative and authority, which comes from the Latin word author, which means to create ideas, to seek out challenges and overcome them. Without it, he is simply an empty throne. This is true today as it was hundreds of years ago. To breathe meaning and life into your purpose, you must embody it every day and every moment. Any lapse in consciousness and others will find a way to attack it. Or worse, your own mind will find a way to subvert through a myriad of distractions and procrastinations.


What do we worship?


Whether or not you subscribe to a religious belief, your brain is wired to find something to worship. Even when religious icons and dogmas fade, new brand symbols and mottos will drive you to value them even more than life itself. Instead of resisting this desire, which becomes a form of worship itself (think of the anarchy symbol), you can create and channel this desire into a positive and self-fulfilling one.


Think of the goddess Athena. She embodies wisdom and stoicism in how we face our challenges and enemies. She is a worthwhile ideal to worship if your values align with hers. The matter of fact is that every tribe will need some sort of symbol or ideal to worship. And as the de facto priest, you will need to be careful on how you craft this form of worship. People (including yourself) always need something to believe in, something to fight and sacrifice for, so why not make this symbol a positive and truly transcendent one?


What is your brand and icon?


In this modern tribe, where every aspect seems chaotic and changing, you need to have a brand and symbol to strive for. To expand your sphere of influence, you will need to be an entrepreneur without the bloodshed or greed. You will need to lobby and hustle. You will need to defend and challenge. You will to grow and suffer a little bit because of it. Actually, make that a lot of suffering. They don’t call it a passion for no reason.


In the true entrepreneurial spirit, you will seek out new ideas and people to invest in. Seek out those who share the same values and styles as you. This is the hardest but the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur in the new world.


What about the feminine?

The modern tribe

As you channel all the forces of conscious to create and define your modern tribe, which can be liken to a masculine force (defined by logic and consciousness), there will be positive and negative feminine forces which encourage but also damage your ship. Feminine forces are defined by those that are free flowing without rhyme and reason. These forces are very attractive for highly and truly masculine forces. However, without proper management, these forces can also be damaging. (Just as the wind can propel a sailboat, it can also create waves to knock it down).


The best approach to this force is to establish clear values and boundaries for them to flow into and around. The positive forces will propel and inspire you, while the negative forces will simply flow around and away from you.


I speak of the feminine force in general (instead of women) because these forces can also come in the form of other irate and irrational men. They exhibit lack of consciousness and self-control, and their needs will pull you along and destroy your ideals if you are not careful.


Why should you establish your modern tribe?


As Dr. Nathaniel Branden stated in his book, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem,


A life without purpose is hardly one worth living.


As you work to find a sense of purpose and meaning to your days, you will find that you need help from others as well as well to lead others to do the same. These desires are not by chance. This is how men have learned to lead and cooperate with others through centuries of evolution. Naturally, this mind melt creates a sort of tribe (or cult, in some extreme religious ideals). These tribes were divided between geography, and consequently, similar physical features.


However, in the modern days, to overcome modern challenges and establish a sense of purpose that we all need to live fulfilling lives, we will form virtual tribes and niches. Ultimately, however, every man will be his own tribe, his own brand, and his own set of values. Though he may share it with others and encourage them to do the same, he alone must face his demons and depend on no one else to do it for him.


That is what it means to live in a modern tribe, and become a modern man.



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I am an enthusiast of life, women, and speed. I love to discover the science and technology of living well. Writing is my purpose in life. I hope what I discover and write about help others as my favorite writers have inspired me.
  • Mike

    So, my biggest problem is that I don’t feel like I have a “tribe”, and I’m not sure how to go about conquering one. I feel like some others that can sense my charisma are often put off by it, and will try to act dominant just to be dicks. It’s easy for me to associate with almost any man, by virtue of speaking the right lingo, but that doesnt necessarily mean I want to include him in my pursuits. It’s hard to destinguish who to let on the life raft and who is dead weight sometimes. I do like the idea of something that is an empowering image to help focus our attention on where it is we are going and what we are going to acheive. I know that leadership has alot to do with our presentation to others, standing out and captivating them when things are troublesome, to take the reigns. As someone looking to interact and meet people in public I struggle with who it is that I want to include and how to spot them. Interested if there are cues to what I should look for, eather than people that just have big entourages.

    • You know what Mike, I really like Quan’s writings because most of the time he tries to do what he mentions in his description. He helps himself through helping others. This is a remarkable ability.

      Recently, while in pursuit of my own tribe, I was facing the same challenges you mention in your comment. What I was doing wrong however was that I was constantly evaluating others’ actions only from my perspective. I was judging what was right and wrong, only through my own prism and I was never trying to understand the reasoning behind their actions.

      That changed when I stumbled upon the 5th habit of highly effective people, mentioned in the book “7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey.

      “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

      That small but impactful sentence changed my strategy completely. Instead of wasting time trying to evaluate what my brain was urging me to feel based on my perception, I tried to understand others actions by understanding their roots. A bad mood for example might be the result of a really bad recent experience the other person had but he never disclosed to you. A provoking humor might have its roots in the way this person was raised and his cultural environment.

      Whatever the case, when some of those reasons were revealed to me I became more empathetic and at the same time more conscious of my own actions. I could evaluate better what I really wanted from them and what they can really give back. You can never expect from others the world. But if you can get them to offer even a fraction of their own world, you can call yourself a Leader.

      • Mike

        I think you are exactly correct, alot of times i am worried about what others are percieving and not what they are actually doing. When I realize that most people are focused upon only their own little world, I end up limiting myself by trying to fit into that percieved reality. I think it is important for me to take a much bigger view on my own habits that will lead me to happiness and success. In your above comment about the quote “seek first to understand and then to be understood,” came in to a direct situation for me today. I went to get coffee and i could tell that the barista was just in a bad mood, but rather than thinking, “it must be me,” i just decided to think she’s probably busy and overwhelmed. so i gave her a compliment and that elicited a little smile from her, which in turn probably ended up making both of our days better. I think this also showed a genuine interest where i wasn’t looking or needing any validation, but to brighten someones day. You and Quan have recommended some geat books, Im going to have to get busy on my reading!

        • The barista move was perfect. It shows extreme levels of situational awareness and it resulted to an elicitation of happy feelings from both sides. I will upload a list of great books in 3 weeks from now so stay tuned!

    • Your feedback is exactly the ideal I try to convey in my article. Too often, we imagine leaders as people who are popular or appointed by some authority. I find that this is hardly the case when it comes to times when they are challenged. And challenges come from all directions in life where you least expect them. In these times, leaders who are not well grounded and strong willed will always falter and try to cover up that fact. The true leaders are the ones who not only seek these moments, but also rise to the occasion by embracing their vulnerabilities.

  • “The best approach to this force is to establish clear values and boundaries for them to flow into and around. The positive forces will propel and inspire you, while the negative forces will simply flow around and away from you.”

    I love this statement because it reminds me how important leadership/values/beliefs can be when in an interaction with a woman and trying to hold frame. There is absolutely no chance that you can establish frame control without a strong belief system that resonates with your leader-identity.

    Also don’t think that the negative forces will flow around and away from you so easily. I have experienced situations where being the leader is not always the most enjoyable thing. People can feel extremely intimidated and get obsessed with the idea of constantly questioning your abilities. Social Intelligence is extremely useful when it comes to identifying them and their intentions.

  • Henry Coppens

    To me leadership is about inspiration. If you inspire someone, you clearly lead them to doing what caused the inspiration. You did something that they liked and want to follow. You rang a bell in someone’s head , said / did something that they agreed with, could identify with, made a lot of sense to them, you made them feel great, made them realise something they were unaware of before, empowered them, or whatever. Most importantly, you took them out of their present state of mind, and put their minds onto another better place. When you do this you have people eating out of your hand. But here is the challenge. This all must be to the good, advancing, uplifting, improving etc., not for ill intent, personal aggrandisement, self satisfaction etc. Hitler was an excellent leader but…..


    • Henry, I tend not to discuss about morality in my articles, since I believe that it’s up to each individual man to determine this for himself. I also have a healthy skepticism for anyone who preaches morality over practicality. That said, you’re absolutely right that leadership starts from within. The fire from within is the alchemy that transforms ideas from merely words to actions that matter. That and strategy.

  • Logan Gardner

    What I find so interesting about this article is the relationship between the ideas of leadership and the male ego. So often, when I try to bring people into my proverbial tribe, I feel them resist and pull away from the idea of being led. I think that, as a culture, we’ve been conditioned to strive for individuality so much so that we’ve come to view any attempt by another male to assert himself as toxic. I feel like a lot of men in our society have come to think of themselves as tribes of their own to such an extent that what you’re suggesting might come off to some as “trying too hard.”

    But, by the same token, I love the idea. It’s kind of like a little game within a game, where everyone is lifting each other up and rooting for each other. Any man who isn’t insecure should be able to clearly see the value of having a group like this to support them in the cold world in which we live. When searching for members to grow my tribe, my main criteria is to find openminded, creative, and loyal individuals who don’t take themselves too seriously to play along with the game of the group. As I find to be true everywhere in life: attitude is everything.

    • Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.. 😉

    • It might just be that, like with women, we just have to learn to be more passionate, controversial, and polarizing to the people around us. The object is less about to get others to join our cause, and more about finding the ones who really want to.

      This can’t just be about behaviors though, since as humans we are very adept at emulating and faking behaviors to fit in or get others to like us. It has to be coming from an enduring set of values that are shaped and tested in our every day lives.

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