How Wolf Pack Dynamics Influenced My Career in Building Better Future Communities (Part 1)
Happy Sunday fellow wayfinder!
A little late this time due to Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) activities in Mexico, but didn't want to lose that streak cycle!
Last week, we looked at 7 Community Management Lessons from Ancient Mongol Tribes. This week, we look at how wolf packs influenced my career in building communities, and how you can use some of the lessons to steer your own.
Let's dive in.
PS. Remember you can view last week's worth of premium posts at the end of the newsletter.
Over my years building communities from coworking spaces to fintech enterprises to blockchain associations, I’ve found that social hierarchies almost always naturally form, regardless of the systems applied.
And it's something seen in wolf packs as well.
During the 2010s, there was a lot of business focus on something called agile-scrum. This methodology emerged from software development as a way to make traditional, waterfall-style management more “agile.”
Under the Agile Manifesto, part of the aim was to remove bottle-kneck middle managers. Thus turning teams or companies into more “flat” organizations.
This resulted in shared diagrams like the one below:
But although the visuals changed, the reality was that pyramid shapes simply re-oriented people into layers of circles. So instead of the C-Suite being at the top of the pyramid, they were now in the center of the circle.
In both scenarios, the leaders were still the most important. A lot of social hierarchies form in a similar fashion. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
A Time To Kill
Wolf packs taught me that there is a time for pyramidal structures and a time for flatter ones.
When a pack is on “the hunt” (i.e. pursuing a goal), hierarchies help give everyone a sense of order, purpose, and clarity.
In the 1996 film A Time To Kill, this distinction between knowing when to take one action over another can be likened to knowing when to use a hierarchy over when to not.
Hierarchies aren't bad per se, because they naturally form in nature, and wherever humans come together in larger numbers.
But when wolf packs aren't hunting, the hierarchical structure can break apart so that everyone is more at ease.
The issue is often less about the type of structure (e.g. waterfall vs. agile), and more about the quality of leaders and participants within said structure.
The clan mothers (with some actually belonging to "wolf clans"), would watch children from a young age. They would impart their wisdom on the character of leaders before they were voted on by the collective.
Imagine if we tried applying this today.
In bureaucratic or dysfunctional organizations, such hierarchies are often patriarchal. As a result, they lack the harmonizing effects of feminine energies, so they get translated into products, services, or marketplaces.
But it is this "feminine" energy, which I picked up being raised in a household of women, that made me understand why "soft skills" (e.g. communication, collaboration, culture, mediation, etc.) empower or hinder the efforts made through hard skills alone.
And since wolf packs are often associated with strong communication skills, I've taken a lot of queues from them to build better communities - from offline to Web3. The role of the "clan mother" is the equivalent of a queen to a king but on equal grounds.
Like parents in any family, the clan mother(s) provide a specific role in counteracting any extremities that could come from naturally aggressive masculine energy. This is vital in balancing extremes and is something I constantly watch out for when building communities or businesses.
Have a look at your own business or community. Is it more masculine or feminine in nature? What could you do to make it more balanced, or do you like to be on the extreme?
Next week, I'll cover "lone wolf syndrome" and how it applies to the gig economy, solopreneurs, and Web3 creators.
Until next week, remember: through patience & persistence, it will come.
Last week's premium newsletters:
Daily #126: Elite Women Warriors of Dahomey
Daily #127: Technical analysis is the astrology of trading
Daily #128: The power of IRL & accelerated serendipity
Daily #130: How the Mongols changed the world
What did you think of this week's edition?
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