Defining the tech leader tribe and the power of community

We like groups, we like belonging. The feeling exceeds liking; being among people with similar ideas united for a purpose or objective ignites a fire within us – often we call it inspiration.

The face of tribalism has evolved in the last 21st century. The downside to traditional tribes is that often, ironically, they’ve also created divisions. Throughout history noble and pointless battles have been fought through the power of unity and numbers.

Marketing guru and author Seth Godin said, “a tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”

In a modern context, taking into account varying personality types and groups – tech is one of the most progressive, diverse and open industries in the world.

CIO WaterCooler lists the leading tribal traits demonstrated by effective tech leaders.

Leaders don’t always get it right, they mess up and they’re not afraid to own it.

Appetite for knowledge
Information has never been more accessible. Various sources and places exist to enlighten, educate and inspire us. In a world of constant change, those who consistently up-skill and stay ahead of current trends and developments can offer businesses valuable new ideas.

Business enablers
We have a technology landscape alive with opportunities. Businesses need leaders who can help achieve new heights through technology. These people see the tech and the business opportunity simultaneously.

Change and transformation agents
Technology is helping businesses move and grow faster than ever. That growth needs people who are not only comfortable but passionate about change.

Gone are the days where bullying, malpractice or harassment was acceptable. Leaders are expected to be kind people who hold themselves to a high standard of values and work ethic.

Diversity champions
Realising the importance of varied opinions from diverse groups has been one of the most important contributions to modern business. Mainstream technology seems to support the movement of equality, however those who demonstrate this in a business context are seen as progressive.

Human beings are imperfect in design and nature. Vulnerability in others often helps to develop stronger relationships in personal and business contexts. Being able to show kindness when it’s needed most, often sets us apart.

Inspiring leaders 
Having a vision for the future, for the business and its people are essential parts which make a leader inspirational. In this way, leaders can get the best work from people, enabling an environment which nurtures innovation.

Strong communicators
Being able to communicate technology, challenges and strategies to the business requires some serious understanding of human behaviour and the ability to tap into what people want, in order to acquire support.

Particularly in large organisations, CIOs, CTOs and CISOs have a seat at the big table. Not only on the board but among teams – they are typically seen as people one can trust. This promotes a culture of trust and job satisfaction among teams.

The important thing to realise about ‘tribes’ is that they have the power to bring about positive change. Similarity no longer needs to unite people; acknowledging the power in multiple points of view, backgrounds and ideas, seems even more exciting. 

CIO WaterCooler was created to provide a space for tech leaders to engage with peers in a meaningful way, to grow as professionals and leaders. With a range of initiatives extending globally; live, focus and digital boardrooms provide opportunities to interact and make new connections, while specialist reports on important issues and channels for contributors to share their ideas – provide a space for expression and engagement.

We’re here to help you tap into your tribe. 

Stay up to date with the various CIO WaterCooler initiatives coming up.

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Digital Boardroom

‘Human Rights and Wrongs – the persistent issue of the human factor in security’

Host: Jenny Radcliffe aka ‘People Hacker’
Date: Thu, 31 January
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Location: Wherever you are


Regardless of size or sector every organisation has to consider the human factor when assessing its security measures. In this Digital Boardroom, social engineering expert Jenny Radcliffe, aka “The People Hacker”, will discuss seven key elements to take into account when considering how the people of an organisation might impact its security. Using real-life case studies and examples from her extensive career as an ethical attacker, she gives practical advice and guidance on how to prepare and manage the humans at every level of an organisation, for the inevitable people-based “hack.”

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CIO WaterCooler Live: Manchester

Speakers include:

  • Bob Brown, CIO, Manchester City Council
  • Joanne Roney, CEX, Manchester City Council
  • Ade Mccormack, Founder, Digital Readiness Institute

Date: Wed, 20 March
Time: 08:45 – 17:00
Location: Radisson Blue Edwardian, Manchester


Our debut Live event in Manchester, we couldn’t be more excited to be working with Manchester City Council and the Northern IT Leaders Group to bring this interactive and vibrant event to the North.

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