Building a Level-4 Culture in Tampa Bay

Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan is a must-read for any coach, business leader and especially for any entrepreneur.

Several decades of research into the patterns of language and behavior of groups of 20 to 105 people yield some fascinating results. To summarize, “tribes” break down into distinct levels characterized by a particular vocabulary and language pattern.

  1. Level 1: I’m a loser, and everyone is a loser. There is no hope (e.g., the homeless, the destitute, the addicted).
  2. Level 2: I’m no good, but you’re good. There is hope for some, but not me (e.g., rote laborers, those trapped in bureaucracies).
  3. Level 3: I’m great, but you aren’t. I’m a trapped superstar surrounded by idiots (e.g., many high-level professionals, doctors, lawyers, academics).
  4. Level 4: We’re great, and they are not. We love being winners (e.g., this past year’s Bucs and Lightning).
  5. Level 5: We can’t believe what we’ve achieved. What just happened? Transcendent.

I’ve had the opportunity to found several Internet businesses over the past two decades. After growing up in Tampa, I moved to Los Angeles in 1998 and spent much of my career in the technology media space and helped build the first Internet-based mystery shopping company. I had front row seats for the .com bubble, Internet implosion, social media rebound and big-tech consolidations. California was and still is a unique place when it comes to business acumen and attitude.

Two years ago, I moved my family back to Tampa; I wanted to give my 10- and 13-year-old children the chance at the special type of childhood I enjoyed, including my time at Jesuit High School as a student-athlete.

I also moved back home to restart my company, Solution Publishing. After buying out my partner, I launched a mission to totally reconstruct the company from a longstanding Level 3 organization described above. Like many business owners, I fell into the trap of building a business around me, myself and I, thinking I was the only one who knew the correct answers.

The truth is, a hub-and-spoke organization can’t grow, and a company dependent on a single person is a prison for all involved.

Therefore, out of the ashes of COVID-19, I gathered several industry friends I trust and embarked on a hiring campaign to build a great team of very young, ambitious people, grooming them to become the experts of our B2B lead generation platform.

After years of hearing the chides about the lazy Millennial generation, I’ve found that narrative very incomplete. While the recruiting process is daunting, the right young people respond to Level 4 language and challenges. If you speak boldly and are genuine about big ideas and goals, the right candidates hear that clarion call, wanting to be part of something exceptional.

by: Byron Crowell, CEO and Founder

About Byron: After growing up in Tampa and playing college football at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Byron ventured West and spent 20 years in the heart of California’s technology startup scene. In 1998, he built the first internet-based mystery shopping company. In 2002, he co-founded RetailEyes, which was sold to a UK-based conglomerate in 2011. However, his first business love has always been always B2B marketing and technology via Solution Publishing, which he founded in 2001. Byron moved his family back to Tampa and is on a mission to bring West Coast venture startup energy and experience to his hometown. He loves the Buccaneers and Lightning and is an active youth hockey supporter.