Diversity and Inclusion in Tech

+Modern Day Shamans and Chief and Search Strategies for the New Normal

Do you recognize yourself as a modern-day Shaman or Chief?

This topic has been fascinating to me lately: finding alternative leadership roles that are not the stereotypical hunter stereotype. What can we learn from the tribe’s leadership structures? Tribes have been around for thousands of years. And in many ways, they have similar structures of leadership to the business world.

Every tribe needs a Chief, just like every venture needs a CEO.

The Chief defines and communicates the tribe’s strategic direction, such as a new valley to forage or a mountain retreat to escape the heat of summer. The Chief listens to the opinions of the other tribal members, makes decisions that impact everyone, and ensures an adequate level of acceptance of such decisions to facilitate their ultimate success.


  • Works together

  • Shepherds the team toward its strategic goals

  • Slow and connected

  • Communicates clearly and supportively

  • Driven to maintain cohesion within the team

  • Indecisive

  • Prone to being railroaded

  • Defines the box

What is not so common in organizations is the Shaman. Shamans are different from chiefs. They invent new tools and processes that improve the overall quality of life within the tribe. For instance, the Shaman will spend his days thinking of a better fishhook, a new tool for cleaning skins, or searching for new medicinal plants to cure the tribe’s ailments.

Whatever name, the Shaman is the person who devises and develops the innovations upon which your business is based.


  • Works differently

  • Creative visionary

  • Communicates differently - requires careful listening

  • Seeks a better way

  • Creates quickly and freely

  • Tripped up by details

  • Prone to devise complicated solutions

  • Prizes a solution’s technical elegance over its functionality

  • Unaware that a box exists

Did you Know?

On average, just 2.7% of executives in senior roles at 10 major tech companies are black, according to filings with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The precise number varies widely—from 1% or less at Apple, Microsoft and Salesforce to 6% at Airbnb and Slack. 

If you are interested in expanding your search to underrepresented candidates contact me at andrea.guendelman@wallbreakers.com. We work with selective companies in their senior candidate’s search.

Diversity and Inclusion in Tech

Name of the panel: Diversifying the tech candidate pipeline with a panel of diversity and inclusion experts in tech.

Date: July 8th at 6 pm PST

Register here: https://www.outco.io/event-july8


David Delmar Sentíes the Founder of Resilient Coders

Andrea Guendelman the CEO of Wallbreakers

Tiffany Lorraine Shumate the Executive Director of Hack the Hood

Outco Inc. CEO Joshua Encarnacion 

Name of the panel: Search Strategies for a New Normal

Date: July 9th at 11 am PST

Register: bit.ly/377yjgZ