Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: Tribes

Tribes: We Need You to Lead UsTribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now, isn't this interesting?  I gave this book four stars right after I finished reading it a few months ago but just now as I bring it up to write a review, I can't remember a thing about it. 

I'll have to crack it open... and refresh my memory...

Oh yes!  This is a call to leadership.  To Seth Godin our "tribes" - the groups we belong to and therefore have an opportunity to influence - are morphing and expanding and shifting in the internet age.  Instead of just a tribe like "people who live in the same town" or "members of the same church", a tribe could be 25 people from all around the world who dearly love mustard, or women in their fifties who always remember to wear purple socks on December 9 in honor of Donny Osmond's birthday.  (There's probably hundreds of us....)

So, with so many horizontal and vertical groups waiting for leadership, the opportunities to fill the void are infinite.  What's more, according to Godin, who is a marketing expert, embracing such leadership opportunity can be profitable.  The trick he said, is to facilitate the tribe's discussion, connect them with each other, and catalyze forward motion toward some exciting goal.  It's about engaging the group. Do that, and you can write your own ticket. 

A good quote:  "In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it."  Ain't that the truth?  The best leaders are the people who have conquered their fear of being out front.

Godin's writing style is quick and tight and visual.  We can all recognize ourselves and the bureaucrats in our lives in the fun stories he tells about stuckness and mediocrity.  He's probably earning a decent living turning out these simple, hip little books and I am OK with that.  I see now why I gave it four stars.  I enjoyed my time reading it, and there's huge value in that.  I'm glad Seth Godin thinks there's a leader in me... now, it's up to me to remember where to find it.

Click here to download a summary of Tribes written by me. This one has a bonus summary of Godin's book called We are All Weird which has to do with embracing what is unique in each of us.  Two thumbs up.

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