Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

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by Seth Godin
     
 

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A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It's our nature.

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs

Overview

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It's our nature.

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they're enabling countless new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.


And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?

The Web can do amazing things, but it can't provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals—people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.


If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma leads a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, runs her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.


If you ignore this opportunity, you risk turning into a "sheepwalker"—someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don't do very well these days.


Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers. . . . It's not easy, but it's easier than you think.
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Short on pages but long on repetition, this newest book by Godin (Purple Cow) argues that lasting and substantive change can be best effected by a tribe: a group of people connected to each other, to a leader and to an idea. Smart innovators find or assemble a movement of similarly minded individuals and get the tribe excited by a new product, service or message, often via the Internet (consider, for example, the popularity of the Obama campaign, Facebook or Twitter). Tribes, Godin says, can be within or outside a corporation, and almost everyone can be a leader; most are kept from realizing their potential by fear of criticism and fear of being wrong. The book's helpful nuggets are buried beneath esoteric case studies and multiple reiterations: we can be leaders if we want, "tribes" are the way of the future and change is good. On that last note, the advice found in this book should be used with caution. "Change isn't made by asking permission," Godin says. "Change is made by asking forgiveness, later." That may be true, but in this economy and in certain corporations, it may also be a good way to lose a job. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440644504
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/16/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
152,215
File size:
311 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, a sought-after lecturer, a monthly columnist for Fast Company, and an all-around business gadfly. He’s the bestselling author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, The Big Red Fez, Survival Is Not Enough, and Purple Cow.

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Tribes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
BelindaEllsworth More than 1 year ago
Looking for a little leadership inspiration, I picked up Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin. It's a small book, just 147 short pages. There are no chapters, per se, just boldface headlines introducing different anecdotes and concepts. It's basically an easy, light read. Godin asserts that lasting and substantive change can be best effected by a tribe, which is a group of people connected to each other, to a leader and to an idea. There are a few practical tips that you can turn around and implement in your work. It's also not a book that provides overall leadership strategy. Instead, this is a book of inspiration. It's not a book on HOW to be a leader as much as WHY. The stories are exciting and help you to begin thinking about the ways that change is created in our world. The author describes how movements, whether political, social, or as part of marketing, are driven by tribe identities. We attach ourselves to ideas and shared values with likeminded groups and through the reading of this book you can recognize the ways in which your own behavior proves his point. The examples Godin provides are sprinkled through the book and he revisits his premises over and over again. He tells stories of regular people who, simply because of their passion for an idea or product, changed their part of the world. One line that personalizes the message is "If you think leadership is only for other people, you're wrong. We need YOU to lead us." Godin is urging us not to pass the buck when it comes to improving situations or promoting the things that mean a lot to us. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a boost or for additional reasons to stay the course in their leadership roles. This book delivers a lightweight, feel-good message for anyone who needs to reenergize. It's like a pep talk in written form that can be read in a few sittings. And, sometimes, a little hope, a little optimism, is what we need!
Paulium More than 1 year ago
If you really wanted to pique my interest in this book, the sample would have included real text from the first chapter rather than merely copyright info, list of other books by the author etc.
stuckyds More than 1 year ago
Tribes by Seth Godin is an easy fast read with some verbal gems including historical quotes, inspiring stories, as well as some common sense concepts mixed with specific leadership ideas. Godin keeps the pace moving throughout the book by providing concepts and ideas back by specific story examples. One of the key points is that people often lead for mediocrity. A real leader fights mediocrity and won't except average, but rather they help you vision the future of what could be. If you are a manager this book is worth the investment.
MeganHurley More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended as reading before camp. It discussed how tribes need someone to lead them. The two most important parts of tribes are a shared interest and a method of communication. The tribes are build to evoke change and not settle with what is in the present. Creating a micromovement consists of publishing a manifesto, making it easy for your followers to connect with you, making it easy for you followers to connect with one another, realize that money is not the point of a movement, track your progress, transparency is really your only option, your movement needs to be bigger than you, movements that grow, thrive, movements are made most clear when compared to the status quo or to movements that work to push the other direction, exclude outsiders, tearing others down is never as helpful to a movement as building your followers up
Irv_Highward More than 1 year ago
Typical Seth. It's good for ya.
jrsedivy More than 1 year ago
Tribes was the first Seth Godin book I had read - but I have seen references to his work throughout the marketing and blogging communities. Tribes does many things well to include the small size (which makes it stand out), interesting discussion points - especially those on leadership, and the conversational tone of the book which makes for a quick and easy read. In addition - one of the major strengths of Seth Godin's work is his knack for developing strong analogies which seem to stick - for example "heretics" and "the balloon factory and the unicorn" come to mind. There were a few things that Tribes could have done better - such as providing illustrations throughout the book - the insides were strangely plain for a marketing book. Also, the provided examples meant to reinforce the major talking points did not necessarily invoke excitement - there were a couple great examples, however many were just lackluster in nature. Finally, the organization of this book could you use a bit of work - a table of contents and index would be nice for later reference. Overall Tribes was a good read and I recommend it to those interested in leadership and marketing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book Review: Tribes  Tribes, by Seth Godin, is a short, motivational book that ultimately attempts to encourage its readers to be the leaders they were born to be. The audience can be anyone, as long as they have some interest or passion in a topic that can be shared with others. Godin’s objective is to express to his readers that the world is in dire need of people who are passionate about a cause, and will strive to make an impact in the world, leaving a mark on others. He expresses that tribes are seen in everyday life, whether we are aware of it or not. Tribes can be found in music groupies, people who work for the same company, those who share a hobby, or follow a celebrity or politician on twitter; basically, tribes can be found everywhere. Godin believes that anyone can lead a tribe, especially if the tribe revolves around something that is a shared interest. In today’s world, the Internet facilitates the creation and communication needed to maintain a tribe. In tribal world, nothing is more important than communication; it is key to the formation and preservation of tribes, and without it, a tribe will eventually reach its end. Godin also speaks out to those who have no yearning to be a leader. He encourages this audience to be a follower by finding a shared interest and joining a tribe that may lead to bettering life, as we know it. To put it simply, the worst type of person is one who does nothing.  When I first began Tribes, I was immediately impressed by Godin’s ability to inspire me to be a better person and change the world. However, I found as I continued to read, there were things Godin discusses that irritate me, and somehow began to lessen my desire to stand up and become a tribe leader. There is a small chunk of the book that discusses religion and faith. While I understand where the author was going with this, I found myself feeling uncomfortable and annoyed that he decided to bring such a sensitive subject into his text. I am also now under the assumption that Godin has an issue with those who work in the managerial field. More than once I found myself shaking my head, unimpressed with the frequent, negative connotations he was making about managers. It seemed as if Godin believes that while managers may be leaders of others, they don’t go above and beyond their expectations to make a pressing change. While I’m sure in some of these instances Godin makes justified statements, I felt as if many were biased and judgmental, which unfortunately diminished his credibility from my perspective.  Luckily for Godin, despite my displeasure with a few sections of his work, I enjoyed this book overall. To me, Tribes seems very conversational. It is an easy-to-read, motivational book about standing up for something you believe in and making a difference. I feel as if Godin did a great job at communicating the purpose of the book, and his passion for the subject made his words believable and convincing. Godin uses very realistic and relatable examples to prove how tribes exist in everyday life; these examples range far and wide and can be applicable to any reader.  I also feel this book is much like a positive, self-help book.  Godin doesn’t just stick an idea in readers’ heads, but instead tells them how to start a tribe and achieve a goal. In many cases, this might be just the information that some people are searching for. It even goes as far as addressing reasons as to why some people may be resistant against leadership positions, and the difficulties of taking the initiative of starting a tribe. He points out things that are potential concerns, but then gives methods of conquering each along the way. Basically, Godin puts everything on the table, and that makes this book sincere and inspiring. This is very much a book that makes you feel the need to stop reading, get out of bed, and start brainstorming the creation of a tribe of your own; that is what makes this a successful piece.  In the end, I recommend Tribes as a book to read and share with others. If it doesn’t help you, it may help someone you know. Godin stands up for a good cause and makes an interesting point. Our world does need leaders and this might be enough to spark an idea or cause someone to take action to follow their passion, while connecting and involving others in this goal. Read this book, get connected, and establish your tribe now. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seth had a lot of words to say. Yet he didn't really say anything. Don't waste your time with this book.
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