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

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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.
 

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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:
9781591842330
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/16/2008
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
48,169
Product dimensions:
5.21(w) x 7.31(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Seth Godin is the author of twelve bestselling books, a popular blogger and a successful entrepreneur. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages.
He founded Squidoo.com, one of the hundred most popular websites in the United States. Godin has been a columnist for Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review and has given thousands of keynote speeches for companies, governments and non-profit organizations.

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