Tribes, by Seth Godin
What’s it about?
In Seth’s words:
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea.
This is a Small Book (about tribes) with a Big Idea:
You, Me, Everyone has the opportunity, no, the obligation to lead.
Why should you read it?
If you’re looking for free flowing, inspiring thinking then pick this up. Don’t expect a “How to lead a tribe checklist”. Seth believes the process will be different for everyone and to follow your heart and your passion. He writes his stories as he writes his blog posts, with a driving urgency. He demands that you question the status quo, that you “ship” (his term for taking action and getting something done), that you form a tribe and that you ultimately create change for the better.
If you read the book with a “how can I apply this to me/my business/my [insert passion here]” mindset, then I think you’ll really enjoy this one.
What did I get from it?
# Heretics are the new leaders
“Heretics are the new leaders. The ones who challenge the status quo, who get out in front of their tribes, who create movements.” (p11)
A heretic questions why things are done the way they are, looks for improvements and finds a better way. So get out there and be a Heretic!
Actually Seth gives a great example of a couple, Jerry and Monique Sternin (p134). Rather than enforcing an outsider’s perspective on a problem (eg sick kids in developing communities), the Sternins look for individuals within an organisation or a community that have already solved it (a mother whose children are healthy), then explore ways to amplify and pass on that solution (by handing the spotlight to that mother and encouraging others to adopt her practices).
What a refreshing way to solve the problem!
# You need followers but you don’t want blind sheep
If Heretics are the new leaders, then Seth is also quick to note that a tribe needs followers too. Not just any followers but people who are eager to follow, with enthusiasm and energy for their tribe. Why? Because it takes micro-leadership at all levels to achieve change ie: “Think globally – act locally”
Seth says: people “eagerly engage when they want something to improve”. This kind of engagement leads to your tribe connecting to others and recruiting to the cause. Energy is infectious and is the best way to spread the word.
# The market for something to believe in is infinite
This is the cartoon referenced in the book. A little bit of inspiration to wrap up this post: