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Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us Hardcover – October 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842330
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (371 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.

Review

Godin's simple manifesto for success and happiness is inspiring. FINANCIAL TIMES --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of fifteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project.

Recently, he launched The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. It will be available to the public in January of 2013.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder and CEO of Squidoo.com, a fast growing recommendation website. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at squidoo.com/seth.

Customer Reviews

This book is worth reading several times over.
M. Chauliac
It is a motivational book that will instill the passion in oneself to lead a cause one strongly believes in.
Saurabh Saksena
Seth Godin writes timely, thought-provoking books that are quick reads.
Michael Lee Stallard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Garnett on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I was about 50 pages into reading Tribes, I was finding it quite repetitive and, frankly, was wondering what all the hype was about. It seemed like Seth Godin was simply saying the same thing over and over using different words each time. About halfway through the book, I changed my perception about it and began to take a different view.

My initial perception was that Tribes was a book about leadership. If you're looking for a book that teaches you how to lead, you would likely be disappointed in Tribes. My new view is that Tribes is meant to inspire people to lead, rather than teach them to lead. There's a big difference.

Did you have a class in school where the teacher simply presented the material in the textbook, you read it, took a quiz and that was it. If you were good at rote memorization, you probably got a good grade in that class. But were you inspired to learn more about that subject? I'll confess, my only motivation in a class like that was to get a good grade and move on to something more interesting. But then there were the teachers who led the class into interesting discussions and motivated you to want to learn more. That's leadership; that's connecting with your tribe.

Most of us can learn anything if we work hard enough at it. The big question is: are we motivated to learn it? We can do almost anything; the real question is are we passionate enough- do we care enough about it- to do something about it,to be a leader for that cause?

I see Tribes as an inspirational book, not as a "how-to-lead" book. Tribes is a "pep talk" to help us find that leader within each of us. You don't have to be the president or the CEO to lead. And perhaps your area of leadership doesn't even involve your work.
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552 of 598 people found the following review helpful By M. Strong on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've almost never been so painfully aware of a book's shortcomings while reading it. Not long into the book, you pick up on a pattern: Godin blithely throws out broad statements about how anyone can become a leader and how we should all strive to be leaders. He then gives the thinnest of examples of how his version of leadership can look. One example is of a guy who gets sick of waiting in line for one party, then goes to an empty bar, texts his friends and starts his own party. Viola! Instant leadership. But even Godin points out, that guy didn't get that party going in four minutes, he got it going using relationships he'd built over four years (or more) so people would respond to his text.

That's where you begin to see the problem. Godin doesn't explain how to go about doing the actual hard groundwork of leadership. He makes it sound like anyone with an idea and a cell phone can rally thousands of people to their cause in minutes if they just realize that it's not hard. Really? How does that work? First off, we can't all be leaders. The math just doesn't work. If every one of us is to be a leader to one thousand, it means that we must also take time to be a follower for 1,000 other leaders who also need their "tribe". Pretty basic arithmetic, and I don't think we've all got that kind of time.

Godin just skips from one shallow and unsupported, but grandiose statement about leadership to another. The one concrete example he gives in the book about how you might actually go about doing the work of leading comes when he describes his early work experience in a software company. He explains how he got the most out of shallow programming resources by starting a newsletter that created a sense of excitement around his project and attracted programmers to it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book's theme is unconventional leadership, taking a cause or idea and gathering support without a firm institutional foundation by finding like-minded individuals and connecting them. If that's a new idea to you, you will find the book to be flattering in its encouragement and motivational in its tone. If you are an unconventional leader already or know a lot about how to do this, you will search in vain for anything new in Tribes.

The book's substance is rather thin beyond the few examples and rants.

Here it is:

People are turned into a tribe by "a shared interest" and "a way to communicate" ("leader to tribe, tribe to leader, tribe member to tribe member, and tribe member to outsider"). A leader increases effectiveness for the people by"

"transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change;
"providing tools to allow members to tighten their communications; and
"leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members."

As you can see, he's describing the way causes, nonprofits, political pressure groups, and save the world organizations operate.

Some will be offended by the rants. For example, he takes off rather hard on all religions while being all in favor of faith that you can accomplish whatever you want. There's no real basis for his position other than generalities about how no religions ever favor any changes. Well, if that were the case, there would still be rampant slavery in many nations. It was religious organizations that led the antislavery movement from the beginning.

Mr. Godin is very well informed about things that happened recently on the Internet (or in his own life), but he doesn't seem to have a broader understanding of leadership or change leadership.
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