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Tribes Paperback – November 1, 2008
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Tribes is a must read for all of us. It's up to each one of us to lead in today's new kind of world."
Former U.S. senator Bill Bradley
"Tribes is a short book--only 147 pages. But its short size belies its true importance. As I read it, I was literally underlining every other sentence. I went through two hi-lighters before I finished!
This is one of the most important books I have read this year. I highly recommend it."
"Tribes is a short book—only 147 pages. But its short size belies its true importance. As I read it, I was literally underlining every other sentence. I went through two hi-lighters before I finished!"
—Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and Living Forward
"Tribes is a must read for all of us. It’s up to each one of us to lead in today’s new kind of world.”
—Former U.S. senator Bill Bradley
"Godin...is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet, and his essays and opinions are widely read and quoted on and off."
"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say."
"If Seth Godin didn't exist we'd need to invent him."
—Alan Webber, founder, Fast Company
"If your idea, or issue, or candidate, or product isn't catching on, you haven't been reading Seth Godin."
—Micah Sifry, cofounder, Personal Democracy Forum
"Godin is endlessly curious, opinionated, and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. He is a relentless marketer…and also a clear-eyed visionary."
—Miami Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
But like any of Seth's books, this work is not without its criticisms....
First, the book often seems like a disjointed combination of (sometimes ranting) blogs. Second, many will be offended by these rants. For example, he uses an extended metaphor "organized religion" (bad) as opposed to "faith" (good), and identifies the modern leader as the "heretic" (also good). These stereotypical and shallow viewpoints are backed up with no true research or even deep thinking.
In the end, however, Seth is on to something. And as usual with Seth, he is on to something big. Technology allows for leaders to rise as quickly and as high as their own ideas can take them. Conventional bodies of social capital such as families, civic memberships, unions, etc. are dissolving. Tribes such as Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street spring from nowhere to replace the old guard. These new tribes can dramatically change traditional organizations, or even in some cases, end them.
In this new era, it is more important than ever for leaders to lead. And Seth stands at the gate, pointing the way. For anyone in business, or anyone with a passing interest in modern American society, this is a book not to be missed.
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.