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Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us Hardcover – October 16, 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.
"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."
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“Curious people count. Not because there are a lot of them, but because they're the ones who talk to people who are in a stupor. They're the ones who lead the masses in the middle who are stuck. The masses in the middle have brainwashed themselves into thinking it’s safe to do nothing, which the curious can't abide.”
“Crowds and tribes. Two different things: a crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication. Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe. Crowds are interesting, and they can create all sorts of worthwhile artifacts and market effects. But tribes are longer lasting and more effective.”
There are a lot of great books out there but this is a must.
Other takeaways from the book: A leader of a tribe does not get permission, or follow rules, or wait to be asked - a leader just does it. A tribe follows that leader because the leader is passionate about what they are doing/creating and/or where they are going.
A tribe is not a "hierarchy" that is found in some companies with higher and higher levels of position. With a tribe, the more you want in, the more you are in.
Leadership is not as simple as having followers; it is a complex and multi-faceted thing. It is also organic; that is, a leader determines in a situation or with a certain people to lead in a way that is best for that time, that place, and those people. Great leaders understand that they need to personalize their leadership because a true leader is, after all, about those he is leading. Godin embodies this mindset and explains it well.
Tribes are indeed something mankind has sought out since the earth became populated enough to have them. Today we are more advanced technologically, but at our core we still long for connection. Tribes give us that. And it is up to us whether we want to blindly belong to one, or powerfully engage in one and participate in leading it.