- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (October 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591842336
- ISBN-13: 978-1591842330
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (550 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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."
"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."
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Top Customer Reviews
“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.
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. If either subject interests you, I suggest that you read better informed authors like John Kotter (Leading Change,The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations, and A Sense of Urgency), John Maxwell (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, and Developing the Leader Within You), and Peter Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship).
I found his commentary that getting ideas is unimportant to be particularly unhelpful. He feels that leadership is all about passion and communication. But with the wrong ideas, you can be passionate about communicating harmful changes.
Ultimately, this is a book that will be enjoyed by those who cannot stop admiring themselves enough. Mr. Godin will encourage them to take actions so they can admire themselves even more. Whatever happened to servant leadership?
Seth Godin fans can't seem to get enough exhortations and rants directing them to be bigger, bolder, and more assertive than ever before about anything that occurs to them. I suppose I should review these books by comparing them to what New Age gurus suggest rather than serious books about accomplishing useful things.
I was intrigued to see that Mr. Godin addressed those who give his books critical reviews by noting that he's pleased that anyone takes the books seriously. Perhaps they aren't meant to be taken seriously. My mistake.