Book Review: Tribes

By Seth Godin

Tribes is a great book about both leadership and change management. Full of down-to-earth insights on status quo, fear, the unicorn in the balloon factory, faith, religion, sheepwalking, reacting, responding and initiating.

Above all, this book is an incredible pamphlet of inpiration for anyone with a good idea: share it, believe in it, start your tribe and persist.

So far the really short book review of a book that I read one year ago.

What is more interesting though: a quick overview of the most remarkable quotes that still resonate one year later:

A group only needs two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.

Tribes give each of us the very same opportunity. Skill and attitude are essential. Authority is not. In fact, authority can get in the way.

So a leader can help increase the effectiveness of the tribe and its members by:
– transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and a desire for change;
– providing tools to allow members to tighten their communications, and
– leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain members

A crowd is a tribe without a leader
A crowd is a tribe without communication
Most organizations spend time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe.

Laura couldn’t have done this with one speech or one blogpost. But by consistently touching a tribe of people with generosity and insight, she’s earned the right to lead.

The factory is part of the fabric of our lives. Its there because it pays and it’s there because it’s steady, and it’s there because we want it. What you won’t find in a factory is a motivated tribe making the difference. And what you won’t find waiting outside the factory is a tribe of customers, excited about what’s to come.

Great leaders don’t want attention, but they use it. They use it to unite the tribe and to reinforce its sense of purpose.

When the world changes, the rules change. And if you insist on playing today’s games by yesterday’s rules, you’re stuck.

There’s a small price for being too early,but a huge penalty for being too late. The longer you wait to launch an innovation, the less your effort is worth.

Tribes grow when people recruit other people. That’s how ideas spread as well. The tribe doesn’t do it for you, of course. They do it for each other. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.

Find leaders (the heretics who are doing things differently and making a change), and then amplify their work, give them a platform, and help them to find followers.

You can’t manage without knowledge. You Can’t lead without imagination.

Perfect is an illusion, one that was created to maintain the status quo. The Six Sigma charade is largely about hiding from change, because change is never perfect. Change means reinvention, and until something is reinvented, we have no idea what the spec is.

Every tribe leader I’ve met shares one thing: the decision to lead.