Tribes Book Summary and My Thoughts

Want to start a company? Start with a movement.

This is the 20th book in the series Learning Together and Leading Together where we are going through the Personal MBA plan curated by Josh Kaufman. Our goal is to get through 99 books this year. Do we read the whole book? Nope. We digest the summary(s) of the book and I give my thoughts and you give your thoughts. Feel free to follow along and comment if you would like.

The best summary I found here and is quoted below:

Book Summary of Tribes by Seth Godin:

Leaders create change.

Godin defines a tribe as a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. Only two things are needed: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

The book is a call-to-action to make change. Thanks to the social web, Godin explains that individuals have more leverage than ever before. The barriers to leadership have fallen, and tribes can be everywhere now. (He reminds us that the power of tribes has nothing to do with technology, though, and everything to do with people.) People are just waiting to be engaged and transformed, as we all want connection and growth and something new.

Take a moment and consider all of the existing and potential tribes within and related to your organization – those who are yearning for leadership and connection…to be part of something that matters.

Godin says that we’re “stuck acting like managers or employees instead of like the leaders we could become. We’re embracing a factory instead of a tribe.” Secondly, fear – we’re worried about criticism. “Changing things – pushing the envelope and creating a future that doesn’t exist yet (at the same time you’re criticized by everyone else) requires bravery.”

Why challenge the status quo? Quite simply, it gives you a chance to be remarkable. The marketplace is now rewarding people who do things differently and that create change. “Established in 1906,” for example, used to be important. Now it can be a liability.

The stories and the takeaways about leadership are indelible. Tidbits from Godin:

  • It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.
  • Leaders use passion and ideas to lead people.
  • The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.
  • Leaders connect their followers to one another. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.
  • Leadership is not management. Managers make widgets (managing a process they’ve seen before); leaders make change.
  • Leadership almost always involves thinking and acting like an underdog.
  • Leaders have one thing in common: the decision to lead.

And then what I think is the best line in the entire book: “If your organization requires success before commitment, it will have neither.”

Go ahead; create a movement. Find something worth changing, assemble a tribe, and spread the idea. As Godin says, we need you.

My Thoughts:

Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors. I have connected with his ideas for many years and read most if not all of his books. In fact, if Seth ever wanted to sell to me then I would be wide open to that because I have been working on a book idea all about permission.

Tribes is one of my favorite books by Godin. The reason being is that it stresses that a leader is needed by the idea or movement is not about the leader. Currently, I am a part of a movement. The movement is not huge but I believe it could be. Right now the movement does not have a huge impact on the industry but I firmly believe it will. What is this movement? Non-profits leveraging online communication to drive offline conversations. I’m with Godin when he says that this is not about technology but about people. I love working with non-profits because they for the most part focus on people. If you want to join the movement then let me know.

So what tribe are you a part of? What movement are you trying to start? What change do you want to see? Let me know in the comments.

If you need a hard copy of the book go here: [amazon_enhanced asin=”1591842336″ /]


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