Seth Godin’s new book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is a revolutionary book, which ties impeccably the idea of innovation with tribe mentality. It is a book for our times, and filled with messages to effectively create a positive future on our Earth. It is highly inspirational and motivational for each of us to become a leader of our own tribe, no matter what role we have in our workplaces or communities.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is written by bestselling author and blogger Seth Godin. It is not a spirituality book, nor is it your typical personal development book. And while it is popular with and mostly marketed to the business sector, it is a book that in my opinion everyone should read, regardless of the nature of their work, as it is highly valuable for all.
Background and Format
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is written by Seth Godin, who has written many other books, including the bestselling Purple Cow and The Dip — A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit. Seth is also a renowned business blogger and you can learn more about him and his work on his website sethgodin.com
The book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us came out at the end of 2008 and to date has been a major bestseller. It has also been hailed as the best business book of 2008. The book is small, literally, and with just under 150 pages, it is a fast and energetic read.
In terms of organization, instead of chapters the book itself is perhaps like one really long blog post. It is along the way divided into small sections with catchy subheadings. Although I was not used to this type of format before, I found that it really works well for this book, as a uniform message is portrayed throughout the book. Using this section format, Seth cleverly approaches the same message from various angles, making sure that the importance and value of the main message is not lost.
Personal Commentary and Content
Among my diverse interests and passions, business is not one of them. So what does a so-called business book have to do with Evolving Beings? Well, a lot actually.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is a book that is leading the way in terms of motivating people to make a difference in the world today. It is calling upon each of us to be a leader of our particular “tribe”, as together we can make even more profound changes in the world and faster. All of this is of course more than possible today, as Seth points out due to the Internet.
There is no denying that the world today is experiencing a tremendous shift. This shift is changing how we think and how we will continue to live on this planet. Most of us are aching for a change today. Most of the old systems are simply not working, and those who cannot see that and resist the changes will simply be left behind.
New systems are needed. New ways of thinking are hungered for by most people. Yet at the same time, a lot of people don’t know where to turn or how to begin. Most are simply afraid to step out of the status quo. This is where leaders come in.
Each one of us has the gifts and talents to be a leader. Each one of us is a leader in one way or another. The only questions are: do we recognize that, and are we actually up for leading a “tribe”?
Well, before we go any further, let’s discuss what exactly is a tribe. At the start of the book, Seth defines a “tribe” to be a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
Next let us talk a little more about the idea of a leader. In the past, and maybe still for you to this day, the word “leader” may have had a negative connotation. Perhaps it symbolized a monarchy setting, perhaps a communist setting or other controlling and dominating scenarios. Well before you get the wrong idea, let us define what Seth means by leaders.
Leaders are not managers. They do not tell people what to do, when to do it and how to do it. At least not the leaders of the new world. Leaders of the new world, simply teach people how to think. They provide a common platform, where the work of those who want to make a difference can be facilitated. They provide a common ground where people who share common interests can come together. They are about “creating the change that you believe in.”
Can human beings self-regulate themselves? Absolutely! But if we are to work for a common goal, the greater good, then coming together in a “tribe” has greater leverage. A group can accomplish faster, what it would take one individual to do on their own. And for perhaps the main reason of organization, a leader can bring together the “tribe” and help them stay on track, if nothing else. As Seth says, “without leaders, there are no followers.”
In this book, Seth covers many topics and explains how tribes used to be limited by geography, where as today we can form world spanning tribes thanks to the Internet. He explains that tribes are everywhere, just “yearning for leadership and connection.”
Tribes though, aren’t about stuff. They’re about connection.
Seth explains the ideas of how things like stability are an illusion, how communication has to be enhanced among tribes, how movements are created, the differences between tribes, fans and crowds, the difference between religion and faith and so much more!
And most interestingly and to inspire us all, Seth shares stories of average people who became leaders and are today successfully guiding their own tribes, like Jacqueline Novogratz, Nathan Winograd, Mark Rovner and many more.
So what does it take to be a leader. Two important points are covered by Seth. He explains, that of course personal gain and ego are kept out of the equation of being good leaders for the new world. No longer is it what will I gain from this or how can I improve my status. The new leaders in fact are not at all about personal recognition – they are about what can they do for the tribe, not what the tribe can do for them.
The tribes can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention.
The second piece of the equation is that the new leaders are heretics. Seth spends a lot of the book dedicated to this exact topic. The new leaders are not about keeping the status quo, but about challenging the status quo and creating movements. They are not about watering down the message or trying to please everyone.
If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.
Naturally a lot of traditionally thinking people may not like this book, and in fact negate it out of fear or out of being threatened that it will somehow take something away from them. However, progressive thinkers and people who are not afraid to step out of the box will absolutely love this book!
Markus and I read this book all in one day, as we actually could not put it down. It is highly empowering, motivating and inspiring. It is calling us to do, what a lot of people are even afraid to talk about.
I absolutely love the idea of shaking things up and challenging the status quo. Not for the sake of it, or to be some kind of trouble maker, but because I am not willing to settle. I am no longer afraid to speak up and out for what I believe. For too long we have been silent about too much. Women, men and children have suffered all over the world for various reasons, animals have suffered, our environment has suffered, our accountability has suffered. Today we are ready for a change. We are ready for new leaders.
You are that leader. I am that leader. The only question now remains is, are you ready and willing to lead your tribe(s)?
To get your copy of the book, visit any major online book store, like Amazon.com (below).