Thursday, October 09, 2008

Review | Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

FULL DISCLOSURE: An advance copy of this book was provided to me by the author.

Those of you that read my blog know that I am a fan of Seth Godin and his newest book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us does not disappoint. As with his last book, Tribes is short and to the point -- I easily completed it in a 2 hour workout session at the gym the first time that I read through it. Unlike some of his other books, Tribes is a little bit non-linear, but based on the main concepts of Tribes and leadership, the style works very well.

The underlying concept of the book is that there are many kinds of what Godin refers to as "tribes" -- they exist around specific interests, exist inside and outside of organizations, and that they need leaders. Further, Godin explains how the flattening of the world through the internet and easily accessible social applications provide powerful tools for leading a tribe.

There are some powerful concepts in this book in relation to leadership. Many of you have probably heard Peter Drucker's quote: "Management is about doing things right. Leadership is about doing the right things." Godin provides a more updated version: "Management is about manipulating resources to get a known job done. Managers manage a process they've seen before, and they react to the outside world, striving to make that process as fast and as cheap as possible. Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in." Kind of a much longer version, so try these from Godin:
  • "Leaders have followers. Managers have employees."
  • "Managers make widgets. Leaders make change."
Throughout the book there are powerful concepts regarding change, elements of leadership, and how to break out of the routine of being sheep ("sheepwalking" as Godin calls it). I frequently use the classic term of people having risen to their own level of incompetence -- Godin updates it with this: " '. . . in every organization everyone rises to the level at which they become paralyzed with fear,' " and continues with saying, "The essence of leadership is being aware of your fear."

Tribes does not disappoint and is well worth the read. The book will be released on October 16, 20008.

Link -- Seth Godin


Anonymous said...

20008! Wow that's definitely an advance copy ;-)

Sounds like and interesting book though - then again all of his books are.

Ross said...


I appreciate your detail orientation -- it must certainly be a VERY advance copy.

Thanks for reading.


greatcoach said...

Thank you for sharing this - Seth does an incredible job of sharing a new definition of Leadership - Leadership is about creating a change that you believe in! Leaders have followers - it is the LOAIA - The Law of Attraction in Action!