On My
Bookshelf

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

by Seth Godin
SYNOPSIS

The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller that redefined what it means to be a leader.

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

It’s human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads).  Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so.

With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.

If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle.

Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

WHY I LOVE IT

Much like what I said about Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us gave me a swift kick in the butt. It spurred me into action.

And it really was swift, because the book is over before you know it. Godin crams so much wisdom into so small a space that it’s both remarkable and appreciated.

Tribes has given me hope that an introvert like me can lead people. I’ve always had an innate desire to lead, but never felt like I could because my voice has often been ignored.
But we can all lead, if we allow ourselves to do it our own way.

Tribes gave me the confidence to teach a 3-hour class to a room full of people; something that, mentally, I probably couldn’t have done even a year ago.

Tribes isn’t about conforming to a particular regimen. Instead, it supplies some of the tools and philosophies required to lead and provides the encouragement to just go give it a shot, even if your attempt is a bit messy at first.