Book Notes | Tribes


I recently read through Seth Godin’s book TribesI had heard a ton about this book over the years and finally got to read it. This book felt like a collection of blog posts or short thoughts. While some were random and seemed not to fit, it was chalk full of great insights for leaders and organizations.

Here are a few:

  • A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
  • A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
  • You can’t have a tribe without a leader—and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.
  • Generous and authentic leadership will always defeat the selfish efforts of someone doing it just because she can.
  • Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in.
  • Movements have leaders and movements make things happen. Leaders have followers. Managers have employees. Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.
  • New rule: If you want to grow, you need to find customers who are willing to join you or believe in you or donate to you or support you.
  • Leaders make a ruckus.
  • Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get.
  • The best time to change your business model is while you still have momentum.
  • The secret of being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal.
  • The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.
  • The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.
  • The organizations that need innovation the most are the ones that do the most to stop it from happening.
  • Leaders challenge the status quo.
  • Leaders create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture.
  • Leaders use charisma (in a variety of forms) to attract and motivate followers.
  • Leaders communicate their vision of the future.
  • Leaders commit to a vision and make decisions based on that commitment.
  • Being charismatic doesn’t make you a leader. Being a leader makes you charismatic.
  • Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance.
  • If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.
  • People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them.

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