In Tribes, Seth Godin explores tribes, connections, ideas, and how these things can work together to make positive change if we would step up and lead a tribe. Godin’s books definitely call you to do something and make you think about things in a new way. I do find his writing style a little choppy though. I initially thought I would like the multiple bold headings and insightful minimum number of paragraphs under each heading. However, like I said, choppy. Perhaps I have read too many law books.
Here is what I liked about this book that calls on leaders:
1. Towards the end he talks about “Beliefs.” He writes that we believe anything we tell ourselves and that leaders give you something to tell yourself. I wonder, how often do you tell yourself something negative? How often do you believe it? How often do you meet a person that tells you something good that you then tell yourself and then believe it? My guess is the former outweighs the latter. Godin’s right, we all need leaders and we need to be leaders. We need to hear and to tell things (good, positive things) to others to help them help themselves to believe.
2. The size. I don’t just mean the length of the book – though that was nice. I got in and got out relatively quick and still found my mental facilities tested. I actually mean the shape. It was small. I felt kind of like I was reading a little kid’s book just for me. In addition, my hands didn’t get tired of holding it up while I was reading. Why do most hardbacks have to be so heavy? I know, perhaps I need to get a Kindle or some version of that contraption.
3. “We’ve mechanized what we can . . .” I forget the page number but I did mark the quote in my planner. Yes, I have a paper planner. I know it is kind of sad but I never used the calendar function on my crackberry and when I did, I never heard the alarm reminding me I had an appointment. Anyway, mechanization . . . It’s a bold statement. One I am not entirely certain is true. With the move towards creativity that Godin highlights in Linchpin I will be surprised if some creative person in the future fails to come up with some new way of mechanizing something. If not, I will remember and properly assign credit to the bold statement maker.
4. Finally, being a leader is not about making money or trying to work a tribe to get the most out of it for yourself. Being a part of a tribe and leading the tribe is about giving. Giving to the tribe without an expectation. Wasn’t that something we were taught growing up? How often do we have an expectation when we give? Or perhaps to look at this in a different way, what CAN you give in the next hour, day, or week to your tribe? What can you give and in the process lead them, and yourself, forward through change and help facilitate change?