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Tribes [Paperback]

Seth Godin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book's theme is unconventional leadership, taking a cause or idea and gathering support without a firm institutional foundation by finding like-minded individuals and connecting them. If that's a new idea to you, you will find the book to be flattering in its encouragement and motivational in its tone. If you are an unconventional leader already or know a lot about how to do this, you will search in vain for anything new in Tribes.

The book's substance is rather thin beyond the few examples and rants.

Here it is:

People are turned into a tribe by "a shared interest" and "a way to communicate" ("leader to tribe, tribe to leader, tribe member to tribe member, and tribe member to outsider"). A leader increases effectiveness for the people by

"transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change;
"providing tools to allow members to tighten their communications; and
"leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members."

As you can see, he's describing the way causes, nonprofits, political pressure groups, and save the world organizations operate.

Some will be offended by the rants. For example, he takes off rather hard on all religions while being all in favor of faith that you can accomplish whatever you want. There's no real basis for his position other than generalities about how no religions ever favor any changes. Well, if that were the case, there would still be rampant slavery in many nations. It was religious organizations that led the antislavery movement from the beginning.

Mr. Godin is very well informed about things that happened recently on the Internet (or in his own life), but he doesn't seem to have a broader understanding of leadership or change leadership.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Seth Godin's books and blog provide a wealth of information, observations, opinions, and (especially) challenges that can help others to overcome what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." In this, his most recent book, he urges his reader to consider and then take full advantage of unprecedented opportunities to become a leader. He cites five different but related reasons: "everyone in an organization - not just the boss - is expected to lead," in today's workplace "it's easier than ever before to change things [and] individuals have more leverage than ever before," those and their organizations that "change things and create remarkable products and services" are rewarded in the marketplace, change initiatives are "engaging, thrilling, profitable and fun," and most of all, there is a "tribe" of other people waiting for a leader "to connect them to one another and lead them where they want to go."

In this context, I am reminded of a passage from Lao-Tzu's Tao Te Ching:

"Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves. "

This is precisely what Godin has in mind when asserting that great leaders "create movements by empowering the tribe [i.e. those with a shared interest] to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow." The communication to which he refers is between and among the leader and members of a tribe who are connected by a shared interest, a common cause (i.e.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not an African tribe silly.... April 15 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
But a tribe of likeminded people that share a similar niche or interest in something. Tribes describes how necessary it is to build a tribe of your own and lead or join a tribe and contribute.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing March 3 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So true. I thought I was alone with how I was leading but this book confirms what I have been doing and feeling as a leader. Bravo and spot on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book Nov. 22 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a quick and easy read. It has good tips for anyone who wants to make a difference, and become a leader in any given field.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Repetative, hard to read. Oct. 6 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Even though the book is small, it is a pain to read.
The author is great, but this is not the best of his work ( IMHO ).

The same theme and message is being repeated over and over, without much of elaboration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great leadership resource. Feb. 4 2012
Format:Hardcover
Tribes, is an interesting way of looking at movements, teams and leadership. From cover to cover Godin challenges the reader's thinking and beliefs about teams, leaderships, communciation and movements. I found the book easy to read, and noted a number of tips I will utilize in leading new initiatives and movements.

I enjoyed Godin's comments about the importance of communiction, and the distinction between leadership and management. I still hear these titles used interchangably, and Godin effectively summizes the key differences.

Charmaine Hammond,
Best Selling Author On Toby's Terms
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