The book Tribes by Seth Godin is slightly larger than a CD jewel case. Yet the wisdom Godin shares in the book resonates on a MUCH bigger scale – and apparently with MANY people (the book has been the #1 bestselling leadership book on Amazon for nearly a year).
Godin suggests that anyone, anywhere can be a leader. The one thing holding most people back is the fear of failure.
Tribes isn’t a step-by-step manual about being a leader. Godin explains that:
Every tribe is different. Every leader is different. The very nature of leadership is that you’re not doing what’s been done before. If you were, you’d be following, not leading.
Tribes is about making a choice – to lead or not to lead. Using real world examples, Godin tells stories about how famous and not so famous people made the choice to lead and the amazing things they’ve accomplished.
The insights in Godin’s book are not profound – and maybe that’s the point. For example, Godin skillfully shows time and time again why management is not the same as leadership.
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 a change that you believe in.
Godin writes that it takes only two things to turn any group into a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
So a leader can help increase the effectiveness of the tribe and its members by
- transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change;
- providing tools to allow members to tighten their communication; and
- leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members.
Most leaders focus only on the third tactic. A bigger tribe somehow equals a better tribe. In fact, the first two tactics almost always lead to more impact.