My Notes on “Tribes”
By Seth Godin
Being part of something is a natural desire. A group with a shared vision becomes a tribe and tribes needs leadership. This book is about what it means to lead a tribe and how to do it.
My rating: 3/5 · I liked it · 4 min · May 23, 2017 · Amazon
People want to be a part of something bigger, but showing up isn’t enough.
A tribe is a group of people with a shared interest and a way to communicate, and they needs leaders.
If you want to be a leader, don’t be boring. Do a great job instead.
“Good enough” stopped being good enough a long time ago. So why not be great? — Seth Godin
Don’t try to be a leader just because you can or for selfish reasons; wait for your right cause. Authentic leadership will always be better than selfish leadership.
Management is about manipulating resource to get a known job done. (…) Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in. — Seth Godin
Managers manage resources over known processes trying to make it faster and cheaper, while reacting to the outside world. Managers make products, things, services, and manage by authority.
Leaders work to create the change they believe it’s needed. Leaders make change, don’t care about organizational structure, and lead by ideas and examples.
As a leader, improve the effectiveness of your tribe by transforming a desired interest into a desire for change and providing tools to improve communication.
Be aware of your fear; it won’t disappear, but being aware of it will help you avoid getting paralyzed by it. Fear kills growth and ideas.
In every organization everyone rises to the level at which they become paralyzed with feat. — Seth Godin
Realize that it’s not fear of failure holding you back, but fear of criticism. Learn to accept criticism because it means that you’re doing something worth someone’s attention.
If you still fear criticism, compare feeling bad about criticism with the feelings of doing something worth doing.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Make a point, challenge conventions, and speak up.
If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader. — Seth Godin
After a while you’ll realize that the safest thing you can do feels risky, and the riskiest thing to do is play it safe. The world is certainly going to change; making safe plans for the future is risky.
The easiest way to do something regardless of the fear is by willing to be wrong, by realizing that being wrong isn’t fatal.
Figure out how to step in the middle of a vacuum generated by a group waiting for something to happen.
As a leader, back off to allow others in the tribe to fill the vacuum, get attention, and express themselves. Be alert to step back in at the right moment.
Benefit from watching the tribe thrive, from nothing else. Prefer giving to the tribe, not getting something from it.
Be curious about the tribe. Listen and wrestle with new ideas and then decide to embrace or reject it.
Have faith in the tribe. Lead without without waiting for compensation, take risks without guarantees.
Don’t just react or respond but initiate and try to anticipate. Initiative is very rare; even a tiny bit of it might fill the vacuum.
Don’t try to please everyone to grow a tribe. A tighter and motivated tribe is far more powerful than a big group.
Accept that you can’t lead if you feel you don’t have faith, enough motivation, or you can’t overcome your fear. Be mature and choose to follow instead.
Leaders make change, but new things are almost never better than old things right away. But be patient, it takes time for the new thing to be better than the old one.
The best time to change your business model is while you still have momentum. — Seth Godin
Communicate so people will want to hear you. Build products people want to use. Build services easy to use. Don’t blame others when they don’t believe you or don’t use your products.
Expect great things from your tribe, but trust them and give them all the freedom they need.
Create a culture around your goal and involve others. Commit to your vision and make decisions based on it.
Give people stories they can tell themselves. People believe themselves, not what you tell them.
Steps to create a micro-movement:
- Publish a manifesto. It’s a mantra and a motto of your vision of the future.
- Make it easy for your followers to connect with you and each other.
- Accept that money is not the point of a movement.
- Publicly track your progress.
- Let your followers contribute to the progress.
Principles of a micro-movement:
- Transparency first.
- It has to be bigger than anyone individual.
- Movements that grow, thrive.
- It’s good to exclude outsiders.
- Never undermine other tribes to build your own up.
But more often than not, great leadership happens when the tribe least expects it. The non-obvious moments are the ones that count. Like now, perhaps. — Seth Godin
The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. — Seth Godin