Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

This brief book is a hotch potch of stories, ideas, quotes and inspirational urgings on leadership. Some of it is trite and even annoying, but other parts are astonishly insightful. Overall though I'm very glad I read it and, my friends, I would recommend you read it too.

At the heart of Tribes is the notion that leaders are defined by their followers. Followers gather together in tribes with a shared interest and a way to communicate. Seth argues that the Internet has made it easier than ever for tribes to form. And easier than ever to take the lead and make things happen. Along the way he goes a long way towards explaining the remarkable success of community sites such as Facebook and services such as Twitter. Seth himself is remarkable. Much of the content of his books seems to be published on his blog first. And yet despite this (or maybe because of it?) his books become bestsellers. That's seems to me like a business model worth investigating. In more ways than one I think the publishing industry could learn a lot from Mr Godin.

This book is even structured very much a blog. 125 pages of short bloglike entries each with a little nugget of insight. My favourite is entitled Belief:

"People don't believe what you tell them They rarely believe what you show them They often believe what their friends tell them They always believe what they tell themselves. What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change."

This last sentence gives a clue as to why I think the book is so relevant to innovation. For me innovation is all about thinking and acting differently. For Seth "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". We need leadership in order to create something remarkable, we need bravery to take the initiative and to make things happen. That's what Tribes is about and why I'm glad I read it.

#Twitternovels version of this review: Leaders need followers. You too can be a leader as long as you can find yourself some followers. Social media helps

No comments:

Post a Comment