Tribes by Seth Godin


Alex Lightman once told me that the best way to become thought leader is to write a book. If that’s the case, reading a book must be one of the best ways to learn from thought leaders. A book is somebody’s life experiences, well thought out, organized, and articulated, just for you.

Over the holiday’s I picked up a few books by Seth Godin, including Tribes, The Dip, and Linchpin. I have yet to pick up at least one more of his books, Purple Cow.

It was this week that I finally had a chance to get my hands on Tribes. It was a quick read that I finished in three days by the pool at Palm Spring.

It’s a book about people who’ve changed the way people do things by leading a tribe. It’s about inspiring people to do work, rather than using them as cogs in a machine, replaceable at the first sign of cheaper labor. What did I learn from this book? A lot.

THE FACTORY MODEL IS OUTDATED

For thousands of years, commerce was about the people. We hired and bought from people we knew and trusted; like the village blacksmith or the local butcher. It’s only the past few hundred years that we moved to the Factory Model, where companies could continue growing in size. This was widely accepted at first, because it was about job creation and spurring the economy. Overtime, this changed. The ideal business model was one where the most employees were paid the cheapest, given simple tasks, and easily replaceable. Today, we live in a society where even the lowest level jobs don’t come with job security, this needs to change.

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

Every leader has been questioned and ridiculed and they’ve made a lot of mistakes. This is because they stayed true to their principles and vision. As I learn to communicate my vision with others, I find myself watering down my message to include everybody – this dilutes the effect of my message. If you want to make a change, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and do what feels right to you.

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

As a smart individual who believes in change, it’s hard for me to shake the desire to be recognized for the work I do. However, every ounce of effort I put into promoting myself, I take away a little bit from the message I’m trying to spread. Great leaders are first and foremost about their message, and in some cases, their personal brand gets attached to it. Leaders need to give credit to those that are doing good work, and align themselves with as many partners as possible, putting aside ego.

START NOW.

There are no excuses for putting off making change. There is no such thing as not being ready. You’re fearing making a mistake, without realizing the only mistake your making is not taking a risk. Who cares if you change your message a year from now, at least you’ll get a year of practice promoting some sort of message. You don’t want to turn 40 when you realize how to make the world a better place, and then realize you have no idea how to spread your message.


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