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Tribes - Seth's Challenge to Lead

Updated on December 30, 2013

Seth Godin, the author of Tribes, has written at least ten international bestsellers and is a founder of Squidoo.

Tribes is a book that has inspired me personally and numerous others who have been influenced by Seth's call, "We Need You to Lead Us" (the sub-title of this book).

Seth explains in his book that a tribe is any group of people who gather around a leader and an idea. Members of the tribe are linked by tailored communication channels through which they keep each other informed. The development of such tribes has been facilitated by the Internet and related technology such as Skype. People anywhere in the world can connect at any time and this ease of connection helps to build relationships and collaboration.

Seth challenges each of his readers to move beyond the status quo, the entrapment of fear and the inertia of mediocrity. He argues that initiative and commitment to an idea or cause leads to happiness. He encourages each of us to form and lead a tribe and provides great exemplars to inspire us.

After reading Tribes, I created a Squidoo lens, Leaders of Tribes, to add two other examples of people who have formed and led tribes - Sarah Garnett and Richard Teare. Sarah created the Footpath Library - a growing tribe of people who provide free books to homeless people. Richard co-founded the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) to offer grounded, accessible education to many disadvantaged people around the world.

Recently I launched a book co-authored by Richard that tells the story of GULL., Lifelong Action Learning for Community Development, In his response as the author, Richard expressed his gratitude for the copy of Tribes that I had given to him a few years earlier - he indicated that the book was a source of continual inspiration and had helped him to maintain his commitment to his cause.

I had been so taken with Tribes that I had gifted four copies to people who I thought would benefit from the book and would take up the challenge expressed by Seth. Tribes is a highly readable book that continues to encourage and inspire many people to create, lead and maintain tribes. In true Seth Godin style, the book is concise, focused and full of wisdom.

I could relate personally to the book because of my own experience in forming and leading a tribe - a story that I wrote about in an article titled, Action Learning: A Personal Story of Unleashing the Ideavirus.

Tribes challenges each of us to discover our innate ability to build a tribe around an idea, a cause or a passion. Seth's book and his exemplars are there to encourage and support us as we pursue out initiative and commitment.

Seth Godin talks about his book Tribes and the underlying philosophy, approach and impact of Leaders of Tribes. He suggests that each of us can create a movement around an idea - we only need to tell a story, connect people interested in the idea of the story and lead the resultant tribe. Leaders of tribes are heretics who challenge the status quo and connect people via a culture that has its own values and rituals. He suggests that unlike the mass marketing approach, the secret to creating tribes is to find people who are currently disconnected but have a common yearning.

Seth Godin presents a TED talk on the topic, The Tribes We Lead. He talks about how each of us can challenge the status quo and connect with other like-minded people to make a difference.

Seth Godin explains why we need tribes. He discusses the concept of permission marketing and how to build a tribe with just 1,000 people.


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