Written by Seth Godin, the book Tribes has greatly inspired me as a person and a Leader. The Author describes tribe as any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.
For millions of years, the Author says, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political or even musical, its’ our nature.
Now that the internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time, blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger and enabling new tribes to be born – groups of ten or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.
But Godin is quick to point out that though the web can do amazing things, it cannot provide leadership, which has to come from individuals, people who are passionate about something.
He asserts that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at his / her fingertips, adding that, “if you think leadership is for other people, think again, because leaders come in surprising packages. He notes that twitter, blogs, online videos and countless other techniques contribute and are designed to connect tribes and to amplify their work, a tool, an easy way to enable some tactics, but that people are needed to lead.
He claims that the power of this new era is simple for anyone to lead if he / she needs to, must, and then they can. He also cautions though, that if one does not feel this is the right moment, or don’t have the right cause, then to hold off.
Godin does a great job of provoking and challenging any leader or potential leader to rise up through the amazing job of recounting and sharing life stories of Leaders of small and big tribes, of various geographies, professions, educational backgrounds, genders, age, class, culture etc. sharing their experiences, challenges, failures and successes.
He goes on that the new highly leveraged tools of the Net make it easier than ever to create a movement, to make things happen, to get things done, and that all that’s missing is leadership.
Godin notes that there are tribes everywhere now, inside and outside of organizations, in public and in private, in nonprofits, in classrooms, across the planet. Every one of which is yearning for leadership and connection. He urges there exist an opportunity for one to find or assemble a tribe and lead it.
There are those Godin refers to as Heretics, the ones who challenge the status quo, who get out in front of their tribes, who create movements. These are the new leaders.
So deciding to lead, not to manage, in essence, is a critical choice. Leaders connect and inspire, not manage.
According to Godin if anyone ignores this opportunity to lead, he / she is risking being a sheep-walker. Sheep-walkers he writes don’t do very well these days.