I’ve read most of Seth Godin’s books and I’m a daily reader of his blog. But his latest book, Tribes, really spoke to me. When I read, I highlight or underline, make notes in the margins and, in recent years, post my favorite parts here.
I struggled to find one pull that captures the idea behind Tribes and decided on this one. Lots more after the jump.
“Managers manage by using the authority the factory gives them. You listen to your manager or your lose your job. A manager can’t make change because that’s not his job. His job is to complete tasks assigned to him by someone else in the factory.
Leaders, on the other hand, don’t care very much for organizational structure or the official blessing of whatever factory they work for. They use passion and ideas to lead people, as opposed to using threats and bureaucracy to manage them.” pg 22
I did my stint (17 years) in management before clawing my way down to my current job and I can say without a doubt that I have found more opportunities for leadership in my current position than my former. Read this book.
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. pg 2
Management is about manipulating resources to get a known job done. pg. 13
Leaders have followers. Managers have employee. Managers make widgets. Leaders make change. The future belongs to leaders, regardless of where they work or what they do. pg. 14
Marketing used to be about advertising, and advertising is expensive. Today, marketing is about engaging with the tribe and delivering products and services with stories that spread. pg. 16
Skill and attitude are essential. Authority is not. In fact, authority can get in the way. pg. 20
Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow them. pg 23
For fifty years, established brands with efficient factories and effective marketing carried the day. Suddenly, though, the oldest brands are no longer the fastest-growing ones. Suddenly, the most experienced businesspeople are no longer the most successful ones. And suddenly, the safest jobs are not so safe anymore. pg. 31
The difference between an instant message and (tweets) is that your instant message goes to one person and a (tweet) goes to everyone who has chosen to follow you. pg. 34
Organizations that destroy the status quo win. pg. 35
“Factory” – any job where you boss tells you what to do and how to do it. pg. 39
When we envision our dream jobs, we’re imagining someone who has control over what he does all day, creating products or services that he’s actually proud of. It certainly involves having authority over your time and your effort and having input into what you do. pg. 40
In unstable times, growth comes from leaders who create change and engage their organizations , instead of from managers who push their employees to do more for less. pg. 41
The Peter Principal (paraphrased) – In every organization everyone rises to the level at which they become paralyzed with fear. pg. 44
A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to his religion before he explores it. As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications. pg. 63
Fundamentalism really has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with an outlook, regardless of what your religion is. pg. 64
In an era of grassroots change, the top of the pyramid is too far away from where the action is to make a difference. It takes too long and it lacks impact. The top isn’t the top anymore because the streets are where the action is. pg. 75
Religion represents a strict set of rules that our fellow humans have overlaid on top of our faith. Religion supports the status quo and encourages us to fit in, not to stand out. pg. 80
Every single industry changes and, eventfully, fades. pg. 93
The best time to change your business model is while you still have momentum. pg. 94
“Sheepwalking” – the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them brain-dead jobs and enough fear to keep them in line. pg.96
Most people have jobs (for now) where the fight change, where they work overtime to defend the status quo. It’s exhausting. Maintaining a system in the face of change will grind you down. pg. 101
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you out to set up a life you don’t need to escape from. pg. 101
The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. pg. 108
The organizations that need innovation the most are the ones that do the most to stop it from happening. pg. 113
If you hear my idea but don’t believe it, that’s not your fault; it’s mine. pg. 117
Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late. There’s a small price for being too early, but a huge penalty for being too late. pg. 120-121