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Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

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Well holy purple cow flown out of a dip and into the universe. Ok, that was merely a play on words of Seth’s titles… wait, why am I telling you this bit?  He’s famous, you probably have heard of all of his books if not at least one.  His name is Seth Godin and he’s a master marketer and a writer like no other.

Let me tell you something interesting though.  I had always seen Seth as a master marketer and a writer.  Someone who had a lot of knowledge on that specific area and who I turned to for new marketing ideas, thoughts and leadership.  After reading “Tribes”, I now see Seth as major agent of change.  He can change the way you think, feel and act.

In fact, his words had such a profound effect on me that by page 35, I had the idea for Successocity. By the end of the book, three other things had been born and my notebook filled with scratches.

Okay, so at the very end of the book Seth has a part about passing the book along if you’ve found it helpful.  While I am selfish and want to re-read this so am hanging onto my copy, I do want to extract some of my favorite bits and share them with you here.

“What’s interesting about the folks I meet who are engaged and are clearly heretics is that they’ve actively talked themselves out of the fear. I mean, the fear is still there, but it’s drowned out by a different story.”

“It’s the story of success, of drive, of doing something that matters.  It’s an intellectual story about what the world (or your industry or your project) needs and how your insight can help make a difference.”

Imagine what the world would be like if we simply rid ourselves of the fear by telling ourselves a new and different story?

People always ask me how I produce things so quickly, put them up without perfection and put myself in the “line of fire” so often.  It’s not because I am not afraid… I just know I’m helping people and because of that, I can never fail.  The critics will pop up, they are always there, but I keep going.

“The lesson here is this: if I had written a boring book, there’d be no criticism.  No conversation.  The products and services that get talked about are the ones worth talking about.”

If ever you’ve held back on doing something out of fear that the critics will pop up… ignore ‘em!  Move forward and build your uniquely inspired business authentically. Eventually, even the critics will jump on board when they see your magnificence.

“What we did (and what you do is) courageous.  It requires bravery.  Managing doesn’t, and following the rules to make a living doesn’t.  It might be hard work, but it feels safe.  Changing things – pushing the envelope and creating a future that doesn’t exist yet (at the same time you’re criticized by everyone else) – requires bravery.”

I think the key thing to note is that regardless, when you put yourself out there, it’s going to require something inside of you that not everyone has.  Embrace it and you succeed – back down from it and you won’t.

“When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff.  And the sheepwalkers and their bosses watch and shake their heads, certain that this is an exception and it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base.”

Instead, hire the people who obviously know what they are doing, empower them and see what happens.  I wish more of our clients and the people hiring professional services had this mentality.  We could do BIG things for people if they let us.

“Part of leadership (a big part of it, actually) is the ability to stick with the dream for a long time.  Long enough that the critics realize that you’re going to get there one way or another … so they follow.”

Ahhhh… So true.  This was probably my favorite part of the entire book.  For me, it’s saying to people that regardless of what you throw at leaders, they’ll always lead.  The really good leaders will keep moving forward and you’ll eventually follow or join too.

Read it?  What are your thoughts or favorite passages?


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