There are so many important and meaningful leadership lessons in Seth Godin’s Tribes that it is impossible to grasp the book’s full significance in just one read. Godin’s tactful command of the English language and deliberate use of metaphor transforms complex leadership theories into rudimentary ideas that serve to inspire and encourage the average reader to find his or her leader within. His artistry is poignant and can change your leadership paradigms, but only if you choose to let it.
After listening to the book presentations in today’s class, something really struck me about about each of the lessons, especially Julia’s: We are all part of a leadership seminar, but by design that does not make us leaders. We learn about leadership theories, traits and characteristics, but none of it has any implication unless we apply it to our every day lives. So I leave you with this: Actively commit to reading Godin’s book (or any leadership book of your own) daily. Don’t try and read it cover to cover, but pull out one key element each day and search for ways to apply it to your life.
Here is what I will focus on this week:
1) Proactive Behavior
“The largest enemy of change and leadership isn’t a no. It’s a not yet. Not yet is the safest, easiest way to forestall change. Not yet gives the status quo a change to regroup and put off the inevitable for just a while longer. Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”
I always find myself putting things off until tomorrow – not because I am afraid of change, but because I deem other priorities more important. This week I will work to change that.
2) Eliminate “Fear” From My Vocabulary
“Fear is what holds us back. Leadership isn’t difficult but we have been trained to avoid it.”
Realizing that fear is what holds us back is a powerful thing. Once we know (and accept) what our demons are then we can work on overcoming them.
What leadership lessons will you work on this week?
For my leadership book report, I read Tribes by Seth Godin.
My favorite quote in the book which sums up the basic point of what Godin is trying to say is this: “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People follow.”
Using case studies, bullet-point lists and encouraging stories of success, Godin argues that the world needs you to be a leader, but it’s up to you to decide to take that position.
Once a person chooses to take the lead, they need to assemble a loyal following or tribe. Tribes, according to Godin, are made of people with a shared interest and way to communicate.
The best example of modern day tribes would be on social media networks. Twitter fans, Facebook friends, blog readers, YouTube subscribers are all authentic, functioning tribes who are interested in a certain topic, love to talk about it and seek out news and information from key influential leaders. Whether it be about makeup, politics, technology or music, fans or followers are very important to the success and growth of an idea.
The movement doesn’t have to be big though. You don’t need 1 million YouTube subscribers to necessarily be a leader. Godin says it’s a big mistake to just think about having a big following. Instead, good leaders should focus on tightening their tribe.
Here are also five things leaders should do in order to start their own movement:
1) Publish a manifesto to share your mission with members,
2) Make it easy for followers to connect with you media
3) Make it easy for followers to connect with one another
4) Realize that money is not the point of a movement
5) Track your progress publicly so followers can contribute
With social media and new forms of communication, anyone can have their voice heard which makes it really easy to take the initiative and take chances.
Some helpful online tools I have found for leaders and change-makers include:
-Change.org, a site where anyone can start a petition, mobilize supporters and enact real change
-Mashable.com, for news and stories on marketing, media and more
-Ashoka, investing in solutions for the world’s toughest problems