Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

“We need you to lead us.”

The Internet has broken down geographical boundaries and made it easier to create movements, groups of people who share ideas, and spread messages of empowerment and growth. These groups are called tribes and they’re flourishing everywhere. Tribes is about these movements and the connections they have, the connections that need you as a leader to create a platform where they share the same belief and spread their ideas.

Seth Godin reminds us that these leaders of tribes can come from anywhere and can be anyone. The barriers of leadership have been brought down and it’s no longer left to top executives or managers to lead. And so, Godin asks, why not you? Why not now?

“I’m not sure where I’m going. I’ll lead.” – Emmanuelle Heyman

He recommends two things to create a movement – shared ideas and a way to communicate. Godin talks about being a heretic, an outsider, someone with novel ideas and someone willing to step forward to make a difference. He does agree that fear exists but that you should drown it out by telling yourself a different story. There is no way around discomfort but through it.

Just as he has mentioned in Linchpin, he reminds us again of the need to ditch the factory path. Tribes do remarkable things, they do innovative things and the marketplace rewards innovation. In Tribes he also strongly discourages sheep behaviour, or what he calls sheepwalking. Leaders of tribes initiate and where they’re told an idea is stupid or impossible, they go first.

I’ve read Purple Cow and Linchpin and this one is my favourite.

It addresses a problem that organisations have – people stuck in the status quo and being afraid to lead without authority. He provides effective solutions. In this fast-paced world where people are constantly in search of remarkable products and services, organizations need everyone, regardless of their position, to lead.

What I love about Seth Godin’s books, is the way he writes in a free and simple way. Anyone can understand. As a marketing guru one would expect his work to speak only to those with an ear trained for marketing but anyone, in any career, can grasp his message and most importantly, use it.

I’d recommend it for people who want to do away with mediocrity and are in search of a way to use their passion and vision to spread great ideas and change. If you want your product or service to really meet your customers’ needs and make sure that you build connections that lead to more connections, then grab a copy of Tribes. It will inspire you and change the way you see and do things.


For more of his work, visit his webiste, Seth Godin

Title: Tribes

Author: Seth Godin

Published: Piatkus, 2008

Genre: Self-help

Becoming Indispensable with Seth Godin in Linchpin

“You can either fit in or stand out. Not both.”

Seth Godin, Linchpin

Reading Robin Sharma’s The Leader Who Had No Title took me back to our focus book for today, Linchpin by Seth Godin. It was my second Godin read and I enjoyed it better than Purple Cow.

According to Seth, a linchpin is someone who invents, leads regardless of title, connects others, makes things happen and creates order out of chaos. The linchpin is indispensable, he/she’s incredibly good at her job and does work that makes a difference. They’re not born with magical talents but rather decided to train themselves to do a new kind of work that’s important and that creates value.

Seth dives into how broken the system is. We are brainwashed into following a certain map, following instructions, being obedient and average. He says that the linchpin makes the choice to chart their own path while creating value, instead of buying into fear. The linchpin is not a replaceable cog in a machine, she/he leads and solves interesting problems.

The book advises you to become an artist, and an artist is not only the one who holds a paintbrush or clay. He says, “Art is the ability to change people with your work, to see things as they are and then create stories, images, and interactions that change the marketplace.” Anyone can be an artist in what they do. You need to dream up new ideas and go out and make them real.

He also emphasises the urgency of shipping. Instead of tolerating resistance and not putting your work out there, out of fear, he says you should create and hustle those solutions you’ve created out the door.

This is an inspiring book. It pushes you to reach into your genius or awaken it, create something that matters and become indispensable. When you read this you will learn that you don’t necessarily have to quit your job and go climb mountains or explore jungles, but rather to bring your whole self to work and do things that matter, things that are of value. You will be inspired to look for the artist in you and be creative in all that you do.

So go ahead, be a Linchpin, you have it in you.