Thursday, October 23, 2008

Listening to Tribes: The need to lead

Book cover of Book cover via Amazon

"Work is too time consuming to be dull"
I discovered (via Todd Sampson on twitter) a free download of Seth Godin's new book Tribes (pre-order it for £8.57 here).

You'll find the free audible download here (hint; say you're from the US even if you aren't when you register).

It's also available on itunes for 99p!

Seth talks about Tribes needing leaders, and all of us needing to belong. There is much of Mark Earls' Herd in this and much of Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody and even echoes of my own thinking about Communities of Purpose and the adhoc nature of group forming and who gets to be famous/a leader within each, as Seth would describe them, tribe.

But Seth's usp is his call to action. Tribes is a clarion call to the heretics - those of us who see the need for change. He demands that you take the initiative and make it happen.
He calls the heretics, our leaders and says that the technological tools available to us today make it easier than ever to effect change, to become a leader, if YOU take the initiative.
It's an energising message. Don't just pontificate; activate. Blogs, email and social networks give you the tools to not only to organise but to lead.

He demands YOU start your own movement. And he fears that people like you and I (we are the heretics, right?) are in short supply but therefore of the highest value.
Seth's message is writ through with the sense that this change to a purpose and passion driven mode of production is good (and, for the record, he ain't wrong there). Hence the repeated message that we need YOU.

It's ok to follow. But if you want to and need to lead then you can and you should, because it's never been easier, he says.

Seth has often talked about how everyone is a marketer now (much like my own claims that we are all publishers and advertisers now).
Tribes take this a step further. Not only are we now all marketers (publishers/advertisers) but everyone is a leader now.
Tribes offer something to believe in (again, echoes of Mark Earls' purpose idea). We heretics have visions that function as emotive drivers of action - action intended to change the status quo.

How does that fit in the factory-style process pipe of traditional business? Not so well, I'm guessing...

The second big theme of Tribes is that the individual has more power than ever. Good people with ideas that matter are now able to step forward with the power to turn things upside down. And he keeps on insisting that they should.

You are not a 'sheepwalker'.

So what are you the heretic about? Where are you ready to lead?

And why aren't you doing it already?

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?