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Where Buddha Meets Business

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

I’ve always been fascinated by groups and what attracts people to join since I was in high school. (Hence, this book summary of Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us. And, before I get to that…)

It was so interesting for me to see the different clicks or people who hung out together. It was usually people of the same or similar ethnicity, looks, income groups, interests, lived in the same neighborhood, and more.

Then, as I got older, went to college, and started working, I was immersed in it in more groups, or as Godin calls in Tribes

After I started my marketing business, that’s when I totally geeked out on how to create a tribe and also went in the other direction of reading about Cults. 

I think it’s always good to read about the extreme of something because there’s so much to learn. Not that I’m condoning joining or creating a cult. 

Yet, I do want to reveal I got even more interested in them when I watched the HBO documentary series The Vow, about how a self-improvement company attracted people when the leader was secretly engaging in some serious illegal practices. 

While I’m watching it the whole time, I’m thinking, how can someone so smart join something like that and get so sucked in. Well, it happens slowly over time, and I think it’s really interesting how that happens. 

Also to realize on the other side that there are so many interesting psychological factors of why people are attracted to cults, to certain religions, and more that we can truly learn from

There are several books I’d highly recommend, so check out the end of this book summary for more.

What I totally loved about Godin’s book Tribes, besides the fact that I listened to it on Audible and felt like it came to life when Godin read it to me. It kind of got in my head. And I had to stop too many times while I was walking to take notes. It got to be pretty funny.

I really enjoyed the focus on becoming a better leader and forming or finding your tribe of like-minded people. At its core, leadership is about skill and attitude. As Godin says, “They’re essential to a leader’s success.” And that as a leader, you also need to be a disruptor and change agent for the status quo. This also falls into the marketing category as well. That’s how a lot of successful companies have come about because of it’s leader disrupting the status quo.

Some other essential skills are my favorite — being generous and authentic and having a desire to do work that you believe in and want to help transform. He also shares that you have to have a coat of armor as you will get your share of people mocking you and maybe even hating you or going against your ideas.  This — is his whole point because THAT’s the biggest reason WHY you have to find your TRIBE.  

If any of this is resonating with you, then you definitely need to read on and pick up a copy of this book!

A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!

Quick Summary
Tribes by Seth Godin explores the power of human connection, leadership, and the impact of building your own tribe. It shares principles such as the need for belonging and how tribes have the potential to inspire positive change. It’s also about leadership and looking at it as a way to inspire, connect, and make a bigger impact in the world. As a leader, it’s about embracing it as a way to create a meaningful impact on your work and life. If you’re looking at how you can build a community and seek more of a bigger purpose in the world, then you gotta get this book. 

Who Ought to Read this Book and Why:
Tribes is a must-read for aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking a deeper sense of purpose and community. Godin shares how tribes have shared values and passions. And how they can drive change and also inspire action. When you understand the power of tribes, you can then unlock your leadership potential, find your perfect niche, and create a bigger impact in your work and your life. If you love roadmaps, then this is it. Tribes will help you create positive change and build strong connections in a world that may feel quite disconnected. 

Things You Will Discover:

The Power of Tribes: The world was built on tribes and communities of like-minded people with shared values and passions. When people come together, they have the potential to drive change, create movements, and also give you a sense of connection and belonging.

Redefining Leadership: There’s a modern paradox of hyper-connectivity and disconnection. Godin shares how societal norms have led us to more of a sense of isolation and how creating a community or tribe can remedy this. As humans, we thrive best in a tribe with like-minded people. You’ll gain insights into how effective leadership can emerge during difficult times and how a tribe can unite and overcome many obstacles.

Belonging and Purpose: There’s a deep human need for belonging and a sense of purpose. That’s why people join groups online and offline. We all want to connect and feel like we belong and have a purpose in life. It’s about giving, sharing, and helping others. In this book, Godin shares the importance of finding and creating your tribe because it will bring you fulfillment, peace, and purpose. 

Building Your Tribe – Godin gives you much practical advice and many strategies about how you can build and nurture your tribe. He also shares many strategies for how you can create and foster connections and communication and how people will feel a sense of belonging. 

Inspiring Book Quotes:

The Leadership Secret:
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

Are You A Fearless Heretic?
“In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn’t necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.”

“Change isn’t made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness later.”

What Is Leadership?
“Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in. “It’s the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”

Don’t Escape From This:
“Life’s too short” is repeated often enough to be a cliche, but this time it’s true. You don’t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It’s not just pointless. It’s painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

This Is How To Lead:
“Yes, I think it’s okay to abandon the big, established, stuck tribe. It’s okay to say to them, “You’re not going where I need to go, and there’s no way I’m going to persuade all of you to follow me. So rather than standing here watching the opportunities fade away, I’m heading off. I’m betting some of you, the best of you, will follow me.”

The Paradox of Leading:
“Remarkable visions and genuine insights are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance. Products, services, career paths – whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it’s over. If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it, and your work would ultimately be devalued. The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it’s unlikely to be worth the journey. Persist.”

This Is All You Need:
“An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. It’s enough.”

Don’t Ever Give Up:
“If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either. 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.”

This Is Hard:
“The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.”

Be Willing To Be Wrong:
“The secret of being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal. The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.”

Anatomy of a Movement:

“Senator Bill Bradley defines a movement as having three elements: (1) A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we’re trying to build. (2) A connection between and among the leader and the tribe. (3) Something to do – the fewer limits, the better. Too often, organizations fail to do anything but the third.”

You Must Believe:
“Heretics must believe. More than anyone else in an organization, it’s the person who’s challenging the status quo, the one who is daring to be great, who is truly present and not just punching a clock, who must have confidence in her beliefs.

Can you imagine Steve Jobs showing up for the paycheck? It’s nice to get paid. It’s essential to believe.”

Don’t Wait Any Longer:
“It’s not time,” “Take it easy,” “Wait and see,” “It’s someone else’s turn” – none of these stalls are appropriate for a leader in search of change. There’s a small price for being too early but a huge penalty for being too late. The longer you wait to launch an innovation, the less your effort is worth.”

About the Author: – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, and, Most of All, A teacher. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 20 best-selling books. His book, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in countries around the world. The latest book is The Practice, and creatives everywhere have made it a bestseller. He also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!). By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership to the spread of ideas and changing everything, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world.

In 2013, Seth was one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might be the only person in both.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

Other Books by Seth Godin:

All Marketers Are Liars

Lynchpin: Are You Indispensable

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, And Friends Into Customers

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick)

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Unleashing The Idea Virus: Stop Marketing At People! Turn Your Ideas Into Epidemics

Other Books About Writing I’d Recommend: 

True Believer by Eric Hoffer

The Culting of Brands by Douglas Atkins

The Art of Community: 7 Principles of Belonging
by Charles H. Vogl

Nudge: The Final Edition: Improving Decisions About Money, Health, and the Environment by Richard H. Thaler

The Art of Gathering: Why We Meet and How It Matters by  Priya Parker  

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides by Geoffrey L. Cohen 

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

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Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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