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A fresh look at Leadership and how to manage change.



by Seth Godin


10K reads

Defining A Tribe

  • A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
  • A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
  • Tribes need leadership. People want connection and growth and something new. The...

Some tribes are stuck. They embrace the status quo and drown out any tribe member who dares to question authority and the accepted order.

Big charities, tiny clubs, struggling corporations - they're tribes and they're stuck. I'm not so interested in those tribes. They create little of val...

A movement is thrilling. It's the work of many people, all connected, all seeking something better.

Leaders have followers. Managers have employees.

Some people admire the new and stylish far more than they respect the proven state of affairs. More often than not, these fad-focused ea...

Marketing, the verb, changed the market. The market is now a lot less impressed with average stuff for average people, and the market is a lot less impressed with loud and flashy and expensive advertising. Today, the market wants change.

Leaders don't care very much for organizational structure or the official blessing of whatever factory they work for. They use passion and ideas to lead people, as opposed to using threats and bureaucracy to manage them.

There's a difference between telling people what to do, and inciting a...

It only takes two things to turn a group of people into a tribe:

  • A shared interest
  • A way to communicate

The communication can be:

  • leader to tribe
  • tribe to leader
  • tribe member to tribe member
  • tribe ...

  • Organizations are more important than ever. It's the factories we don't need.
  • Organizations give us the ability to create complex products. They provide the muscle and consistency necessary to get things to market and to back them up.
  • Organizations have the scale to care for ...

All great leaders are generous - they enable the tribe to thrive.

The most powerful way to enable is to be statueworthy : by getting out front, by making a point, by challenging convention, and by speaking up.

It's easy to hesitate when confronted with the feeling that maybe you're ge...

  • The first thing a leader can focus on is the act of tightening the tribe. It's tempting to make the tribe bigger, to get more members, to spread the word. This pales, however, when juxtaposed with the effects of a tighter tribe.
  • A tribe that communicates more quickly, with alacrity a...

  • It's uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
  • It's uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
  • It's uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
  • It's uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you've found the...

  • Blind sheep do nothing but mindlessly follow instructions.
  • They don't do the local leadership required when tribe members interact.
  • They're not going to do a very good job of recruiting new members. Evangelism requires leadership.
  • People eagerly engag...

Not all leadership involves getting in the face of the tribe. It takes just as much effort to successfully get out of the way. Effective leadership does not work by inciting, but by enabling others to fill the vacuum.

The one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothi...

Curious is the key word. It has to do with a desire to understand, a desire to try, a desire to push whatever envelope is interesting. Leaders are curious because they can't wait to find out what the group is going to do next. The changes in the tribe are what are interesting, and curiosity drive...

Imagine two classrooms with similar teachers. One has 15 students, the other, 32. Which group gets a better education? The smaller class - because the teacher has more time to spend customizing the lesson to each student. She has fewer students, hence fewer disruptions as well.

    There are countless religions in our lives.

    • The religion of Broadway determines what a musical is supposed to look and feel like.
    • The religion of the MBA standard curriculum and perceptions of what is successful.
    • Religion gives our faith a little suppor...

    Leadership almost always involves thinking and acting like the underdog. That's because leaders work to change things, and the people who are winning rarely do.

    Leaders go first.

    • Initiating: see something others are ignoring and jump on it.

    • Everyone believes that what they've got is probably better than the risk and fear that come with change.
    • At first, the new thing is rarely as good as the old thing was.
    • If you need the alternative to be better than the status quo from the very start, you'll never begin.


    When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff.

    1. Publish a manifesto.

    Give it away and make it easy for the manifesto to spread far and wide. It doesn't have to be printed or even written.

    2. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you.

    3. Make it easy for your followers to ...

    1. Transparency really is your only option.

    2. Your movement needs to be bigger than you.

    3. Movements that grow, thrive.

    4. Movements are made most clear when compared to the status quo or to movements that work to push the other direction.

    5. Exclude outsiders.

    6. ...

    It's OK to abandon the big, established, stuck tribe.

    It's OK to say, "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...


    The secret of leadership : paint a picture of the future. Go there.

    • The easiest thing is to react.
    • The second easiest thing is to respond.
    • But the hardest thing is to initiate.

    Managers react. Responding is a much better alternative. You respond to external stimuli with thoughtful action.

    But both pale in comparison to initi...


    Change isn’t made by asking permission. Change is made by asking for forgiveness, later.

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    Marketing 101 coming from the expert: Seth Godin



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