Seth Godin’s Tribes

Structure: Some lines have been quoted while some phrases have been paraphrased (PP) but I will be limiting the paraphrasing because I may not accurately present the book as well as the author intends. Note that this writing is not entirely representative of the book but more of what I count as important takeaways to me. My recommendation is to speed read the described book but I understand people are busy. Anyway, on with the show…

My biggest takeaway from his book is this: EVERYONE is now a leader. That means you, me, your friend, your dog. Well, maybe not your dog. Not to us, anyway. But we’re all leaders if we choose to. He cites an example of Thomas Barnatt, pitching a controversial idea at the Pentagon. Unheard of. But these kinds of examples are what we need because this leadership and this confidence is rare.

People like having the freedom to do what they want and if possible, turn a profit. I know many artists who wanted that but chose a different path because they reason ‘no one’s going to pay me to draw so I’ll change to something I won’t like but will be profitable like…[i-banking] [pre-med] [pre-law].’ Whenever I see this, I deeply sigh.

I’m not saying to follow your passion but to pursue what interests you. This already makes you a leader, albeit only of yourself. The process of pursuing this will determine how much impact you’ll have as a leader. Godin writes ways to do this but for simplification, I’ll narrow it down to these three concepts:

1) Have a purpose
2) Do things revolving around  that purpose, however unconventional the things may be
3) Start now

A quick example on this of Zappos.
Their purpose is to give the best customer service ever. They carry this purpose out by conversing on the phone for as long as the customer needs (no time clock and customers are encouraged to call), giving automatic upgrades to next-day shipping are among a few unconventional ideas. For the last concept, Zappos’s CEO, Tony Hseih, had to think of ‘starting now’ at some point.

What do you think of this list? I encourage feedback, no matter how critical. Thanks in advance. 🙂


Copyright from the book (just in case): “Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.”