Yes, we have another “Book Feature” this week, which is usually a good sign that the book in question is not close enough to the job search for me to reach out to get an “Author Interview” to accompany it. It’s also pretty likely that, if I’m featuring a book, I’ve found in it something that at least resonates with my job search, and, once again, here’s a Seth Godin book that spoke to my inner Marketing Communicator.
Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us is something of a look at group dynamics, although largely framed in the context of how various “leaders” have come to lead their “Tribes” and change the course of their group environments. Spending as much time as I do immersed in Social Media, this concept of “Tribes” is probably more top-of-mind to me than to many, as how things seem to coalesce out there are in a “tribal” model, with many people communicating about the key element of the “Tribe” and gravitating to a handful of “leaders” who emerge as its voice.
The concept of “tribes” is not limited, or even specific, to things on the Web; it encompasses everything from traditional monarchies to corporations, government bureaucracies, tennis clubs, neighborhoods, company departments, and families. However, most of these are somewhat moribund, locked into “religions” of How Things Are Done, and not having the sort of curiosity-driven leaders who are willing to shake up the status quo and encourage the “heretics” … rather, most have “managers” who exist to stamp out “deviants” and make sure things never become “risky”!
The first thing you need to know is that individuals have far more power than ever before in history. One person can change an industry. One person can declare war. One person can reinvent science or politics or technology.
The second thing you need to know is that the only thing holding you back from becoming the kind of person who changes things is this: lack of faith. Faith that you can do it. Faith that it’s worth doing. Faith that failure won’t destroy you.
Our culture works hard to prevent change. We have long had systems and organizations and standards designed to dissuade people from challenging the status quo. We enforce our systems and call whoever is crazy enough to challenge them a heretic. And society enforces the standards by burning its heretics at the stake, either literally or figuratively.
The stories here of are people who, in a wide range of places and contexts, have emerged as “leaders” and become the focus of change, either revivifying a “tribe” or causing one to form around their vision or message. Godin even presents the general outlines of how to make this happen in your life, with a five-point plan and six basic principles, but one has to get past the “fear” that challenging established orthodoxies sparks in most of us (I know that’s why I can’t quite pull the trigger on whipping up what he describes as my “Manifesto”!).
Again, this is not a book about the job search, it’s a book about how humans organize themselves, and how one can use current technology (or not, in Godin’s own case it started out with a mimeographed newsletter!) to leverage the available communications channels to create change.
As usual, more details over in my review, but this is one of those things that provides a different look at what you’re doing, what you might want to be doing, and how one might be able to redefine one’s personal equations with the world. I highly recommend it!