November 2008

Finding your leader

By Seth Godin
Review by
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If Seth Godin has anything to say about it, we're going to toss aside the "born leader" concept once and for all and embrace the notion that leadership is the product of a conscious decision, not a birthright. Of course, businesspeople have by now recognized, if not embraced, new ways of forging connections via the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Craigslist. But in Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us, Godin exhorts readers to think bigger, to move beyond these tools and wake up to the opportunities inherent in the "tribes" that are forming and growing every day. Tribes can be big (Grateful Dead followers, Mac aficionados) or small (teams of programmers, knitting groups), but no matter their size, they are in need of leaders. Godin provides case studies about various tribes and their leaders, noting: "The explosion in tribes, groups, covens, and circles of interest means that anyone who wants to make a difference can."

Although Tribes can be repetitive, Godin's straightforward, encouraging voice is appealing – and surely has something to do with his long list of bestsellers, including Permission Marketing and Purple Cow. His enthusiasm for the tribes concept rings true, as does his hope that readers will realize "The power is here. The only thing holding you back is your own fear." It's a good point, and for readers who are ready to accept the messages of this book (people who are tired of the status quo, wondering what comes next and able to shake off criticism from less enlightened peers or bosses), this volume likely will serve as an impetus to lead a tribe and, who knows, maybe even change the world.


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