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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far, the best book I have read this year!
If you want to change the world, or change your bit of it, this is the book for you!

Seth Godin focuses on the role that LEADERSHIP plays in change and makes some powerful observations about the difference between MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP. Management is about maintaining stability, about perpetuating the status quo, it is about ensuring that things are done...
Published on 16 Nov 2008 by S. Gale

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, not enough for a whole book
Seth Godin has great ideas, and the idea of leading a tribe to make change happen is another one of them. The issue is that this book could have 5 or 10 pages instead of 131. It would share exactly the same knowledge. Going for the same over and over again with lousy examples is what's made me got really tired. It's boring, exactly what he claims not to do. I won't spread...
Published on 3 Jan 2010 by Ricard Codina Graño


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, not enough for a whole book, 3 Jan 2010
By 
Ricard Codina Graño (Barcelona) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
Seth Godin has great ideas, and the idea of leading a tribe to make change happen is another one of them. The issue is that this book could have 5 or 10 pages instead of 131. It would share exactly the same knowledge. Going for the same over and over again with lousy examples is what's made me got really tired. It's boring, exactly what he claims not to do. I won't spread the word, or at least not positevely.
Seth, this idea is worth a post, but not a book. Think it through for the future.

A (little disappointed)fan
Ricard
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been so much better, 9 Jun 2009
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
The difference between a book and a blog is that a book has a narrative or an argument; whereas a blog is a series of thoughts, not necessarily connected.

And narrative is what's lacking in this book. Like Seth's other works, it seems to have been taken from blogs written over time. Many of the headings cover similar ground, so the book becomes repetitive.

And because there's no argument, the central idea of the book never really develops. Seth just keeps looking at the subject from different angles.

This is frustrating, and it's a shame, because Seth Godin is an original thinker and this book is a good example of the clarity with which he can see 21st issues, especially as they relate to the online world.

Seth also shies away from making any practical suggestions about how to create a Tribe.

However, the book is good on Leadership. If you're interested in that subject, it's not a bad read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good concept, poor book, 6 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
Seth Godin's books have always been a little like reading a three page presentation that's been turned into a hundred and fifty pages by just repeating the same message over and over and over again. This one was even worse. It didn't actually read like a book, it read like someone's collection of blog posts or notes on an idea that have been prepared to be crafted into a book, but someone forgot to actually do it. There's no coherent message beyond "groups of people working together are stronger than alone" which isn't particularly revolutionary anyway. There's absolutely no narrative, no flow, no story. I felt like I was being shouted at by an obsessed blog which was trying to indoctrinating me into a cult.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far, the best book I have read this year!, 16 Nov 2008
By 
S. Gale "Stephen Gale" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
If you want to change the world, or change your bit of it, this is the book for you!

Seth Godin focuses on the role that LEADERSHIP plays in change and makes some powerful observations about the difference between MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP. Management is about maintaining stability, about perpetuating the status quo, it is about ensuring that things are done the same way that they have always been done. It is about avoiding change. For managers, change equals risk. Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that people can believe in. Leadership doesn't avoid change, it thrives on it. For leaders, change equals opportunity.

The book is incredibly well written. It feels as if every page has been handcrafted. Some many find the lack of chapters disconcerting. For me, it just helped the whole flow of the book. Ironically, it almost reads as a set of blog entries (no surprise for anyone that has read "Small is the new Big" or Seth's blog). I find it amusing that many said that the online world would kill off traditional publishing. Well, here is an example of the online world inspiring traditional publishing!

It is very easy to read. I read it in a couple of sittings and the only thing that slowed me down was the fact I made so many notes in it! I highly recommend it. If you are interested in leadership, then you MUST read this book. You will not be disappointed.

I wish I could think and write like Seth Godin. However, I suspect the only thing we have in common is our initials! Great book. Inspiring reading. Thank you, Seth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Variations on a theme of Jesus, 12 Feb 2010
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
I found this book frustrating and inspirational at the same time. Anyone who expects a textbook on how to become a leader will feel disappointed. Anyone who ever had a strong conviction and found an excuse not to push the idea, like me, will feel guilty. Anyone who still has a strong conviction in an idea, or in themselves, will find inspiration.

I don't exactly know what Seth's motives with the structure of the book is, but the blurb on the back cover perhaps says it all "Tribes is for those who don't want to be sheep and instead have a desire to do fresh and exciting work". Fresh and exciting per definition cannot follow a tried and trusted recipe. So don't expect one from Seth. Apply your own intellect and knowledge to the hints, reassurances, admonishments, and challenges in this book, and you WILL find value. But only if you are willing to do most of the thinking work yourself.

In a 2010 interview, Seth said about his own writing that it becomes better if he writes like he talks. He is predisposed to an audience who understands what he talks about, as opposed to an audience who needs twice as much explanation. I think in his writing he is focusing on the act of "tightening his tribe" rather than succumbing to the temptation of making the tribe bigger - page 44, "Tighter".

After all, not everyone wants to be a leader. If you don't want to be one, don't read the book.

Final thought - halfway through the book, I couldn't help but recognise a strong correlation between "Tribes" and the story of Jesus as told in the four Gospels. Uncanny how incredibly well Jesus fits his description of a tribal leader .... Seth is a modern Apostle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why everyone is now - or can be - a leader but only if...., 5 Nov 2008
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Seth Godin's books and blog provide a wealth of information, observations, opinions, and (especially) challenges that can help others to overcome what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." In this, his most recent book, he urges his reader to consider and then take full advantage of unprecedented opportunities to become a leader. He cites five different but related reasons: "everyone in an organization - not just the boss - is expected to lead," in today's workplace "it's easier than ever before to change things [and] individuals have more leverage than ever before," those and their organizations that "change things and create remarkable products and services" are rewarded in the marketplace, change initiatives are "engaging, thrilling, profitable and fun," and most of all, there is a "tribe" of other people waiting for a leader "to connect them to one another and lead them where they want to go."

In this context, I am reminded of a passage from Lao-Tzu's Tao Te Ching:

"Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves. "

This is precisely what Godin has in mind when asserting that great leaders "create movements by empowering the tribe [i.e. those with a shared interest] to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow." The communication to which he refers is between and among the leader and members of a tribe who are connected by a shared interest, a common cause (i.e. "a passionate goal"), and a determination to create things that did not exist before, to achieve something that could happen but hasn't yet. Godin stresses the need for leaders with imagination. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, those who "dream things that never were and say why not."

In his recently published book, Iconoclast, Gregory Berns examines a number of leaders, each of whom was a "breaker or destroyer of images," who in recent years accomplished what others claimed could not be done. When doing so, these modern iconoclasts attacked orthodox beliefs and, in some cases, institutions. "The overarching theme of this book is that iconoclasts are able to do things that others say can't be done, because iconoclasts perceive things differently than other people." Berns goes on to explain that the difference in perception "plays out in the initial stages of an idea. It plays out in how their manage their fears, and it manifests in how they pitch their ideas to the masses of noniconoclasts. It is an exceedingly rare individual who possesses all three of these traits." One of Godin's most important points is that almost anyone can be an iconoclast if she or he creates a movement by empowering a tribe and motivating its members to attack and then destroy the status quo, meanwhile connecting them to each other to leverage their combined strengths.

I agree with Godin that leaders "make a ruckus." So did Alcibiades' drunken seamen who, while ashore and roaming the streets of Athens late one night, smashed sacred icons. But they were vandals, not leaders. They comprised a mob. It is important to keep in mind that Godin's "tribe" is not a mob, nor is it a crowd. "A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication." It is easy to collect a crowd. The objective, Godin, suggests, is to create a tribe. Will it be easy? Of course not. That requires more time and effort to motivate, connect, and leverage its members. Also, it is necessary for leaders to overcome fear, not of failure but of blame. "We chose not to be remarkable because we're worried about criticism." Recent research conducted by the Gallup Organization indicates that 29% of the U.S. workforce is engaged (i.e. loyal, enthusiastic, and productive) whereas 55% is passively disengaged. That is, they are going through the motions, doing only what they must, "mailing it in," coasting, etc. What about the other 16%? They are actively disengaged in that they are doing whatever they can to undermine their employer's efforts to succeed. They have a toxic impact on their associates and, in many instances, on customer relations.

Godin would describe the passively disengaged as "sleepwalkers," those who "have been raised to be obedient" and are comfortable "with brain-dead jobs and enough fear to keep in line." For at least some of them, leaders provide the will to make something better happen. (I could be wrong but I doubt if he would characterize actively disengaged as "heretics." That is, those who are "engaged, passionate, and more powerful and happier than anyone else.") Those whom Godin calls to action are chalenged to threaten the status quo, demonstrating what Joseph Schumpeter describes as "creative destruction." With effective leadership, they support and are supported by their tribe to achieve, together, beneficial change whereas the actively disengaged seek only disruption and destruction.

In my opinion, this is Seth Godin's most important book thus far because he challenges his reader to accept full responsibility for becoming a tribal leader of principled and productive agents of positive change. "No one gives you permission or approval or a permit to lead, You can just do it. The only one who can say no is you." But he doesn't stop there. He also challenges his reader to share his book with others. "Ask them to read it. Beg them to make a choice about leadership. We need them. We need you. Spread the word. Thanks."

Now what? I presume to suggest that you read this book. Then what? That's up to you.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed a bit light on content..., 1 July 2009
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
I feel the whole book could basically be summed up as: "People need leaders. You're a leader. Go lead." Sure, there's a few other interesting ideas here and there, but it felt like there was too much filler and not enough revelations. Sorry Seth.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pricking the Lead Balloon, 29 Sep 2009
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
Want to learn how to be a leader and how it works in the digital age? Read the excellent Wikinomics, not this disappointing repackaging of anecdotes whose endlessly repeated message is only "you can do it". Well, yes I can: I can review this book as one of the worst I have ever paid to struggle through. No clear structure, no real evidence to support its claims, just a bunch of feelgood anecdotes carelessly cut and pasted from presentations and articles, and often only relevant or comprehensible to the contemporary USA. Poorly written, and patronising.

The book keeps referring to the fearful nature of people who work in balloon factories and encouraging the reader not to think like them. You should indeed be worried if your product contains only stale hot air. Perhaps the author's other books are good, or perhaps his digital followers just review his books to boost sales. I'll never know, as I will never buy or read another book by Seth Godin. I can do it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, provocative and fascinating, 12 Jan 2009
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
Seth Godin is one of the thought leaders of the internet revolution. In this short book he explains how and why people can lead their own tribes. Tribes are groups who share a common interest or passion. The book is very concise and hard-hitting so it is easy to read for the busy person. It lacks structure and has no index so the serious student will find it frustrating. The author conveys a small number of messages with clarity and power. He gets you thinking about how you could lead a tribe and contribute to the Web 2.0 world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone to understand the web and its power, 26 Nov 2008
By 
I. Hughes "epredator" (southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tribes: We need you to lead us (Paperback)
Seth Godin has captured the story of many of us out on the web. People who have gathered like minded individuals through sharing, through leadership. Anyone can do this if they want to. This is not a self help book, it is a series of anecdotes that should empower anyone to just get on with it.
For me it is the story of my tribe eigthbar in virtual worlds retold through countless other stories.
The changes are already happening, we are already all connected and able to form these tribes and movements. We can all make the difference we need to, just by doing it.
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Tribes: We need you to lead us
Tribes: We need you to lead us by Seth Godin (Paperback - 6 Nov 2008)
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