Management Practices

Book Review: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 3:11 PM

Reviewed by industry consultant Gordon Miller, former director of the National Cosmetology Association

What is the book about?

Popular marketing guru, blogger and author Seth Godin defi nes a tribe as “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea. For millions of years, people have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political or even musical (think Deadheads). It’s our nature.” With the advent of the internet (eliminating the barriers of geography, cost and time) people are coming together in new and ever expanding ways—allowing existing ‘tribes’ to get bigger and new tribes to come into being. And, although technology is changing lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine 10 years ago, one thing the internet can’t do is provide leadership—of your staff, fellow employees, customers, followers, fans and more. Tribes is about leadership in the age of the internet, online communities and new ways of connecting—and how you can leverage your passion in new ways.

Why did you like this book?
It was short, to the point and easy to read—it was a new take on an old topic (leadership) that is meaningful in many ways. As Godin says: “Without leaders, there are no followers. You’re a leader. We need you.”

Importantly, Godin does a great job in separating management from leadership. “Management is about manipulating resources to get a known job done” while leadership “is about creating change that you believe in.” There’s no arguing the world around us is changing at a pace that is dumbfounding, and that new kinds of leaders are needed in all parts of our lives. This book is both thought-provoking and, for those who buy into the author’s way of thinking, a handbook for leading in ways that fit the new world order.

What was the biggest takeaway message for you?
That leadership, like most things in life, begins with making a choice. If you believe passionately in what you do, you have the potential to lead—and to make a positive difference in things that matter to you.

What idea did you implement in your business or personal life?
Leadership brings with it accountability— and this book makes one think not only about how to be a new kind of leader but also about what responsibilities come with that role.

I’m working to build more of those accountabilities into all parts of my interactions with those I connect with professionally and personally—and think I’m a better person (and professional) because of this book.

Why would you recommend this book to other professionals?
The internet is allowing salon professionals to connect with each other and with their current and future clients in ways that were not long ago unfathomable. Tribes is a great primer for salon owners, managers and professionals on how to take their passion for beauty and service and turn it into bigger, better results in their careers and lives by leading.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
By Seth Godin
Published by: The Penguin Group
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