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Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

By on February 8, 2016

Tribes by Seth Godin is a 160 page management & leadership book published by Portfolio, October of 2008.

I was recently given this book as gift from a friend by the name of Alexander. Thank you for the book, Alex! I thought it would be a perfect book to read and write a review on. The concept of this book is about tribes and leadership — how tribes are created, and how leaders are made. I’m going to jump right into it.



What is a tribe? A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. Over millions of  years, human beings have been apart of one tribe or another. It’s in our nature to seek out groups of like minded individuals, organizations, and businesses — tribes you could say.

I’m a fan of Seth Godin, and I really like the simplicity in his style of writing. Seth states that a group only needs two things to be a tribe:

  1. A shared interest.
  2. A way to communicate with each other.

The internet has made it very easy for anyone to step up and start a tribe. Human beings can’t help it. We need to belong — it’s in our very DNA. This book does a great job of explaining tribes, how they’re started, and how they grow.

Successful tribes have Ideas that spread. Unsuccessful tribes have boring ideas that don’t spread. In the same context, boring organizations don’t grow, boring individuals don’t grow, and boring groups rarely exist. Sticking to the status quo is boring. The tribes that really explode and grow are the the tribes that change the status quo. Tribes that challenge the ordinary.

By changing the status quo you give yourself the opportunity to be remarkable. The safer you play your plan for the future — the riskier it actually is. The world is changing and safe is the new risky.

In organizations, religion, and all things systematic: When you fall in love with the system, you lose the ability to grow.



Seth states that almost all of us look at the idea of leadership, and hesitate. We hesitate because we feel like It’s something that we need to be ordained to do. Which is quite the opposite. Leadership isn’t something we’re ordained to do, leadership is a choice. Leaders aren’t born leaders, they become leaders by making the choice to become a leader.

More people need to be leaders. Leadership is the antidote for fixing mediocrity.  Seth says that the desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success in leaders. The secret of good leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there, and people will follow.

Seth says that people don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them, and they always believe what they tell themselves. 

What do leaders do? They give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future, and stories about change.


In Closing

Tribes is a good book and a quick read. It has valuable information on how tribes, movements, and leaders are made. If you’re interested in learning more about these subjects then I recommend read this book. You can apply the concepts from this book to any business, or organization and benefit from it. The key elements and principles in creating a micro movement are also laid out in this book. Use it to your advantage!

Seth Godin is excellent in marketing and creating successful companies (tribes). I always find value in his books, and I’m sure that you will too!


Have you read tribes? If so, what are your thoughts on the book. Let us know in the comments!



Curtis Blackmore

Hi my name is Curtis, and I'll be blogging about reading, traveling, and entrepreneurship. My core reason behind LibMode is to help liberate you in your journey to discover your passions, find balance, and improve your lifestyle through these three modes.

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