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“Tribes”—Book review

I was already a Seth Godin fan. I read his blog daily.

tribes_seth_godin He’s a modern-day cowboy, leading the covered wagons out west, yelling, “Come on, y’all! You won’t believe this!

In Tribes, he’s trying to convince us to get our heads out of the wagons and hop on a horse instead. Blaze our own trails. And discover a tribe trailing behind us, just waiting to go where we’re heading.

So why does this small little book appeal to me, a stay-at-home mom? I’m not out creating change in the corporate world or leading a movement or starting a foundation.

 So the appeal to me had to go broader. And it did. It’s about embracing my interests. About not letting discomfort dictate my boundaries. About stimulating my own curiosity.

And getting validation for thoughts I’ve already held:

...and finally you begin to realize that the safest thing you can do feels risky and the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.

Once recognized, the quiet yet persistent voice of curiosity doesn’t go away. Ever.

Seth plays up the idea that “the one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothing at all.” I don’t want to do nothing.

As a Christ-follower, doing nothing isn’t an option anyway. We’re called to be people of love, which translates into people of action.

To be people who care.

Who cares? Caring is the key emotion at the center of the tribe. Tribe members care what happens, to their goals and to one another.

Sounds like Christianity to me. While Tribes is not a Christian book, Seth does skirt the edges of spirituality now and again. I fill in my own blanks anyway.

More quotes:

* The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.

* The organizations that need innovation the most are the ones that do the most to stop it from happening. It’s a bit of a paradox, but once you see it, it’s a tremendous opportunity.

* The largest enemy of change isn't a "no." It's a "not yet." "Not yet" is the safest, easiest way to forestall change. “Not yet” gives the status quo a chance to regroup and put off the inevitable for just a little while longer.

* ...[she] says to her friend, “Isn’t that sad? That guy comes here on vacation and he’s stuck checking his e-mail…”

I think the real question—the one they probably wouldn’t want to answer—was, “Isn’t it sad that we have a job where we spend two weeks avoiding the stuff we have to do fifty weeks a year?” 

... It took me a long time to figure out why I was so happy to be checking my e-mail in the middle of the night. It had to do with passion.

So whatever your passion, Tribes will probably fuel it.

1 comment:

Susannah said...

I used to read Seth's blog regularly, but I stopped. Thanks for the link... starting again! I love his brand of get-up-and-go inspiration. We all need a big PUSH now and then. This book looks great!

e-Mom @ Chrysalis


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