I was quite impressed by Seth Godin's small book called "The Dip" so I decided to get a copy of Tribes. The book describes a tribe as:
any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea.
It almost sounds like the definition of a tribe is identical to that of a community in the social network literature. The powerful idea in this book is that anyone and yes, YOU! can lead a tribe. Godin describes leaders as heretics who challenge the status quo in organizations. The internet and social media tools today make it far easier for all of us to be leaders and inspire others to do the same in their own workplace, organization, school or non profit. Blogs, social networking sites, self publishing tools and twitter are only a few examples of new tools that are at your disposal.
This book isnt a "how-to" manual or a dummies guide to leadership but it presents plenty of examples of how individuals have brought about change. In all the examples one thing that is striking is how true leadership is a lot about communication. Leadership requires us to listen and to facilitate communication in a tribe.
Overall it was an average read and I must say the book fell short of my expectations. One problem with the style of writing is that it was more like a series of blog posts on this topic rather than a book. The sections are just too hotchpotch and lack depth. Perhaps it would have served much better as a blog since there were several paragraphs and references where individuals and examples seemed to have been mentioned in passing without much detail. I think the author assumed a lot from the reader in terms of familiarity with both his previous works and the references made. Not having internet connectivity while reading this book was equally frustrating since I could not research further on these examples.
If you are already a fan of Godin's work you may enjoy it.