Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tribes (copy)


I love a good business book. Unlike fiction and readable nonfiction that tell a story, business books waste no words. The formats are concise and to the point. The books are short and say the same thing over and over so that you (the very busy business person) can get it and then go out and use it.
That being said, I am fired up about a book called Tribes by Seth Godin. Throughout history, we have all wanted to belong – to connect – to other people in our community, in our work place, and in a larger sense, our world. We want people to notice us when we are not there whether it be church choir, book club, or Saturday mornings at the park. We want to be connected.
Tribes take those who want to connect and put them together with like-minded individuals. A library group that plays scrabble is a tribe. By seeing each other weekly and getting to know one another, they become a cohesive group. The group then becomes a cohesive request for library services because as a group, they can incite change.
The book uses CrossFit.com as an example of like-minded  fitness fanatics who have created a nationwide tribe. In gyms all over the country these tribe members compete against the clock by doing a number of different exercises. Once completed their numbers are recorded on the website to compete with others who did the same workout that day.
Why would anybody push her body to the limit just to put a time on a website? Greg Glassman, the founder of the movement, created an environment where like-minded people could connect and share the results or in most cases the story they tell to get to the results. People want to share. People want to connect.
Glassman leads them be providing the space and the forethought to let them be themselves but also a part of the tribe. They cheer each other on to greater fitness and Glassman stands back as the coach for guidance and leadership. He no longer has to say much to recruit trainers. His tribe does all the work.
Three qualities are needed to become a leader of a tribe. First, the leader upsets the status quo. Who said you could play scrabble in a library? The leader sees the current situation and knows it can be better with change. Second, the leader connects those people who have the same passion for the change. Calling all scrabblers, meet at the library for fun and games. Third, the leader leads.
How simple is that? Lead! Upset, connect and then lead. I love a good business book. 

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