Zusammenfassung – Tribes (Seth Godin)

11. März 2009

Die Möglichkeiten des heutigen Internets (Social Networks, Communities, Blogs, etc.) ermöglichen es, diverse Interessens-Gruppierungen (Tribes) auf einfache Art und Weise zu formen. Es mangelt jedoch an Leuten (Leaders), die solche Gruppierungen anführen (führen, nicht nur managen). Dabei legt Godin Wert auf die Unterscheidung von „einfachen“ Managern zu den gesuchten Leaders. Eine Differenzierung, die ich selbst sehr stark befürworte.

Die Kernaussage ist, dass jede(r) ein solcher Leader sein kann – es ist nur eine Frage des Willens und des Mutes (wieviel Risiko nehme ich auf mich). Man soll aus den gewohnten Bahnen ausbrechen und Veränderung fördern.

Das Buch ist dünn (ca. 150 Seiten) und und Godin listet seine Gedanken rund um das Thema in beliebiger Reihenfolge auf – ohne grossen Zusammenhang von Kapitel zu Kapitel, wobei sich ein Kapitel über maximal zwei Seiten erstreckt.

In der sehr kurzen Zusammenfassung unten habe ich mir erlaubt, dem Ganzen etwas Struktur zu geben die wichtigsten Punkte in einfacher Listenform wiederzugeben.


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Tribes – We need You to Lead us – Seth Godin
ISBN: 1591842336
Amazon: http://www.amazon.de/Tribes-We-Need-You-Lead/dp/1591842336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books-intl-de&qid=1236622040&sr=8-1


  • People want to be part of something that matters
  • A thousand fans (true fans) form a tribe (turn casual fans into true fans!)
  • To grow your tribe you should find new people and not try members of an opposite tribe to switch (switching means for them that they made a mistake)
  • It is better to have a tighter tribe than a bigger
  • It is ok to leave a tribe if it does not move anymore. Just carve out a new tribe


  • Today, marketing is about engaging with the tribe and delivering products and services with stories that spread
  • Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd (a tribe without a leader and without communication)
  • Marketing math: Non-boring ideas spread and ideas that spread win, whereas boring ideas don’t spread, boring organizations don’t grow and working in a static environment is no fun
  • People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves -> give people stories they can tell themselves – stories about the future and change

Create a micro-movement

  • How to create a micro-movement:
    • Publish a manifesto
    • Make it easy for your followers to connect with you
    • make it easy for your followers to connect with one another
    • Realize that money is not the point of a movement
    • Track your progress
  • Principles to follow:
    • Be transparent
    • Grow the tribe
    • Exclude outsiders
    • Build your followers up


  • People have many great ideas, but they do not make it happen due to fear
  • An innovation or change is seldom too early but mostly too late
  • Ideas need a certain time to be developed

Leadership and Management

  • „Leadership“ is not „Management“
    • Managers manage a process they’ve seen before, and they react to the outside world, striving to make that process as fast and as cheap as possible
    • Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in
    • Manager have employees and leaders have followers
    • Manager make widgets and leaders make change
  • Leadership is uncommon because few people are willing to go through the discomfort (stand up in front of strangers, propose an idea that might fail, challenge the status quo) required to lead
  • Leadership is a choice – the choice to not do nothing
  • Great leaders don’t want the attention, but they use it. They use it to unite the tribe and to reinforce its sense of purpose
  • Participating is not leading
  • Failing is ok. Leading is not easy
  • The elements of leadership. Leaders…
    • … challenge the status quo
    • … create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture
    • … have an extraordinary amount of curiosity
    • … use charisma to attract and motivate followers
    • … communicate their vision of the future
    • … commit to a vision and make decisions based on that commitment
    • … connect their followers to one another
  • Being charismatic doesn’t make you a leader, but being a leader makes you charismatic
  • Having charisma is a choice, not a gift
  • As manager: find leaders (people open to and making change), amplify their work, give them a platform and help them find followers
  • Real leaders do not care about getting credits. Credit isn’t the point – change is.
  • You can’t manage without knowledge. You can’t lead without imagination.
  • Listen, really listen and then decide and move on


  • Initiative = happiness
  • Lean in, back off, but don’t do nothing
  • Before we had factories (efficient, stabile), but today we need organizations filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission
  • Work needs to be fun (it is sad when you have a job where you spend vacation to avoid the stuff you have to do the rest of the year)
  • Getting critized is fine, because only what is worth to be talked about gets critized
  • Tools: Twitter, Facebook, Basecamp (not as a substitute to lead, but as productivity tools)
  • Change isn’t made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later

One comment

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