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Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

Book Review and Summary of Tribe by Seth Godin. Written by Charelle GriffithThis week I felt drawn to re-read Tribes: We need you to lead us. I originally read the back in 2015 and I didn’t enjoy it. There is something about the word TRIBE that doesn’t sit well with me. I would often come across the idea of ‘find your tribe’ and ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’, but I didn’t feel as if I wanted to create a tribe.

However, as I am coming to the end of my 2016 and looking back at the PropelHer community that has grown this year I thought I would be reading the book through different eyes and I definitely was.

Seth describes a tribe as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea”. The important thing Seth mentioned is that people belong to multiple tribes and that “Human beings can’t help it: we need to belong”. This really reassured me. It is a natural thing to want to be a part of a tribe, so to be a leader of a tribe is offering something that people need in their life.

Throughout the book Seth gives multiple descriptions of what leadership is and what being a great leader is. This includes:

Leadership… is about creating change that you believe in”

Great leaders don’t water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger”

Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate”

Leaders create things that didn’t exist before”

A strong message in the book is that ANYONE can become a leader. Seth states that “You only need the desire to make something happen”. Nowadays, more than every it is easy for someone to become a leader. The internet has made it so easy for an individual to create a following! You just need to make the decision to want to make change.

Infact, Seth believe that “The only thing holding you back is your own fear”. That favourite four little word is popping up again. You are the only person that holds yourself back, and the reason you hold yourself back is because you are scared.

Seth argues that “people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism. This is something I absolutely agree with and can see how in the past it was the fear of criticism that held me back. People care about what other people think and no one wants people to think badly of them.

Through the book Seth spoke about leaders in the workplace and outside of the workplace. He mentions the idea of Free Agent Nation, coined by Dan Pink, which is used “to describe a movement of smart people leaving organisations to go out on their own”. This is the sort of leader I see on a daily basis. As a success coach I am surrounded by coaches, consultants and trainers who are all leading in their own way. However, for some this is alien. Seth spoke a lot about the status quo and the fact is for many the status quo is how the will live their whole life. This means just going to a ‘factory’, doing what they are told and collecting a pay check.

Seth explores the idea of being stuck and says that “If you insist on playing today’s games by yesterday’s rules, you’re stuck”. This is highly evident in business and the book details examples of the music business, Microsoft and Woolworths. Where it might not be as obvious is on an individual level.

Seth admits that this book will be criticised as it doesn’t have enough advice, check lists etc. However, he does do a check list for creating a micro movement, which I found helpful.


Originally, when I read this book I think I was tainted because of the current tribes I could see forming around me. However, with a fresh perspective I was really open to understand that “Every tribe is different. Every leader is different. Actually I could create a tribe that fitted the vibe I wanted. The tribe would be different because I was different.

As Seth said

“You get to choose the tribe you will lead. Through your actions as a leader, you attract a tribe that wants to follow you” 

Remember that:
“One person can change an industry”

The question is: will it be you?

Want to know more about Tribes: We need you to lead us, buy yourself a copy here.


Leave a Comment – I would love to hear your thoughts as a tribe follower or a tribe leader below. What makes a good leader and what value do you get out of being in a  good tribe?

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Charelle Griffith

Charelle is book-loving Marketer, Success Coach and Founder of PropelHer. Charelle is passionate about personal development and blogs about non-fiction books. She also runs PropelHer's Book Club - a non-fiction book club for ambitious women.

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