January 17, 2014

Book Review: "Tribes"

Reading 50 books this year is one of my new year's resolutions. I am running late on it though and I take this opportunity to blame my other resolution of publishing 31 posts in January. It's taking all my focus right now, if not all the time. 

But anyway, I had decided to do a book review today and I would go ahead with one. Now, I don't know how to review a book. I haven't even read a full fledged book review to know what it actually looks like. That's exactly the reason I am doing it here. 

On to the review.... 


Book Name: "Tribes: We need you to Lead us".
Pages : 83 (cover to cover).
Author : Seth Godin 
Genre: Non-fiction. Leadership.

What's it All About

I read this book in about a week a few months ago, during my journey to and from work. This is the book that affirmed my belief that you can pack a punch in a small book (and hence I came up with my definition of anything over 50 pages to be a book). 

I haven't read too many books on leadership (heck, I haven't read too many any books). But I can still safely say it's not a conventional book. The author keeps the style as conversational throughout the book. It does 2 things. First, it keeps you engaged throughout the book. Second, this gives the author the leverage to advise without sounding preachy. The book itself seems to be a collection of small and different but cohesively related articles. And that's a very new style I have seen in a book. 

It asks you to be a heretic and break the status-quo all the time, because the tribes (which the author describes as a bunch of people with common goal and means to communicate) want someone, anyone to lead them . The book tells you, almost pleads you why you shouldn't become a manager. It gives you the idea that leadership is possible even at the lowest of the levels, and you don't need to have years of experience under you belt to lead. Anyone can lead, it's just matter of deciding when and where. 

But the most important part of the book is that it not only talks about you as a leader but the greater good of the community that you are going to lead (which might involve just another person beside you). The central idea of course, as the titles says, is Tribes. Without a strong, cohesive tribe, people who believe in each other and trust you to lead them; you just cannot be a great leader. 

The most interesting part remains the number of new ideas and theories that the author presents from the start to the end. Some of these ideas are immediately implementable in anyone's life even if they are not interested to lead a tribe.

Who should read it?

  • Anyone looking for a short inspiring/interesting book. 
  • Anyone who hasn't read anything from the author. I believe 7/10 people would like what he has to say.
  • If you want to know more about the jargons like tribes, heretics, status-quo, partisans, movement, sheepwalking, difference between crowds and tribes, difference between faith and religion, why we are still factory workers, when NOT to lead, how to be wrong etc. etc. 

Who shouldn't read it.

  • Fiction readers, of course should stay away. Although the author does give a lot of anecdotes about a number of unconventional leaders throughout his book.
  • Anyone who reads a book to wind down. It's more of a book to instill new ideas in your brain. And of course, it's best served when you take some actions after reading it.
  • Anybody looking for a self-help book on leadership. It won't give you a step by step of being a leader. The author is just trying to sell you how easy it is to be a leader in today's world. 

About the Author 

Seth Godin is a very well known American Entrepreneur, Marketer and Writer. I have known about Seth for a few years now, but only recently started following his blog. He writes almost 2 blogs a day, mostly less than a 100 words.  He is an exceptionally delightful to-the-point writer. Personally, he inspires me to cut out the fluff in my own writings, always be looking for more ideas, and being consistent. So many times his succinct articles have made me sit down and say "Wow! Now, that's an idea worth trying. " They say he is a great speaker too, but haven't heard anything from him yet.

Everything else

Seth has written quite a lot of books. I leave it up to you, to find out how to get "Tribes" should you decide to read it. Also, if you have a favorite book, which you think I should read, please do tell. I want to keep it in my buffer for the rest of the year.  As I (hopefully) read more and more books, there's a chance, with time it might become one of the regular posts on this blog.