“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard
I’ve recently finished reading Seth Godin’s book “Tribes”. In it Godin describes a tribe as any group of people, large or small, who are:
- connected to one another
- connected to a leader
- and connected to an idea
For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes – be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical. It’s our nature.
Now, with the rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media, tribes are no longer limited by the barriers of time, cost or geography. Now you can get groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million people from all over the world who are connected to each other, and who care about their iPhones, or living like Jesus, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.
And all this is good and exciting and wonderful stuff. But the killer question Godin poses in his book is:
Who is going to lead us?
According to Godin, while the Web can do amazing things, it cannot provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals – people like you and I who have a passion for something and who want to make a difference.
And if you think leadership is for other people, think again.
In fact, never before has it been easier for regular people like you and I to lead. All the tools are at our fingertips. All we need is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.
Throughout the book Godin pleads with his readers to step-up and lead. He says that if you ignore the opportunity, you risk turning into a “sheepwalker” – someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization or your church or the world) any good.
Ultimately this book has made a significant impact on me in how I view community and leadership, and made me think (really think) about the opportunities I have been given to lead. Whether it’s by writing another blog post, preaching a message, or meeting with a bunch of friends.