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50 tips from the master to help you build your tribe and grow your impact

“The secret of leadership is simple. Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. Others will follow.” Seth Godin

Over the weekend I read Tribes by Seth Godin for the umteenth time. It really is a masterpiece. There are so many gems of wisdom and it’s a must-read for any wannabe community builder or movement maker.

It was written 12 years ago but could have been written today.

Right now the world needs more leaders, more communities of purpose.

And there’s no better manual for starting, leading and nurturing a community than Tribes.

I’ve shared the best quotes in this post in the hope it inspires you to level up and lead with purpose.

As Seth ends with:

“All that’s missing is you, your vision and your passion. Go.”

  1. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea.
  2. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
  3. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.
  4. You can’t have a tribe without a leader — and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.
  5. Human beings can’t help it: we need to belong.
  6. We want to belong not just to one tribe, but to many. Give us tools and make it easy, we’ll keep joining.
  7. Tribes make our lives better. And leading a tribe is the best of all.
  8. The internet eliminates geography.
  9. There’s an explosion of new tools available to help lead and tribes we’re forming (we use Mighty Networks).
  10. All of it is worthless if you don’t decide to lead, if you don’t commit.
  11. All that’s missing is you, your vision and your passion.
  12. A movement is thrilling. It’s the work of many people, all connected, all seeking something better.
  13. All that’s missing is leadership.
  14. Consumers have decided to spend time and money on stories, on things that matter, and on things they believe in.
  15. Marketing used to be about advertising. Today marketing is about engaging with the tribe and delivering products & services with stories that spread.
  16. No-one watches a boring YouTube video they’ve seen before. No-one shares a boring email. Be remarkable.
  17. What do you do for a living? Leaders make a ruckus.
  18. A leader transforms a shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change
  19. They provide tools to allow members to tighten their communications
  20. They leverage the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members.
  21. Build a company and you’ll leave a trace. The tribal connections you can make with leadership don’t fade.
  22. Fans, true fans are hard to find and precious. Just a few can change everything. What they demand, though, is generosity and bravery.
  23. Ordinary folks can dream up remarkable stuff pretty easily. What’s missing is the will to make the ideas happen. The idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.
  24. Even for the most engaged leader, the fear is still there but it’s drowned out by a different story. It’s a story of success, or drive, of doing what matters.
  25. The only thing holding you back is your own fear. Not easy to admit but essential to understand.
  26. Ideas that spread, win. Boring ideas don’t spread.
  27. What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame and criticism. We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism.
  28. If the only side effect of the criticism is that you will feel bad about the criticism, then you have to compare that bad feeling with the benefits you’ll get from actually doing something worth doing. Being remarkable is exciting, fun, profitable and great for your career. Feeling bad wears off.
  29. Ask yourself: How can I create something that critics will criticise?

30. Credit isn’t the point. Change is.

31. Great leaders don’t want the attention, but they use it. They use it to unite the tribe and reinforce its sense of purpose.

32. Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.

33. If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not realising your potential as a leader.

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

35. Great leaders don’t try to please everyone. Great leaders don’t try to water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger.

36. Some tribes do best when they’re smaller. More exclusive. Harder to get into.

37. Individuals have far more power than ever before in history.

38. The only thing holding you back from becoming the kind of person who changes things is lack of faith.

39. Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders that seek to get.

40. The art of leadership is understanding what you can’t compromise on.

41. When you lead without compensation, when you sacrifice without guarantees, when you take risks because you believe, then you are demonstrating your faith in the tribe and its mission.

42. The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.

43. Leaders don’t have things happen to them. They do things.

44. “Everyone will think it’s stupid. Everyone says it’s impossible.” Guess what? Everyone is wrong.

45. You can have a narrow movement, a tiny movement, a movement in a silo. Your movement can be known by ten or twenty or a thousand people, people in your community or people around the world.

👇 Want to build your own tribe? Start here 👇

46. Publish a manifesto. Give it away and make it easy for the manifesto to spread far and wide.

47. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you. It could be as simple as joining your email list.

48. Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another. It could be a (virtual) event or Facebook group.

49. Realise that money is not the part of starting a movement. It exists mainly to enable it.

50. Have fun with it. Doing work that’s fun is engaging. Making things that are successful is a great way to spend your time. Initiative = happiness.

“It’s rare that’s it’s obvious to lead. More often than not, great leadership happens when the tribe least expects it. The non-obvious moments are the ones that count. Like now, perhaps. There’s a small price for being too early, but a huge penalty for being late. ” Seth Godin

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Laurence McCahill

Laurence McCahill

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.