Tag Archives: Leadership

Tribes vs. Movements

I read Seth Godin’s Tribes when it first came out, but recently decided I needed to re-read it. In the season of life I’ve found myself in “tribes” seem to be playing a big role. I’ve found a place in several different tribes of varying sizes. Tribes where I’ve found community, friends, & mentors. I’m also, somewhat begrudgingly, coming to the realization that whether I like it or not & whether I consider myself one or not, God may be calling me to be a leader within a tribe. And so, back to the basics I’m going.

I haven’t finished the book a second time yet, but in just the first few pages something struck me – the difference between a tribe & a movement. I think we often confuse or equate the two.

Godin defines a tribe as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” A few pages later in the book Godin says, “Every one of those [stuck] tribes, though, is a movement waiting to happen, a group of people just waiting to be energized and transformed…A movement is thrilling. It’s the work of many people, all connected, all seeking something better.”

You see, a tribe is not a movement. All that’s required to be a tribe is to exist with commonality. A tribe communicates with itself. A movement communicates with the world…through action. A movement requires action…a movement is a tribe in action…a tribe in action creates a movement.

And the world needs more than tribes, it needs movements. It needs people who step out in faith and do something…together.

Sidenote: I found the image above in a Flickr photo group for To Write Love on Her Arms –  a tribe that has created a movement of love. Check out what they’re doing here.

Leading From The Inside Out

I am a huge proponent of asking the question WHY. So, this video of course caught my attention. It’s been floating around Twitter so some of you may have already seen it. If you haven’t, it’s worth the 18 minutes and 5 seconds of your time to watch the entire thing. But, for those of you who just want the cliff notes, it’s too good not to share.

The Video…it’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time, and you should make the time for this one.

The Notes

Simon Sinek is on a mission to teach leaders how to inspire action. He published a book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action which I plan on adding to my collection soon. You can also check out his website.  In this 18 minute TED talk, he lays out his basic principle for explaining when things don’t go as we assume or why some people, organizations, leaders, etc. are successful while others aren’t. He calls this idea, the Golden Circle.

Sinek goes on to explain that every organization knows “what” they do. Some know how they do it. But, very few know why – their cause, purpose, belief, why they exist. We tend to communicate from the outside in. But the inspired leaders & organizations think, act, & communicate from the inside out. He provides some great examples of this, and his point is: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

He goes on to further explain his idea, the underlying biology which is quite convincing, as well as giving some more fascinating examples. His bottom line is this, your goal shouldn’t be to simply do business with people who need your product, but with those who believe what you believe. And if you talk about what you believe, those people will come. But, in order to talk about why you do what you do, you have to of course know why you do it. And you may even find that when you attract people who believe what you believe they will take your cause and make it their own.

Sinek concludes with this: (In reference to Dr. King) “He gave the I have a dream speech not the I have a plan speech…There are leaders & there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority. But, those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations we follow those who lead not because we have to but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with why that have the ability to inspire those around them.”

So, I ask you, do you know WHY you do what you do? And by the way, your what may be much bigger than your job.

I’m at a point in my life where I need to redefine WHY I do what I do (the bigger than the job what). Join me in the challenge?