Friday, May 1, 2009

Personal MBA Update

Personal MBA Update "Tribes; We Need You To Lead Us" by Seth Godin - I got this book as an audio book from the library and it was very good. I listened to it in my car once through and immediately put the first disc back in to listen to it again. I avoided taking notes while driving, however the second time I listened to it I couldn't resist. Even though the audio book was only three discs I took a ton of notes which was good for my brain but probably bad for my safety.

Seth Godin is one of those authors who just gets it. He has a way of analyzing life that is very tangible and simple, yet pretty deep if you think about it. I can imagine a lot of people being frustrated by his writing style. I am currently reading another one of his books and it reads in a similar fashion to the way the audio book read. He literally writes like a thousand chapters in his books. Each CD of Tribes had like a hundred chapters on it. I happen to think the writing style is amazing because although it is broken down into blogger like excerpts, there are themes and concepts that are interwoven throughout the book. Seth also does a great job of using examples and stories to illustrate his points which are great for someone like me. Learning always comes easier to me when I have a tangible example. I feel like I am a lot better at taking something that works in one situation and applying it to another area where it may be effective than the classic how to books. Not to mention it livens up some of the concepts that would otherwise read like "be a good leader." We look through education and experience and his writing style primes you to take action not just read and dump.

This book specifically applied to my life in numerous ways. I felt the book was primarily about how today's world is influenced by tribes of people. These tribes can create movements by having a focused leader who empowers those who choose to follow to make change. Pretty simple concepts but the way it read was very powerful, inspiring, and relevant to where I am at in my life. I really recommend getting this book. Anyone who wants to understand the way the world works today and how to find your role in it should get this book. This is one of the best books I have read (heard) in a while: very powerful stuff. Here are the notes I took while driving (that I could decipher).

- A tribe is people who are connected to each other, a leader, and an idea
- A tribe needs a shared interest and a way to communicate
- You cannot have a tribe without a leader and you cannot be a leader without a tribe
-The Grateful Dead created a tribe. The made over $100 million dollars and only had one top 40 album
- We need to belong. It is how we see ourselves.
- Tribes make our lives better and leading a tribe is the best life of all
- Tribes used to be local
- Acumen Fund in 3rd world country example
- Internet eliminated geography
- All the new ways to connect are worthless if you don't decide to lead
- Many tribes embrace the status quo and they are just a movement waiting to happen
- Its easier than ever to create a movement, all that is missing is leadership
- Wine TV example
- People are stuck in jobs they don't like because of fear
- Fear used to be good because it maintained the status quo
- Now people don't want or reward the status quo. They want something that they can believe in
- Now more than ever one "heretic" can make a huge difference
- Heretics are the new leaders that get out in front of their tribes and challenge the status quo
- The market embraces and rewards them
- Tribes give us leverage and we each have more leverage than ever before
- Tribes are flourishing everywhere but here is a vast shortage of leaders....we need you!
1. It is the first time ever everyone is expected to lead
2. Structure of workplace makes change and leverage easier
3. Market is rewarding organizations that change things and make remarkable products and services
4. Engaging, thrilling, profitable, fun
5. A tribe is waiting for you to connect and lead them
- Leadership is not management
- Managers react to a process they have seen before
- Leadership is creating change you believe in
- People assume the world is a stable place but it is all an illusion
- Marketing changed all that. We now grow restless with boring
- The market demands change
- All tribes are partisans
- Thomas Barrett changed the Pentagon example
- Tribes aren't just leaders communicating down. They are up down and sideways
- The difference between talking to people and starting a movement is that a movement is when people communicate within the group empower the tribe
- 4 ways to communicate: Leader to tribe, tribe to leader, tribe to tribe, tribe to outsiders
1. Leader must transform the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire to change
2. Provide tools to foster communication
3. Leverage tribe to allow it to grow and gain momentum
- Motivate, connect, leverage
- Spinnaker example
- A crowd is a tribe without a leader: assemble the tribe
- The market wants you to be remarkable
- Remarkable ideas spread
- Life is too short to be average
- Care too much about the #'s and not the true fans
- Every day it gets easier to tighten the relationship with the people who choose to follow you
- Social media makes leverage easier than ever before for everyone, the status quo is in big trouble
- One person, you, have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself. People are ready to follow if you are ready to lead.
- Google party example
- There is no shortage of ideas what is missing is the will to carry you
- The only thing holding you back is your own fear
- The Peter Principle says that everyone rises to their own level of incompetence. Seth believes that everyone rises to the level of fear at which they become paralyzed by fear
- Fear of failure is overrated because if you work for someone your failures are absorbed by the organization
- People are truly afraid of blame and criticism
- Criticism actually doesn't have to occur for fear to set in
- Criticism means that you did something worth talking about
- Great leaders focus only on the tribe not the glory
- A tighter tribe is more effective than spreading the word
- Leadership is uncomfortable, if it wasn't everyone would lead
- Internship Facebook example
- Leadership is a choice; the choice to not do nothing
- Curiosity: the safest thing you can do feels risky and the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe
- Trying to lead everyone will lead you to leading no one
1. Individuals have more power to influence
2. The only thing holding you back is faith you can do it
- Rock climbing Dino example
- One person with a persistent vision can make change happen
- Heretics don't settle
- The art of leadership is understanding what you cannot compromise on
- Faith is underrated while religion is overrated. Faith allows us to overcome fear. Religion typically supports the status quo unless it amplifies your faith
- People feel threatened when you discuss religion because they feel you are challenging their faith
- People change religions, 33% of all people to be exact, however they haven't changed faith. Just the system to carry out that faith. Religion is man made
- "Over the top underdog bravery"
- Leaders think and act like the underdog because they are making change
- Leaders initiate, they cause the events that managers react to. They make change
- The Age of Heretics book
- The status quo is resistant and persistent. Everyone is wrong. They assume everything will remain the same and that is why they avoid risk but that is the riskiest behavior of all
- Music industry and Microsoft Google example
- Getting out first and staking out new territory first almost always pays off
- Sheepwalking: ensuring compliant behavior using fear
- When you hire amazing people and give them freedom they do amazing things
- Checking email on vacation story. There is a girl that sees him checking email early in the morning and she whispers to her boyfriend isn't it sad that he is checking his email on vacation? Seth says isn't it sad that we spend 2 weeks avoiding the stuff we have to do 50 weeks a year?
- Life really is too short. You don't have enough time to be unhappy and mediocre
1. Publish a manifesto
2. Make it easy for your followers to communicate and connect with you
3. Make it easy for followers to connect with each other
4. Money isn't the point of a movement
5. Track your progress
1. Be transparent
2. The movement must be bigger than you
3. Movements that grow thrive
4. Instead of beating other movements join them
5. Exclude outsiders
6. Don't tear others down to build followers up
- Tribes are media channels
- There is no simple easy way or how to guide
- The secret of leadership is simple. Do what you believe in, paint a picture of the future, go there, people will follow
- There is a certainty of risk
- The safer you play the riskier it is. The world is changing
- The timid leave a vacuum and initiative can fill that vacuum.
- Sofa example
- Too many people get stuck on stupid - because the world changed
- If you hear my idea and don't believe it, see my product and don't buy it, attend a presentation and you are bored it is my fault not yours. It is really easy to blame everyone but yourself
- You have a choice to decide who will understand and who wont
- No is not the biggest enemy of change: it is not yet
- Change almost never fails because it is too early, it almost always fails because it is too late
- There is a small price for being to early and a huge penalty for being too late
- Magician trick and leadership trick comparison
- It is not knowing, it is the art of doing
- Space competition example
- Being charismatic doesn't make you a leader, being a leader makes you charismatic
- Listen and then make a decision even if it contradicts those you're listening too
- The forces for mediocrity will always align to stop you
- Yin Yang: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about its not likely to be worth the journey
- LA Philharmonic example
- Change doesn't happen over night
- Sternan Vietnam example
- Find leaders and amplify their voice
- Positive deviants
- Don't use the word opportunities; it is an obligation
- Real leaders don't care about credit, they care about the message
- The big YES vs the little no
- Einstein "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
- Simpson's Movie product placement story
- People rarely believe what you tell them, often believe what their friends tell them, and always believe what they tell themselves
- Leaders give people they can tell themselves
- No one gives you permission or a permit to lead. The only one who can say no is you
- Leaders don't wait. When will you have enough of what you need to lead?
- Nathan Winnegrad dog shelter example
- Every tribe shares only one thing: The decision to lead

No comments: