Tribes: 39 Leadership Quotes from Seth Godin

People that intentionally educate themselves, outside of the traditional learning environment in schools, are the change agents that lead our society. I firmly believe that “Leaders are Readers,” and Rick Warren wrote a blog post titled with that tag-line. Rick Warren has lead by example as its been documented that he read a book a day for a period of his life! It has also been said that Bill Gates reads about a book a week (50 each year).

Seth Godin is an author of about a dozen international bestsellers, and Seth’s books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Seth Godin’s blog is an amazing collection of thought provoking posts that challenges you to think and consider something different than the status quo. My mind is expanded every time I read something written by Seth Godin.

Since I’m always looking for a great book to read, I often ask successful people which books they recommend. Tribes by Seth Godin is a book that has been recommended to me by several different people over the years.

I finally went and bought Tribes when I spent a week in Nashville for a leadership training at Dave Ramsey’s company, Ramsey Solutions. Dave is a best selling author himself, and he has a bookstore in the lobby of his office building right next to where he broadcasts The Dave Ramsey Show. In addition to the books that Dave and his teammates have authored, Dave also has a collection of books for sale that he personally recommends.

Tribes by Seth Godin


Quotes from the book “Tribes” by Seth Godin:

01. “Organizations that destroy the status quo win.”

02. “Growth comes from leaders who create change and engage their organizations.”

03. “Boring ideas don’t spread. Boring organizations don’t grow.”

04. “How was your day? If your answer is ‘fine’ then I don’t think you were leading.”

05. “Great leaders focus on the tribe and only the tribe.”

06. “Great leaders are able to reflect LIGHT onto their teams, their tribes.”

07. “If you’re not comfortable in your work as a leader, its almost certain you’re not reaching your potential”

08. “Trying to lead everyone results in leading NO ONE in particular.”

09. “Through your actions as a leader, you attract a tribe that WANTS to follow you.”

10. “Great leaders DON’T try to please everyone.”

11. “Change ISN’T made by asking permission.”

12. “Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get.”

13. “Faith is the unstated component in the work of a leader and I think faith is underrated.”

14. “Faith leads to HOPE, and it overcomes FEAR.”

15. “Faith is critical to ALL innovation.”

16. “When you fall in love with the system, you lose the ability to GROW.”

17. “Leadership almost always involves THINKING and ACTING like the UNDERDOG.”

18. “Every single industry CHANGES and, eventually, fades.”

19. “Leadership almost always involves THINKING and ACTING like the UNDERDOG.”

20. “When you hire AMAZING people and give them FREEDOM, they do amazing stuff.”

21. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

22. “The secret of leadership is SIMPLE: Do what YOU believe in.”

23. “Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost ALWAYS fails because it’s too late.”

24. “Leadership is very much an art, one that’s accomplished only by people with AUTHENTIC generosity”

25. “If you don’t CARE – really and deeply CARE – then you can’t possibly lead.”

26. “Leaders CHALLENGE the status quo.”

27. “Leaders create a CULTURE around their goal and involve others in that culture.”

28. “Leaders have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about the world they’re trying to change.”

29. “Leaders use charisma (in a variety of forms) to ATTRACT and MOTIVATE followers.”

30. “Leaders communicate their VISION of the future.”

31. “Leaders CONNECT their followers to one another.”

32. “You don’t have to be in charge or powerful or pretty or connected to be a leader. You DO have to be committed.”

33.  “Remarkable visions and genuine insight are ALWAYS met with resistance.”

34. “Tribes GROW when people recruit other people. That’s how ideas spread well.”

35. “Leadership is the art of giving people a PLATFORM for spreading ideas that work.”

36. “Leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but the KEY to success.”

37. “Great leaders embrace deviants by searching for them and catching them doing something right.”

38. “Leaders CREATE things that didn’t exist before.”

39. “There’s no correlation between money, power, or education and successful leadership.”

My favorite concept in the book is a little longer than a quote. Seth Godin shares the story of Jerry Sternin. Jerry and his wife, Monique, went to Vietnam to help starving children. However, he started in a peculiar way. Jerry didn’t start by finding starving children… they were EVERYWHERE. Jerry looked for the few MOTHERS that were thriving; their kids were healthy, NOT starving. Jerry found out what those mothers were doing and then shared the insights with the rest of the group. “Over and over again, the Sternins have discovered a simple process:

1. Find Leaders: those doing things differently and making change
2. Then AMPLIFY [the leader‘s] work
3. Give [the leader] a PLATFORM
4. Help [the leader] find followers

All Excerpts From: Godin, Seth. “Tribes.” First published in 2008 by Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. ISBN: 978-1-59184-233-0. This material may be protected by copyright.

~Kyle Malnati