Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Books 11 Comments

I’m back on track with my 1 book a month goal.  It helped that I read the book Tribes because it was a very quick read at only 150 pages.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book but I’ve heard people rave about most of Seth’s books like Purple Cow so I figured why not.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

This book is all about leading groups of people that Seth refers to as Tribes. From the jacket cover…A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.


A tribe is not an organization, large company or a gathering of people.  It is a group of people who are passionate about a belief.  An easy example of this are the Apple Fanboys.  For those that don’t follow technology, an apple fanboy is widely know to be blindly favorable to all things that Steve Jobs introduces.  It’s not because they think his products are the best, but because they believe in what Steve believes.   Steve Jobs has form a tribe of fans who believe that products should challenge the limits of technology and are simple to use.

You can also consider his employees as a tribe because they all believe in the vision of the company and will work hard to be inventive and think outside of the box in order to further their beliefs.  This is in stark contrast to the cashier at your local Wall-mart who is just going through the paces because that is how he makes money to feed his kids.

In the modern day of marketing it’s no longer good enough to put advertisements out there in all the media outlets like TV, radio and on the internet.  That doesn’t work very well and the companies that are stubborn and want to stick with what has worked in the past have all started to fade.  To be successful you must find the passionate people. The people who will follow you to the ends of the earth.  The people who agree with your vision.

Apple and Google are great examples of giant companies who lead tribes.  But, forming a small tribe can be just as effective as a large one.  Take a look at such real estate investors like Steve Cook, Vena Jones-Cox and even Bob Norton.  Over time they have built up a small following of devoted followers who will buy any product they put out.  These fans will not only buy the products but will recommend them to other investors as if it where a reaction.  That right there is the magic of tribes.  No salesman can sell as well as a friend who recommends a product.

Tribes can also be related to investing.  If you can find people who are passionate in the same vision you have for your investing career, you can feed off each other and help each other reach heights like no other.

Leading a Tribe

Seth Godin’s purpose for writing this book is not for you to become a member of a tribe.  Those people aren’t going to be successful in many cases.  Seth preaches that you need to become the Leader of a tribe.  There are tribes of people out there who lack leadership, they lack a person who breaks the mold and challenges the status quo.  When this happens, tribes die and turn into a group of people with no heart and then become irrelevant.

Leaders are those people who show up everyday trying to think outside of the box to figure out the “impossible.”  They aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, they are always looking for ways to break free of it.  If people laugh at what you are doing or call you names, then you are on the right track.  Just think of all the people who say real estate investing doesn’t work and then take a look at Steph Davis and you’ll see what a leader looks like.

People who are leaders will attract people who have the same thoughts and feelings.  Those people will become your tribe.  Leaders are charismatic, not because they were born that way, it developed over time.  A leader doesn’t have to be rich, extroverted, loud, energetic or even good looking.  Leaders come from all walks of life and rise when you least expect them to.

You don’t need to be in a position of power to lead.  Many of the greatest tribe leaders where cashiers, burger flippers or just a car enthusiast who had an idea, found a group of people with the same ideas and went for it.  All it takes to lead is passion, ability to overcome your fear and not listening to all the people who wither at the sight of authority and stay on the straight, narrow, status quo line.


I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it!  The leadership ideas where very similar to another one of my favorite books Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

At the end of this book Seth suggests that I give this book to someone else as to spread the word and help the world find new readers.  So the first person who comments and says “I WANT THE BOOK” I will send it to you free of charge.

If you miss out on the free book,  you can get it for $14 over at amazon

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Scott Costello
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Comments 11

  1. LOL I'm not surprised. I think you posted this comment before I finished pressing the publish button on the post.

    Shoot me an email with your address and I'll send you the book

  2. I definitely gotta add this book to my list. I, too, Scott am trying to read 1 book a month.

    I'm currently reading “The Power of Focus” by Jack Canfield. Shae recommended it….it's awesome. So if you haven't picked it up, may I suggest that for you for next month.

    I think it comes in handy for anyone but especially so for folks like yourself and I who are also working a fulltime gig.

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