Tribes – we need YOU to lead us.

12 01 2009

I’m currently reading the book, “Tribes” by Seth Godin a prolific writer, blogger and free thinking type. He has a refreshing style and importantly a challenging approach to ideas of leadership and management and how the two are intrinsically different.

Management he says, is about manipulating resources to get a job done.

Leadership is about creating change that you believe in.

Unfortunately I think that we have been misled and in some cases forced into believing, particularly in the Health Service, that the only ones who can make changes are Managers and without their support or authority nothing can be done.

Well now it’s time to be heretical, to be revolutionary and radical, to get things done our way because, we know it’s better that way. We have the ideas, we have the commitment and we are waiting to make the difference. We are a tribe. And everywhere we work there are tribes waiting to make the difference but waiting because they need leaders.

So where do these leaders come from? Should we look to our established hierarchies to provide them or elsewhere?  Seth makes the point that  such radical leadership, almost by definition begins outwith officially allocated roles of power and authority. Ultimately, what we as “tribes” are looking for are leaders from the tribe who will then move into roles of “management” and rather than just getting the job done, make it something that the “tribe” believe in.

I think there is a lot more to explore in terms of what the leader provides but initially it must be the starting of the idea, the gathering of like minds and the sharing of that interest, the conforming that desire into a drive towards a common goal by effective communication and ultimately allowing that small group to grow and develop into a tribe. Leaders aren’t elected, they definitely aren’t selected and interviewed from a shortlist, they just are. You know who they are. We know who they are.

Are you in a tribe? Are you going to be the leader?

(Am I?)

update: a free ebook from Seth and his online friends is here

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