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  • Seth Godin’s Tribes and Why The World Needs Personal Branding

    I’d like to begin by thanking Dan for giving me the opportunity to contribute to Personal Branding Blog, which I will be contributing to on Saturdays. I recently had a chance to read Seth Godin’s new book Tribes.

    My introduction to Tribes

    I was at my desk a few months back, when the CEO of my company sent an email saying that he was purchasing a copy of Seth Godin’s Tribes for anyone in the company who wanted to read it. Given that it was Godin’s new book, I was extremely eager to get my hands on it.

    In the book, Godin goes on to explain that the social media tools we have access to today, give people the ability to make a difference in their communities, workplaces, and the world. The book discusses how our world needs leaders now more than ever before, and explains how it’s easier now too.

    The world does need leaders, and while Tribes does a great job at explaining why, I think it could have done a better job at explaining how to execute.

    Personal branding enables tribe success

    A tribe’s success is only as successful as the people leading it. The part of Tribes that was missing was how you go about building a personal brand to allow you to effectively lead.

    Barack Obama’s call that together we could change America, could not have been executed without his brilliant personal brand. Godin’s Tribes would have you believe that anybody could have done what Barack Obama did, but in reality, Barack Obama had YEARS of building his brand to the point where he could make a call for national change.

    Godin goes on to explain that his book is not a how-to, but with only broad mentions of leadership, and without much practical advice. I feel like the success of a tribe really comes down to how you tactically execute and build a brand over time.

    Passion drives us all, but it takes hard work to build up credibility, create a following, and to effectively champion an idea.

    This is one of the reasons personal branding has attracted me, and one of the reasons I believe Schawbel’s book, Me 2.0, will be successful. It will go into detail about how you build your personal brand, how you organize, and how communicate.

    Have a passion? I don’t think it’s enough to lead. You need to lead with a plan.

    Author:

    Adam Salamon is Partnerships Director at Bazaarvoice, Inc., blogs about social media, entrepreneurship, and pop culture. Follow him on Twitter for daily updates.

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    Adam Salamon is currently Partnerships Director at Bazaarvoice, Inc. helping support company expansion, partner evaluation, and strategy. He was a founding member of Bazaarvoice and has helped propel the company from 10 people to one of the world’s top performing start-ups and social commerce companies. Adam has extensive history in sales and business development and is an avid writer on the topics of social media, e-commerce, and marketing. You can regularly catch Adam on his blog, but he also contributes to Brazen Careerist, Personal Branding Magazine, and Bazaarblog. Adam is a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, with three degrees in Government, Middle Eastern Studies, and Hebrew.

    Posted in Book Reviews, Career Development, entrepreneurship, Interview, Personal Branding, Social Media
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    9 comments on “Seth Godin’s Tribes and Why The World Needs Personal Branding
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Great post, Mr. A!

      Thanks for sharing about the book.

      Personal Branding to me really is all about how you can add value.

      Thanks again!

      Keep the faith and keep being you!

      ~Ronald
      True Believer & Hope Dealer

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Mig says:

      Adam, these are very interesting ideas. I haven’t read the book, so there is one thing that puzzles me. Make me understand… Obama is not a leader? Or how exactly should I translate “The world does need leaders” followed by “A tribe’s success is only as successful as the people leading it.”

      • avatar
        EXPERT
        Adam Salamon says:

        Hi Mig,

        Not sure I follow. Obama IS a leader, but it didn’t happen over night. A lot of people in the United States were calling for change, but not everybody had built their personal brand to the point where they could execute like Barack Obama.

    3. avatar
      EXPERT
      yinka olaito says:

      I think we should all listen to the advice. Personal branding takes time, there is nothing like overnight success. Over night success takes several months to be birthed. Perseverance will overcome patience as someone say. keep it up

    4. avatar
      EXPERT
      Tony Ruiz says:

      I agree, building a personal brand is a growing process. Seth explain that the tools we have today are greater then ever before. If we use todays tools (web 2.0) to our advantage we can make big things happen.

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      Luisa Agante says:

      I agree with you. I also read the book and got the same impression! Needs an action plan! But it has interesting curiosities although they need something else to get real.

    6. avatar
      EXPERT
      Clive Frayne says:

      For me the real question isn’t “how do I become a leader” but rather ” in what area do I have the skills, knowledge and passion to make a difference”
      I think one of the reasons people are so keen to focus on the “how to” of building a tribe is because their goal is to build a tribe… and their sole motivation for that goal is to create a following.

      The reason that process can’t be described in a do (A), then (B), then (C) format, is because tribes form around a common cause not around a person’s ambition to lead.

      The act of leadership works best when it’s formed around a core of personal service to the group or the community.

      In many respects this is very old school marketing, in that the product has to fulfill a need of the customer… or in tribe speak… the tribe has to fulfill a need of the followers.

    7. avatar
      EXPERT
      Dennis Sy says:

      Love your insights!!! I think how you describe Obama building his tribe over time by building his credibility is a valid point. I think Seth’s thesis doesn’t cover that. I feel like in every tribe, there are different ways of leading. Some should built in over time but some could build it over short periods of time.

      To lead a nation – one has to build over a long period of time.
      To lead a church – one has to build over a season of time
      To lead a save the squirrel tribe, one doesn’t need a long period of time.

      Seth might not be able to give specific action plans because each tribe has its own way of doing things.

      In tribes, the fewer the limitation the better.

      For concrete steps on tribes – try reading tribal leadership

    8. avatar
      EXPERT

      I liked your post. That said, I look to Seth Godin’s books as being inspirational, and never ‘how-to’ in any way. But, I can say from personal experience, his books, and his blog posts have always caused me to think about things in a much, much different way and it has lead me to a great deal of new, fresh ideas which has lead me to personal and business success.

      Also, regarding Obama, while I don’t disagree that he had years of branding behind him, I certainly wasn’t aware of it at the time of the election. The first time I saw Obama was on TV and I saw a commercial that said “Change we can believe in.” That’s what caused me to want to learn about him. If all it was, was years of personal branding, then Hilary Clinton should have won. I knew all about her way before Obama.

      All in all, Tribes isn’t a how-to book – to me it’s an inspirational book!

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