Drive-By Book Reviews: Tribes & Tactical Transparency

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new drive by book review

Today, I’m back with two new drive-by book reviews…

In case this is your first Drive-by Review, here’s a quick refresher. One, I only review books I like (because life’s too short for me to finish books I don’t like and for you to read a review of a book I’d tell you not to buy). Two, all reviews are quick-n-easy, I cut right to the chase. And, three, never mind, there is no three.

Now away we go…

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us | Seth Godin

What’s it about – At first glance, it’s about the way people organize and rally around a unifying idea and person. But, this little book is really so much more. It’s fundamentally about an approach to leadership that bucks convention and calls upon people to stop managing and start leading. It’s about the immense power of a group of people who are given both something and someone to believe in. It’s about taking a different approach to motivating individuals and groups, both in and out of companies, to come together and work toward a common goal, not because it’s their job, but because it’s their quest.

This book is also about marketing. Seth’s long been an advocate of the shift in marketing paradigm away from interrupt and pitch to get permission and engage. In Tribes, he takes this thought process to a new level, demonstrating the marketing impact of forming tribes around a product, service or experience as a fundamental vehicle to propel buzz, sales and growth.

Bringing together both leadership and marketing, Godin integrates a wealth of examples and case-studies to demonstrate his point, from legendary band, The Grateful Dead to modern social media and wine phenom Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library.

What makes it different – The psychology of tribal behavior has been studied and reported on for decades. But, in this book, Seth translates and simplifies the theory and effect to make it relevant to modern day business, leadership theory and marketing. He also adds his own unique insights about the formation and impact of tribes and lays out the essential elements that must be in place to build a successful tribe.

In the end, he calls upon everyone to step up and take a leadership role, to form their own tribes, because, as he describes it, the world is awash in people waiting for leaders to harmonize them around common beliefs, interests and visions. And, of course, in Seth’s trademark style, the chapters are fast and easy and the entire book is small format and only 147 pages (which is actually pretty long for a Seth Godin book)

Who needs to read it – Anyone interested in rallying people around a cause, effecting substantial change or rapidly growing any group, organization or company not through traditional management and goal-setting, but through a deeper sense of mission and devotion. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us | Seth Godin

Tactical Transparency | Shel Holtz & John C. Havens

What it’s about –Tactical Transparency is a fascinating exploration of how social media is fundamentally changing the way companies are communicating with their customers. It delves into the variety of new media tools, communities and strategies, from blogging to twitter, and it’s packed with real-life examples that clearly show how different companies are tapping technology to open up new lines of communication with their customers. (Fair disclosure, my experience with JetBlue and twitter is also mentioned in the book).

What makes it different – The book steps back and presents a clear and objective look at social media from the standpoint of the company. It shows how to use and, maybe even more importantly, how not to use it as a tool to move from messaging to communicating.

There’s been a lot of misinformation and fear, myths and facts in this area, making this book a bit of a breath of fresh air and a reality check. I also liked the fact that by featuring a number the social media-based tactical transparency efforts of some very large corporations, Holtz and Havens show that it truly is not just a little guy’s game. They demonstrate the value of tapping technology to be less opaque and listen to customers.

Who needs to read it – Anyone in an organization that’s been told “hey, you guys should be on [insert social media hub],” but doesn’t quite get what these new communications channels are about, why they should tap them and what the benefits and risks are. Tactical Transparency | Shel Holtz & John C. Havens

Well, that does it for today’s drive-by reviews. As always, if you have a book coming out that you’d like me to consider for review, kindly e-mail me at jonathan [at] jonathanfields [dot] com. And, remember, due to time constraints, I don’t accept every request for review or review every book I receive.

If you’ve read either of these books, I’d love to to know what you thought of them, too.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below…

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8 responses

8 responses to “Drive-By Book Reviews: Tribes & Tactical Transparency”

  1. […] Book Reviews: Tribes & Tactical Transparency new drive by book review. View post Add your […]

  2. […] This book is also about marketing . Seth’s long been an advocate of the shift in marketing paradigm away from interrupt and pitch to get permission and engage. In Tribes, he takes this thought process to a new level, demonstrating the .. Original post […]

  3. starrlife says:

    I like the sound of the Tribes book! As a leader of a team myself I appreciate his perspectives, wish my bosses did!

  4. Justin says:

    I definitely am going to check out this book. I do need to rally people behind a cause, and if this book can help, I will try it.

  5. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ starrlife – It’ll give you a lot to think about

    @ Justin – I think it may actually be Seth’s best book yet.

  6. Hi Jonathan,

    Just wanted to say thanks for a very encouraging review and letting me interview you for the book. I look forward to reading more of your work, whether or not it includes William Shatner.

    John C. Havens

  7. I definitely agree about Tribes, Jonathan. Trying to use it to inform a new business launch. At every turn, I discover a new level of value in this tiny book. I ask myself, “But how would I do that?” And it often occurs to me the answer is in one of Seth’s earlier books. He’s been building to this one for a long time. It’s powerful and truly thought-provoking.

    This is my first comment here, so let me say thanks, Jonathan, for all the great ideas and information I’ve gotten from your blog. You’re in my “check daily” list.

  8. Ron Towns says:

    Tribes is a great book. I follow Seth’s blog and I’d suggest people subscribe to it.

    Another book you should consider reviewing is entrepreneur John Assaraf’s new book, “The Complete Vision Board Kit.” I think its as valuable as the book tribes.

    It takes you through a process to create a vision board, a device that helps you achieve any desired outcomes through the powers of visualization and intention. Michael Jordan envision all of his 6 titles. Entrepreneurs and normal people can do this and see success with their own goals.