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The Best Quotes From Seth Godin’s “Tribes: We Need YOU to Lead Us”

Written By : John Hawkins
November 12, 2012

Seth Godin is one of the best marketing writers out there today and if there is anything the GOP could really use right now, it’s some marketing advice. So, here are the best quotations from Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.

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Human beings can’t help it: We need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. — P.3

Partisans: It’s a criticism when you throw that word at a politician, but all tribes are made up of partisans, the more partisan the better. If you’re a middle-of-the-roader, you don’t bother joining a tribe. Partisans want to make a difference. Partisans want something to happen (and something else not to happen). Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself. — P.17

Organizations that destroy the status quo win. …The status quo could be the time that “everyone knows” it takes to ship an order, or the commission rate that “everyone knows’ an agent ought to be paid. The status quo might be the way everyone expects a product to be packaged or the pricing model that everyone accepts because it’s been around so long. Whatever the status quo is, changing it gives you the opportunity to be remarkable. — P.35

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers. It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail. It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo. It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle. When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed. — P.55

The one path that never works is the most common one: Doing nothing at all. — P.59

Almost all growth that’s available to you exists when you aren’t like most people and when you work hard to appeal to folks who aren’t most people. — P.69

The first rule the music business failed to understand is that, at least at first, the new thing is rarely as good as the old thing was. If you need the alternative to be better than the status quo from the very start, you’ll never begin. — P.93

Industries don’t die by surprise. It’s not as if you didn’t know it was coming. — P.95

The largest enemy of change and leadership isn’t a “no.” It’s a “not yet.” “Not yet” is the safest, easiest way to forestall change. “Not yet” gives the status quo a chance to regroup and put off the inevitable for a little while longer. Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late. — P.119

Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance. Products, services, career paths — whatever it is, the forces of mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it’s over. — P.129

People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves. What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change. — P.138

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