Readings from 'Tribes'

Transcript

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Hi. It's Sunday morning. I have not been reading the Post because I no longer get the Post. Yeah, we don't have our usual Sunday paper this morning, so instead I'm reading from Tribes. Tribes is really good. Here are a few really good parts of it.

The timing of leadership.

It's rare that it's obvious when to lead. Sure, there are times when you know you need to stand up, take a position, spread an idea, clear out an obstacle, and be brave. But more often than not, great leadership happens when the tribe at least expects it. The non-obvious moments are the ones that count. Like now perhaps.

Then an interesting one about Wikipedia in here. I thought that was interesting. A possibility of risk.

Possibility of Risk.

I was listening to a talking head on the radio—trying to sit up straight—I was listening to a talking head on the radio and he was prattling on about a "probability of risk" related to some course of action in the future. People are so afraid of risk, they can't even use the word. Risk, after all, is a probability of failure, right? So this guy was warning us of a probability of a probability. He couldn't even say it. It's all a risk. Always. That's not true, actually,. The only exception: It's certain that there's risk.

That's the only certainty. It's certain that there's risk.

The safer you play your plans for the future, the riskier it actually is. That's because the world is certainly, definitely and more than possibly changing.

Okay. Now, one I really like here, I think. Switching tribes. I think that's the one I want. Yeah.

Switching Tribes.

As your tribe grows, it's tempting to accelerate that growth to find more people to join the tribe—or more subscribers for your newsletter, let's say.

The most obvious prospects, of course, are already members of other tribes. If you can persuade that rabid soccer fan to switch to football, instead, it's a coup or consider the full page ad in the New York Times paid for by hundreds of evangelical Christians encouraging religious Jews to switch teams, and there goes a politician eagerly courting the loudest partisans from the other side to join her team instead. This rarely works.

People don't like to switch. We may eagerly join a company and slog through a job for years, staying until the place finally declares bankruptcy. No, it's not the same company we joined at the beginning, far from it.

But to switch sides is to admit that we made a mistake. Growth doesn't come from persuading the most loyal member of other tribes to join you. They will be the last to come around. Instead, you'll find more fertile ground among seekers, among people who desire the feeling they get when they're part of a vibrant growing tribe, but who are still looking for that feeling. 

I'm not talking about disaffected outsiders, loners, who work hard not to affiliate. I'm talking about people at the fringes. Individuals who might jump from one thing to another with less angst. If you're trying to persuade the tribe at work to switch from one strategy to the other, don't start with the leader of the opposition. Begin instead with the passionate individuals who haven't been embraced by other tribes yet. As you add more and more people like these, your option becomes safer and more powerful. Then you'll see the others join you.

When stuff is in italics, I can barely read it sometimes. I think the thing that got me most was the part about people who want to be part of a vibrant, growing, seeking tribe. I think this is why I like screenwriting so much, because screenwriting is so much about seeking out other people, making friendships, forming relationships, developing trust, having a track record, showing up.

Those things all factor into screenwriting. They factor into writing in general, networking is essential for all writers and well, all I can say is, I'm going through Tribes now because it's due back at the library, but I am definitely going to get my own copy of this book, no question about it, because you really need to look at it every now and then and remind yourself, give yourself a little kick in the ass, so to speak, because this book will do it.

Tribes. Yeah, I like it. And Seth Godin really. He's thought provoking and all that good stuff. Anyway, all right, that's it.then. Be talking to you later. See ya!

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