In Seth Godin’s new book, Tribes, a few key lessons have stood out. Having spent years in the public education world, I’ve been a teacher of the sheep, and for so long sought permission from my leaders there. To define a few terms, sheep are followers. Sheep are those people that are used to the employment system. They go to school, even college, to get a good job or a nice house. I spent years training students how to follow this – literally as a career development teacher. This consisted of resumes, cover letters, and other job acquisition skills. These are valuable skills to have, but I’m not content to be or lead sheep. I am the heretic. Sheep must be managed, they want to be managed even. To wander away from the herd is scary, to stay in the parameters is comfortable. Managers, tied to the bureaucracy that protects the organization, are able to inspire, but also can be go-takers rather than go-givers. When focused on the business or selfish ambitions, managers take from the sheep.
In the new social networking world, online and off, leaders don’t wait around for top level management to give permission or make a decision. Leaders inspired by passion step out in faith, knowing the greatness awaiting their leading. Giving value to others, genuinely and authentically caring about others, inspires greatness in others. Being receptive to the ideas of others, and collaborating, lead to improvement in all areas. Embrace non-sheep behavior, reward it even.
A crowd of people without a leader is not a tribe – there is no shared purpose and little interest in helping each other. What makes leaders different than managers or one in the crowd? Leaders influence change to happen. Great leaders don’t want the attention but they use it, when leadership is abused, it taking from others rather than giving. Prioritizing others and the movement is truly leading the Tribe. Leaders make a ruckus.
photo credit: happyskrappy
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