Modern-Day Tribes and Their Leaders

Seth Godin, famed entrepreneur and public speaker, answers this question – What do we do every day? According to Seth, individuals try to change things in their lives. Regardless of the fact that every person is different, most of us try to change something that bothers us or we think needs to be changed. We try to take necessary steps towards a permanent change. As Seth says, this fact has not been acknowledged and has gone unnoticed.

One such person who brought about a huge change is Nathan Winograd, an animal lover and a senior SPCA employee. SPCA was originally established to eliminate stray animals and in those days over 4 million stray cats and dogs would be killed annually. This angered Nathan and his boss and they both decided to make San Francisco a no-kill zone. They wanted the city of San Francisco to bring about ordinances that would allow the SPCA o kill animals only when they were too sick or weak and to rehabilitate and adopt all healthy stray animals.

They faced immense opposition from the SPCA and humane shelters from other cities. So to boost their cause they connected with the people of San Francisco – average citizens who cared about animal welfare. Surprisingly, in a few years San Francisco became the first city to enforce the no-kill policy – a policy completely funded and supported by the community. Nathan went on to replicate this success in other cities in America, proving that if people get together for a cause they can succeed. This one leader managed to change these communities for the better.

How we bring about change

As per Seth in modern times, there were three major ideas that brought about huge changes. The first one was Henry Ford’s concept of a factory or of having an assembly line. The second great concept was that of television and advertising. Advertising requires an average, easy-to-digest message that can then be pushed onto the masses. This is true even for the factory concept.

The Tribe

However, the Internet and the social media generation have brought about the concept of the tribe. This concept is not new and as Seth points out, thousands of years ago and in some parts of the worlds even today humans lived together as tribes. A tribe has a common cause and although there is a leader to guide this entity – all the members are committed to the cause. Here, the leader does not push his product or idea on others and force them to accept it. A leader in a tribe gathers like-minded people and nurtures them. The best part is that you do not need everyone in the tribe to bring the common goal to fruition. Even just a thousand people working together passionately can help make the tribe a success. The recent Arab spring has shown us how tribes can overthrow governments.

For example, when Al Gore tried to bring awareness to global warming he connected with like-minded people via the Internet and his documentary. Similarly, Steve Jobs managed to create Apple groupies by giving them what they wanted – technology that looked great. These tribe leaders did not have to force their ideas on people; they merely gathered people who already had a yearning for what they had to offer. Watch this video to see Seth Godin explain this concept with many other examples.