Insights from Tribes

Its been a very busy week so I have been sitting at home today and relaxing while the Forge intensive with Phil McCredden takes place down in Subiaco.

I have been reading Tribes by Seth Godin. Essentially its a book about the challenges of innovation, entrepeneurship and creativity in leadership. He is calling people to ‘lead’, to step up and actually choose to be different from the crowd and be a ‘heretic’ (colloquial usage!) Perhaps a ‘maverick’ is a similar word – to choose not to conform – because in that choice there is an opportunity make some difference.

Its not as stupid as just ‘be different for the sake of being different’, but rather its a challenge to consider our own unique vocation and to make the most of it – to rise above the crowd of mediocrity. I am enjoying the book because it doesn’t address this issue in the same cliched ways that I have grown tired of, but it does inspire very simply.

A few helpful quotes from Tribes:

“Who settles? Settling is no fun. Its a malignant habit, a slippery slope that takes you to mediocrity… The art of leadership is understanding what you can’t compromise on”. 67 (I like this thought)

“Faith is critical to all innovation. Without faith its suicidal to be a leader, to act like a heretic. Religion on the other hand, represents a strict set of rules that our felow humans have laid on top of our faith. Religion supports the status quo and encourages us to fit in, not stand out.” p. 68

“Challenge religion and people wonder if you’re challenging their faith. Heretics challenge a given religion (he is using the word broadly to speak of systems and not specifically about ‘spirituality’

you don t mess with the zohan download ) but do it from a very strong foundation of faith”. In order to lead you must challenge the status quo of the religion you are living under” p. 70

And this is a beauty…

“A recent study by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press found that about a third of all Americans have left the religion they grew up with. The study mistakenly uses the word faith, but in fact few of these people have lost faith. What they have done instead is change the system they use for re-enforcing that faith.

When you fall in love with the system you lose the ability to grow” p.71

While he uses the language of religion above he is talking more about belief systems in business. However obviously those of us working in church leadership can take his comments directly and observe their truth.

8 thoughts on “Insights from Tribes

  1. Good quotes Hamo .. I’d like to be at one of those Intensives again, I think I better understand now – my base then was pretty basic.

    Natural Church Development collected 4.2 million pieces of data from growing churches all over the world – they identified 8 common characteristics common in all growing churches, one of them being:

    Empowering Leadership: that is leaders of growing churches empower others and emphasize the priesthood of all believers.

  2. I read it last month and was impressed by what he had to say. Easily transferable statements and values.

    A couple of my favourites.

    “A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to his religion before he explores it.

    As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications.”

    “Religion works best when it amplifies faith.”

  3. This is what I was hoping someone would say in relation to the ‘suburban trinity’ question.

    This is a book that I might actually go and get; if for nothing else but to photocopy page 70 and make it REALLY BIG!!

    Gaz – good quotes there as well.

    Ah, I feel much better.

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