Full disclosure, I am a full fan-boy of Seth and his writings. I am a subscriber to his daily thoughts and a purchaser of many of his books including one of my favorites – Tribe. When I grow up, I want to be just like Seth. πŸ™‚ He is a marketing expert and there are a few Seth principles that resonate with me that I apply to my community building efforts.

This week I want to talk about the foundational principle of β€œtribes” who are groups of people connected by a shared interest, passion, or purpose. Tribes are clearly startup communities and startup communities are definitely a tribe. These tribes, as per Godin, drive change and achieve collective goals, a feature found in the most innovative cities.

Tribes have magical qualities that drive innovation:

  1. Connection. Connection is more than just knowing each other; it’s about a shared passion, enthusiasm, and a sense of belonging. I think the best work gets done when there is a deep connection.
  2. Driving Change. Tribes have the power to drive change. When a tribe is mobilized around a common cause, it can lead to significant shifts in how people think and behave. Change is the inevitable goal of every innovation community.
  3. Leadership and Influence. Godin emphasizes the role of leaders or influencers in guiding tribes. These leaders are part of the tribe, sharing the same passions and interests. They inspire and motivate the community towards a common goal.

What I love most about the idea of a tribe in the context of startup communities is the idea that a small group of people can build connection, drive change and lead & influence the rest of the community.

Here are three takeaways from Seth’s idea of building a tribe that you can use in your community:

  1. You can start with a small group of people – the only rule is that they must share interest, passion and purpose. Add more people as you go but only if they are in sync with the rest of the tribe.
  2. This group must have a sense of shared goals. A few weeks ago, I wrote about alignment vs agreement. This group must have alignment, you can work on agreement later.
  3. The tribe must be willing to lead loudly with their behavior and actions. Tribes should influence the rest of the community and leadership is what happens when nobody’s looking.

Regardless of where you and your community are, the Godin principle of a tribe is an excellent reminder of how to create/augment/remember strategy and mission for your community.