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Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

I’ve finished my 3rd book as part of my year long commitment to read and review professional/personal development books. I read one of my favorite authors this time, Seth Godin and his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us .

I’ve either been very smart or very lucky in my choice of books. I’ve enjoyed all three. But this one was better than the other two. Then again, this is my third Seth Godin book, I think I’m predisposed to enjoying his writing.

The core idea behind the book is predicated on two facts. First, humans tend to congregate, we’re social critters. Second, you can take the lead of your tribe. Easy stuff, right? Wrong. It’s complicated and weird and hard. The book doesn’t even remotely suggest otherwise. This is not a “do these three things and you’ll be famous, rich, and have lots of attractive people draped across your body” kind of books. No. This book is about work. Work at home, work at work, work in the community… defined how you want to to be. Working to take the lead to decide on a direction and do the things necessary to go there, but most importantly, to take your tribe with you, assuming they want to go.

It’s a great and fun read. It’s filled with stories from real life and movies, whatever and wherever, to illustrate the points that Seth Godin wants to illustrate. Some of it is wonderful, such as “Leadership Is Not Management” or “Stability Is An Illusion.” Other parts are frankly off putting, talking about failure and the fear of it, something that we all deal with all the time… or maybe that’s just me. He really covers a lot of material that I found incredibly useful because I’m trying to be one of those leaders (and why I’m motivated to do that was at least partially answered by the last book).

I find that some of the book is just going to be difficult for me to really make use of. He talks about doing things that others are not. Frankly, I’m just not there. I try to be imaginative, but I think I’m generally a bit dull (which is fine, competent, dull & employed is just fine). Other parts were inspiring and I think I can use them. For example, we live in an age where you really can just start doing things with little cost to entry. I’m reading this book at the same time as Google+ is getting started. There is this thing called Hangouts in G+. While reading the book and looking at the functionality of G+ I realized that, maybe, Hangouts were a way to build community, chat, help people, consult, something… I’m still not 100% sure. But, because I was reading the book. I started hosting hangouts. I’ve hosted 5 or 6 at this point and I’ve attended another 5 or 6 hosted by others. I posted about my experience with Hangouts too. All because I was reading this book and realized I might be able to do something here in relation to my “tribe.”

In short, it’s a great read, I think I’m going to get useful information out of the book. I think I already have. Plus, I get a kick out of the idea of being a heretic. Now I just need to find out what I should be a heretic about.

Next book is all about marketing: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business

The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

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