The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in.
Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
A group of people connected to one
another, to a leader, and to an idea
o Shared interest & means to communicate
o To survive, tribes need leadership – be it by a
single person or a group
o Thrive on their connection and their will to grow
and bring about a change
PerfectExampleof a tribein the ModernWorld
Through his ideas and practices, Joel changed the norms that
were associated with managing programmers in the industry –
their hiring, firing, etc. He thus, assembled a large tribe of
peoplelooking to be under his leadership.
He drove change& gave the tribe a lever to alter the
norms in this industry
We are drawn to leaders, their ideas and love interacting with like minded people
A part of our survival mechanism – to belong to a tribe
In fact the more the number of tribes, the more our enthusiasm to join them
Leadinga tribebeingthebestlifeofall,and everyone can lead a tribe
Phenomenal Impacton the Tribe
Despitehaving only 1 top-40 hit, they had a massive cult
following – with ‗Deadheads‘ often talking to each other in
seemingly coded words
They created concerts to allow peoplenot just to hear their
music, but to hear it together - where the concept of
tribes came in.
o Geography was important in defining a tribe – be it people from a village, or model-
car enthusiastsin Sacramento, or the Democrats in Springfield
o Internet, has eliminated this trend – easier to coordinate and grow - Facebook,
Twitter and email are encouraging this change, in addition to providing tools to lead
such tribes – without which all of this is worthless
o Existing tribes are now bigger, there are now more tribes across horizontals and
verticals never thought of before - travel, shopping, work, sports
o Despiteallthis,the real power of a tribe is in the people,notinthetools,
and one must look forwardto using these toolsto commit to a tribe and lead it
o Leading for the sake of isn‘t a good idea, the desire needs to be there too
has a tribe of millions around the world, who turn to him to
narrate their passion for wine. He helps them understand the wines they love. His secret
to success is his use of technology and unique method to share his passion and create
change. This connects with people & a tribe grows.
The senior VP of Microsoft‘s Marketing Groupisn‘t a pundit or a personality. Instead,
she leads a tribe of thousands of people inside Microsoft who create and shape the
company‘s marketing. The tribe listens to Mich; they respect her and they follow her
leads a tribe, not by leading everyone in her town, but by challenging
people in 20+ countries to provide essential services to the needy. Her tribe of donors, employees,
entrepreneurs, and supporters counts on her leadership to inspire and motivate them, thus
changing the face of philanthropy
They work a lot, and working on stuff they believe in is
much more satisfying
Factory centric model of producing goods is not as
profitable as in the past
Consumers have decided to spend time and money on
things that matter and mean to them rather than factory
The people who like their jobs the most are the
ones who are making the greatest impact, and
changing the world along with the way they see the
Hereticsare the new leaders – challenge status quo,
create movements, lead tribes; The leverage of a tribe is
powerful & profitable, yet reliable, easy and fun
JonathonIveat the design team of Apple is one
such Macintosh tribe leader
o With tribes flourishing everywhere, there‘s a vast shortage of leaders
o Everyone in an organization—not just the boss—is expected to lead
o Today‘s workplaceencourages individuals to change things and have more leverage than ever before
o Organizations & individuals who change things and create remarkable products are rewarded
o There is a tribe of fellow employees or customers waiting for you to connect them to one another and lead them
where they want to go
o We have the skills to lead; its just the will that‘s missing– Now is the best time!
Managementis manipulating resources to get a known job done. Managers control a process
they‘ve seen before, working hard to make that process as efficient as possible, is to complete tasks assigned
to him by someone else in the factory.
Example: McDonalds‘ managers
Leadership is about creating the change you are passionate about- using own ideas to lead peopleand
to change organisations, as opposedto using threats and bureaucracy to manage them. The future belongs to
leaders, and to the process of change – something that future leaders should not be scared of
Corporations were built on the foundation of the royalty,where the CEO with his perks and
power had a tribe of influential men around him whose job was to strengthen the CEO‘s power
Marketing involves understanding the tribe and delivering products- the
tribe earns a leverage – to leave the CEO if they don‘t like him
People, now, admire the new and stylish more than the proven state of affairs
Early adopters are the ones who buy and spread word
No one watches mediocre YouTube videos that they‘ve seen before, or
forward boring mails
As a result, new ways of doing things, new jobs and opportunities,new faces become ever more
important implyingthat markets want change
Stability is just an illusion.
The best way to grow was to be reliable and consistent, slowly gaining market share; rapid change led to
uncertainty, risk and failure which were unpopular
Renault, Yugo and Sterling failed in the past because they wanted to bring in new cars into the US –
customers felt these had no future and stuck to good old GM
Today, the only customers willing to support you are the ones who need change
ToyotaPrius used a 100 year old technology to assemble a tribe that has now become a movement –
the hybrid car industry!
In a few years‘ time, the biggest consumer industry took a u-turn, just because of the leverage that the need
for change brought about
Leadersmakea ruckus,becomepartisanandtakea stand – connectingwiththeirtribe
The sceptical hesitate at the idea of leadership because they feel that without authority they can‘t lead
and that big organizations reserve leadership for CEOs or feeling that there is too much resistance to
change in a big organisation
Thomas Barnett showed how leadership without rank or status has the power to even change
things at the Pentagon – his presentation on how modern military should look like influenced the way
the Pentagon viewed its weaknesses
Barnett led and galvanised a tribe passionate about change - inspired and connected them through his
Tribes gives each the very same opportunity.Skill and attitude are essential. Authority can, in fact, get
in the way
Tribes aren‘t about stuff. They are all about
The better you do the better you do. Connectionsleadto connections.
Great ideas spread.
1. A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the
future we‘re trying to build
2. A connection between and among the leader and the tribe
3. Something to do – the fewer limits, the better
Too often organizations fail to do anything
but the third
Spinnaker(Educational computer games making software company) – Seth Godin joined in 1984.
Job: To acquire science fiction stories and turn them into literary adventure games.
Shortage of programmers so just three were allotted to him, which was insufficient
So he started a newsletter (twice a week) where the newsletter highlighted the work of every person who
worked on one of his products. Then he distributes them to the interoffice mailbox of every person.
He talked about their quests, chronicled the amazing work they have done. Eventually form a Tribe, as the
newsletter connected the tribe members.
Within a month 6 engineers defected to the tribe, worked for him in their spare time. Then the number rose
and eventually the entire department was engaged some way or the other.
Shipped 5 products in time for Christmas, which otherwise would not have been possible
Why did the engineers switch? Because of the newsletter: No. Because they want a take part in something
EverythingI didwasforus,notforme.I didn‘tmanage;I led
A crowd is a tribe without a leader
A crowd is a tribe without communication
A Management often work for the status quo, to deliver average product to average people.
Build reliability and predictability,cut cost and make profit
But for tribes, Average can mean Mediocre. Not worth seeking out. Boring.
Not so much difference between the two
Average stuff is taken for granted, not talked about and certainly not sought out.
Defending Mediocrityis exhausting
You only need 1000true fans
A true fan connects with other true fans and amplifies the noise the artist
Of course a church may need a little more and if you standingfor the
President even more
Too many organizations careabout numbers, not fans
Fans, true fans, are hard to find and are precious. Just a few can change
o Look around, all the marketplaces rewards innovation
o The fastest growingchurch are the newest ones; the best selling books are
always the surprise hits that come out of nowhere.
o Creating products and services that are remarkable is fun. Doing work
that is fun is engaging; Making things that are successful is a great way to
spend your time
There you go: Initiative= Happiness
Factories are efficient.
Factories are deeply connected with the human nature: Part of us wants stability.
For example, In India a perfect jobis working as a government bureaucrat
Somewhere along the way, the factory advantage began to fade It wasn‘t so safe to have a
factory job after all
We now envision our dream jobs, we‘re imagining someone who reaps huge rewards as a
result of his insight, or someone who has control of what he does.
None of which have anything to do with working in a factory
Free Agent Nation – a movement of smart peopleleaving organizations to go
out on their own.
Organizations are more important than ever before. It‘s the factories we don‘t
In unstable times, growthcomes fromleaderswho
createchange and engage their organizations, instead of from
managers who push their employees to do more for less.
Fear‘s an emotion, no doubt about it. One of the strongest, oldest and most
And the media loves to glamorize the rare downfall of the heretics who doesn‘t
quite make it
You can talk over fear, laying out a game plan that makes
the fear obsolete
Then the only thing holding you back is your own fear
People struggle for years but never seem to get anywhere
Why? Possibly these people are becoming ever better at following, but never
learning to lead
They‘re following instructions, directions, following the pack and honing their
skills – but hiding from the fear of Leading
When you are leading a tribe, the benefits increase, the work gets easier, and the
results are more obvious. That‘s the best reason to overcome the fear
A remarkable product is like a purple cow. Brown cows are boring.
Ideas that spread win. Boring ideas don‘t spread.
True, when one gets a bad review one‘s feeling is hurt
But one bad review shouldn‘t ruin one‘s day because one should know that the
book got noticed, and it‘s a badge of honor to get a bit of criticism at all.
It means that one cofounded expectations and did something worth remarking on
The lesson being if one had written a boring book there‘d be no criticism, no
The product and services that got talked about are the ones that are worth talking
Heretics are engaged, passionate and more
powerful and happier than everyone else. And
have a tribe that support them
Challenging the status quo requires commitment,
both public and private.
Heretics must believe.
The World‘sBest Coach
She talks quietly, one on one, to someone who needs to hear from her.
Over the course of few hours she will have dozens of such conversations.
She occasionally talks to the entire team, but she never raises her voice
After just a few weeks, amazing thing starts to happen. The members
start to coaching each other. A ten year old novice offers a pointer to a
veteran recently back from the national competition.Meghan leaves the
building and practice continues.
Meghan isn‘t just a coach, she someone who understands authentic
leadership and realize what it means to create a tribe
A tribe that communicates with alacrity & emotions thrives in long term
A tighter tribe is one that hears to its leader & coordinate action & ideas across the members of the tribe
Steve Jobs tightened the tribe of Apple fanatics by
Creatingsubstantial new products
Announcing them online regularly
Act of tightening by spreading word through blog, Twitter & Facebook is powerful & productive.
Leadership is scarce becausefew people are willing to go through the discomfort required
This scarcity makes leadership valuable
It is uncomfortable to
Stand up in front of strangers
Propose an idea that might fail
Challenge the status quo
Resist the urge to settle
If anyone is not uncomfortable in their work as a leader, he/she is not reaching his/her potential as a leader.
A tribe needs followers, who aren‘t just willing to follow but are
eager to follow
Members of tribes who just follow mindlessly put the tribe down
They don‘t do the local leadership required when the tribe members interact
They hesitate in interacting with other tribe members thus not making a vibrant tribe
They don‘t do a good job of recruiting new members to the tribe
Consider any group, it is micro-leaderin the trenches & their enthusiastic followers who make the difference
This micro leadership is for the health of the organization.
Tribes in early stages is only an isolated group with no members interacting, leaders know how to step in &
This movement creation can transform a group into a tribe
Also at times a leader can start a tribe & at the right moment back off from the tribe to allow the tribe build its
When to back off & stand aside is a skill the leader requires
But one thing never helps: Doing Nothing
Backing off involves setting oneself aside & stepping in at the right time again, but doing nothing is merely
Crossfit is a tribe of crazy fitness fanatics, who exercise rigorously on everyday basis
The Crossfit tribe is strong & getting stronger mainly because of the work of their leader- Greg
Glassman, known as Coach
The coach has built the Crossfit tribe from scratch, inspiring, cajoling & laying down the rules.
Glassman pushes to limit everyday, creating the environment of camaraderie, new ideas & sharing culture.
No Coach, no tribe!
This is an example of ‗Leaning In‘ Leader.
The LEANINGIN Leader
Patientslikeme.comis a website where several thousand ill people share the details of his/her diagnosis &
current health status
They cheer & support one another with enthusiasm
This website appears to be leaderless, but it is not the case
They are leaders of ‗Backing Off‘ kind
They found a tribe desperately wanting to communicate,& they gave them
tools to do so, they made the tribe tighter
That is leadership as well!
Curious has to do with
a desire to understand,
a desire to try,
a desire to push whatever envelope is interesting
Great leaders are curious because they cant wait to find out what the group is going to do next
Curious people are the ones who talk to people who are in a stupor
Theyleadthemasses who are stuck in the middle.
All a leader needs is to motivate people
who choose to follow the leader
The rest of the population is free to ignore
or disagree with the leader
• Work hard to fit in, so others don‘t notice them
• Like eating at places where they have eaten before
• Think this book is a bad idea
• Would like the world to stay as it is, but calmer
• Are afraid
• Didn‘t use Google until last year
‗Most people‘ good at ignoring new trends, great employees & big ideas
A leader shouldn‘tbe ‗most people‘!
1. Individuals have far more power than ever before in history
One person can change an industry, declare a war, reinvent science, politics & technology
2. The only thing holding back a leader from achieving above is lack of faith!
Faith that the leader can do it, faith that it is worth doing & faith that failure won‘t destroy!
In 1967,Jim Delligatti broke the rules & invented the Big Mac. Jim led the entire
corporation in a new direction & made the Big Mac world famous!
In 1946, Percy Spencer, a low ranking engineer at the Raytheon Corporation while
trying to improve radar technology smartly invented the Microwave Oven!
• Managers who are stuck, who compromise to keeps things quiet, who battle
the bureaucracy everyday are the ones who settle
• Heretics don‘t. The art of leadership is understanding what you cant
• Faith is the unstated component in the work of a leader and isunderrated.It
leads to hope and overcomes fear. It is the dividing line between humans and
most other species
• Faith is critical to all innovation. Without faith it is suicidal to be a leader, to
act like a heretic
• Religion on the other hand represents a strict set of rules that our ancestors
have overlaid on our faith and is highly overrated. Religion supports the
status quo and encourages us to fit in, not to stand out.
• Religion and faith go together
• Without religion its easier for faith to flag. Religion reinforces faith and we
cant succeed without it
• So you can recognize the need for faith in your idea, find the tribe you need to
support you and create a new religion around your faith!!
• A recent study has found that about a third of all Americans have left the
religion they grew up with
• If religion comprises rules you follow, faith is demonstrated by the actions you
• When you lead without compensation, when you sacrifice without
guarantees, when you take risks because you believe, then you are
demonstrating faith in the tribe and its mission
• Of course it‘s difficult. But leaders will tell you that it‘s worth it!!
Leadership almost always involves thinking and acting like the
underdog.That‘s because leaders work to change things, and the
people who are winning rarely do
If you‘re not over the top, you‘re not going to have any chance at
all of making things happen
• The easiest thing is to react
• The second easiest thing is to respond
• But the hardest thing is to initiate.
• Reacting is intuitive and instinctive and usually dangerous. Managers react
• Responding is a much better alternative. You respond to external stimuli
with thoughtful action. Organizations respond to competitive threats.
Individuals respond to colleagues or to opportunities.
• Initiating is really and truly difficult, and that‘s what leaders do. They see
something others are ignoring and they jump on it. They cause the events that
others have to react to. They make change
• Sometimes it may make more sense to take the follow. Leading when you
don‘t know where to go, when you don‘t have the commitment or the passion,
or worst of all, when you can‘t overcome your fear—that sort of leading is
worse than none at all.
• Normal people have things happen to them while leaders don‘t have things
happen to them, but instead do things
The status quo is persistent and resistant. It exists because everyone wants it to.
Everyone believes that what they‘ve got is probably better than the risk and
fear that come with change
Unless you believe that innovation can change things, that heretics can break
the rules, and that remarkable products and services spread, you can‘t succeed
A true leader would not be scared to embrace change and lead the group!!
When change occurs, the new thing is rarely better than the old one. If that
were so, everyone would have loved to change
Past performance is no guarantee of future success
The best time to change your business model is when you still have momentum
• Industries don‘t die by surprise
• They die because they don‘t have a good leader ready to describe the future
and build the required coalitions to get there
• This isn‘t about having a great idea (it almost never is). It is about taking
initiative and making things happen.
• When things don‘t seem right in the current industry it is recommendable to
be the first person to walk out
• Outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving
them brain-dead jobs and enough fear to keep them in line
• Eg, A customer service representative who will happily read aloud a
company policy six or seven times but never stop to consider what the policy
• Sheepwalking, today, is actually on the rise. What‘s left is to cost-reduce the
manual labor when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have
already been trained to besheeplike.
• Because the stakes are higher(opportunity, cost, tuition, and the job market)
• And what about schools/colleges?
• Students fall back on what they‘ve been taught: to be sheep. Well-educated
sheep, of course, but compliant nonetheless
• Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an
organization that‘sflat and open and treats employees with respect? What
happens when you expect a lot and trust the people you work with?
• There‘s too much overhead, too little predictability, and way too much noise
• When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff.
• And the sheepwalkers and their bosses watch and shake their heads
• How wide spread is the problem?
• An MBA student the author met said she was taking a job at a major
packaged-goods company because they offered her a great salary and
promised her a well-known brand. She‘s said she is going to stay ―for just ten
years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.‖
• Who see yourself in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can
always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the
same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
• The biggest step, though, comes from anyone who teaches or hires. And that‘s
to embrace nonsheep behavior, to reward it and cherish it.
• ―Life‘s too short‖ is repeated often enough to be a cliché, but it‘s true.
• You don‘t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It‘s not just
pointless, it‘s painful.
• Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a
life you don‘t need to escape from. The amazing thing is that not only is this sort
of life easier to set up than ever before, but it‘s also more likely to make you
successful. And happy.
• So how was yourday?
• The thermometer reveals that something is broken- tell us when we‘re
spending too much or gaining market share or not answering the phone
• Organizations are filled with human thermometers - criticize or point out
or just whine.
• The thermostat manages to change the environment in sync with the
• Every organization needs at least one thermostat- leaders who can create
change in response to the outside world, and do it consistently
• Publisha manifesto - a mantra and a motto and a way of looking at the world
- spread it far and wide.
• Make it easy for your followers to connect with you– by visiting you or e-
mailing you or it could interacting with you on Facebook
• Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another. Eg, the
camaraderie developed by volunteers on apolitical campaign or insiders
involved in a new product launch. Great leaders figure out how to make
these interactions happen
• Realize that money is not the point of a movement- Money exists merely to
• Track your progress- Do it publicly and create pathways for your followers
to contribute to that progress
• Transparency reallyis your only option - The people who follow you aren‘t Stupid,
People can smell subterfuge from a mile away.
• Your movement needs to be bigger than you
• Movements that grow, thrive - Don‘t mortgage today just because you‘re in a hurry.
• Movements aremade most clear when compared to the status quo or to movements
• to push the other direction - movements do less well when compared to other
movements with similar goals.
• Exclude outsiders -ensures loyalty and attention. Who isn‘t part of your movement
matters almost as much as who is
• Tearing others down is never as helpful to a movement as building your followers
TIME magazine is a media channel. So are CNN and Yahoo.
Tribes are different.
Tribes are the most effective media channels ever, but they‘re not for sale or for rent.
Tribes don‘t do what you want; they do what they want. Which is why joining and
leading a tribe is such a powerful marketing investment.
• Isaac Newton was totally about alchemy, the branch of science he spent most of his
• Steve Jobs was wrong about the Apple III, wrong about the NeXT computer
• The secret of being wrong isn‘t to avoid being wrong!
• The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn‘t fatal.
• There isn‘t an easy way. It isn‘t easy for middle managers or CEOs -the truth is that
they appear to risk everything, but in fact, the risk isn‘t so bad. The downsides are
pretty small because few of us are likely to get burned at the stake.
• The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the
future. Gothere. People will follow.
• Wikipedia is a non-profit that is run by a conservative board and several thousand
dedicated volunteers. Florence Nibart-Devouard, the chairwoman of the
Wikipedia board, is actively campaigning to ensure that no one makes
particularly large donations to the foundation. She was quoted by the New York
Times as saying that she would ―make some noise‖ if an aggressive outsider was to
try to become a board member.
• What to do with a tribe like this?
• If your goal is to make change, it‘s foolish to try to change the worldview of the
majority if the majority is focused on maintaining the status quo
• The opportunity is to carve out a new tribe, to find the rabble-rousers and change
lovers who are seeking new leadership and run with them instead.
Risk is a probability of failure, right?
• So we warn ourselves of a probability of a probability.
• It‘s all a risk. Always. - That‘s not true, actually.
• The only exception: it‘s a certainty that there‘s risk.
• The safer you play your plans for the future, the riskier it actually is. That‘s
because the world is certainly, definitely, and more than possibly changing.
• Why is initiative such an astonishingly successful tool?
Because it‘s rare.
• Even a little bit of action, a few new ideas, or a tiny bit of initiative can fill
• The organizations that need innovation the most are the ones that do the
most to stop it from happening
• Most of the top 50 nonprofits in the US are stuck. Why?
• Because they think they are big and continue doing what has worked for them
• Consequently, big risks and crazy schemes are frowned upon
• Advent of Internet changed the scenario. Nonprofits started making revenues
from websites and also allows long-distance involvement
• Direct mail fund raising has gotten people to donate out of guilt, not out of the
want to do it
• BIG WIN is turning donors into patrons and activists.
• Responsible stewardship requires that you find and empower heretics & give
them the flexibility to build something new.
• Haters are everywhere. Blame-game is everywhere. Its easy to
blame those in your tribe who aren’t working as hard at following as
you are at leading.
• You have a choice when to communicate
• You can design your products to be easy to use
• You can guarantee that people will listen to you by making a choice.
• The largest enemy of change is NOT ‗no‘. It is a
• Change never fails because its too early. It fails
because its too late
• The curve below shows the benefits of any
innovation over time
• Leadership is very much an art, one that‘s accomplished only by people with
authentic generosity and a visceral connection to their tribe. ‗Learning the
trick‘ won‘t do you any good.
• Doing it will make the difference.
• Cynicism is a lousy strategy. Managers are cynical. They are pessimists.
Leaders on the other hand have a powerful tool - HOPE
• Tribe members care of what happens to the organization and to other
• Brand Polarization is very important. You‘ve got to have people who care.
You‘ve got to have people who love you, or hate you.
• But being in a state where no one cares? Then your leadership has failed.
Challenge status quo
Create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture
Have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about the world they‘re trying
Use charisma to attract and motivate followers
Communicate their vision
Connect their followers to one another
Being charismatic doesn‘t make you a leader,
being a leader makes you charismatic
• Remarkable visions & genuine insights are always met with resistance
• Forces of mediocrity will always align to stop you but what determines
your success will be your persistence.
• Sell the idea to ONE person. Does he love it? Is he excited about it?
Excited enough to tell 10 friends because it helps them, and not because it
• Then you‘ve got yourself a brilliant idea!
• Tribes grow when peoplerecruit other people. That‘s how ideas spread.
• Leadership is the art of giving others a platform for spreading ideas that
• It‘s a myth that change happens overnight, that right answers succeed in the
marketplace right away or big ideas happen in a flash.
• They don‘t!
• It is always a matter of accretion.
• Visa & MasterCard were huge ideas that took years to take off!
• If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never
• The job of senior management is to find leaders present in the organization &
• Generally, managers don‘t like deviants.
• Deviance from established standards is a failure for a manager working to
deliver on spec.
• Leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but also a key to
• Great leaders embrace by searching for them & catching them doing
• Jerry Sternin went to Vietnam to try to help starving children.
• Rather than traditional tactics to make a difference, he diverted through a
• He searched for few mothers who were not starving, encouraged them &
made them to share their insights with the group for a better life.
• Sternin proved one thing: find leaders & then amplify their work, give them
a platform & help them find followers & things get better!
• Not to far from us there are
• Kids & parents starving
• People unable to reach their goals due to non-availabilityof infrastructure
• People who are persecuted by their governments
• Children who cant afford schooling
• So the obligation for other people like us: don‘t settle!
• Flynn Berry wrote that you should never use the ―opportunity‖, it‘s not
opportunity, it‘s an obligation.
• People want to know how to be sure they get credit for an idea, especially
when they have a boss who wants to steal it.
• Real leaders don‘t care!
• If it‘s about your mission, about spreading the faith, about seeing something
happen, not only do you not care about credit, you actuallywant people to
• There is no record of Martin Luther KingJr or Mahatma Gandhi whining
• Credit isn‘t the point. Change is.
• The big yes completely contrasts the little no
• The little no is easy to find, hard to avoid & makes feels safer.
• The little no avoids a distraction & keeps people away from a possible hassle.
• There are tons of little no‘s everywhere today.
• The BIG YES on the other hand, is about leadership & apparent risk.
• It‘s about leverage & the BIG YES is available to every person, lucky enough
• Leaders create things that didn‘t exist before.
• They do this by giving the tribe a vision of something that could happen, but
• We cant manage without knowledge, but we cant LEAD without
• don‘t believe what you tell them
• Rarely believe what you show them
• Often believe what their friends tell them
• Always believe what they tell themselves
• What leaders do?
• They give people stories they can tell themselves.
• They give people stories about future & about change.
• The barriers to leadership have fallen.
• There are many tribes everywhere, without a leader.
• No one gives you permission/approval to lead, the only one who can say no is
• Leaders don‘t need wait.
• There is no correlation between money, power, education & successful
• John McCain was fifth in class at the United States Naval Academy
• Howard Schultz ended up at underfunded three store coffee bean chain
before he turned it into Starbucks
• Mahatma Gandhi was lawyer in South Africa.
• So waiting doesn‘t pay, saying YES does!
• Quality is not only not necessary, for many items it‘s undesirable
• Perfect is an illusion, one that was created to maintain the status
• The six sigma charade is largely about hiding from change, because
change is never perfect.
• Change means reinvention& until something is reinvented,we
have no idea what the spec is!
• Brad Garlinghouse probably save Yahoo, because he found his tribe.
• In 2006, Brad wrote a pointed memo to his bosses at Yahoo, about the flaws
in company‘s strategy, culture & vision of the future.
• The memo got leaked, it was featured in the Wall Street Journal & reprinted
across the Web.
• Suddenly Brad became famous as a heretic
• Brad‘s memo started a chain of events that led to CEO TerrySemel‘s
departure & big changes at Yahoo.
• It led to bigger job for Brad as well!
• Brad didn‘t leak the memo, he just shared very honest proposal with bosses.
• If Brad was fired, dozens of better companies would have hired him.
• The worst that would have happened is that he would ended up with a better
• If the memo had worked he would got a promotion.
• Brad had nothing to lose by writing that memo!
• What are you waiting for?
• Nathan Winograd had no authority, no charge but still he is changing the
way dogs & cats are treated.
• Previously, every year millions of healthy dogs & cats were killed by shelters
• Starting with one shelter in one city,Winograd‘s mentor, Richard Avanzino,
led a tribe of people who were against killing pets.
• Avanzino implemented programs that were controversial.
• With his team, Avanzino, expanded his organization, he tried to pass a law in
San Francisco requiring to transfer all the pets to SPCA instead of killing
• By 1995, San Francisco was a no kill city.
• On similar grounds, Winograd started the program in Tompkins County in
rural New York State.
• There were strong oppositions, but Winograd didn‘t compromise!
• He built a tribe & in one year there were 400 hundred media stories about
• Winograd did it again in Virginia & Nevada.
• Each time he did with no real budget & no real power, just with leadership!
What does a leader look like?
Across the world, all continents, professions, income levels, leaders don‘t have
these things in common.
There no gene, no schooling, no parentage, no profession in common.
Leaders aren‘t born.
But theydo haveone thingin common:the decisionto lead!
Every tribe is different, every leader is different.
The nature of leadership is such that you are not doing what has been done
before; if you are then you are not leading, you are following.
Once you choose to lead, there are things which will pressurize you to
reconsider your choice, to compromise, to give up!
But once you choose to lead, you will discover that itis not so difficult, the
options available are clear & you can get there from here.
[Submitted to Prof. Sameer Mathur
‗www.mbaskills.in‘ as a partof Personal
Branding course 2015,IIM Lucknow]
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