Crowds have no leaders!

The Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost and time. Social tools like blogs and social networking sites are helping crowds form around very discrete topics.

But what is missing from these crowds are leaders. Like any social network that you may join you have those that join and just lurk, those that maybe make a comment or contribute but then you have those who stand up, take some initiative and lead! And that’s what these social networks really need is more leaders!

That’s what Seth Godin’s new book Tribes is all about.

For example, the internet is a great place for Ukrainian Folk Dancers because now for the first time people who love Ukrainian Folk Dancing can ban together and create their own “Tribe”.

This is an important fact since traditional media is no longer working. There is just too much noise out there to shout at people. No consumer brand has been built on the back of traditional media for a while now. TV certainly isn’t working for the creation of new consumer or B2B brands.

Which means your only option is to define your brand in a way that is open to a dialog (no Command and Control branding please) and in a way that is narrow enough to start or tap into a “movement”.

Take for example – Harley Davidson – here is a consumer brand that also is a movement a Tribe. Take from the brand what you want and maybe even lead your own Tribe in your own area.

Seth recently held an event in NY to bring his own Tribe together. You can view his slides here and you can listen to the audio of his presentation here.

Some of the highlights from my notes were

7 elements of leaders
– Challenge – leaders challenge their tribe
– Culture – leaders create a culture within the tribe
– Curiosity – leaders open up a curiosity gap for outsiders
– Charisma – being a leader gives you charisma
– Communicate – leaders communicate
– Connect – leaders connect others in the tribe
– Commit – to the movement

5 things tribes want
– Connect – they join to connect with others
– Create Meaning – joining gives them purpose
– Make a difference – joining allows them to make a difference
– Be Noticed – they join to be noticed
– Matter – they join because it matters to them

Marketing management is now Tribal leadership. Start doing things for people not to them. It’s an obligation and it up to you!

1 comment to Crowds have no leaders!

  • Tracey

    This is a great post, and I think the call to leadership is not only a relevant message to marketers, but to businesspeople in general, particularly in businesses that have flat or less-hierarchical management structures. Since we’re moving away from Command and Control organizations, this message is highly relevant to most of us.

    Another element of leadership that I’d add is ownership. Perhaps this is included within “commit.” A lack of ownership is a problem I see a lot – which leads to chaos. Plenty of people can add their “feedback” to an issue, but it’s the person who takes responsibility for either defining or owning a task or concept that is really demonstrating leadership. Often, ownership requires consensus from other tribe members (connect), so it’s really interdependent.

    Thought-provoking topic!

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