Okay, I know most of you probably read this book a few years ago, but I’m just now getting to it. If you haven’t read it, here are a few quotes that might wet your appetite to go out and get it. (Tribes by Set Godin)

  1. “When you fall in love with ‘the system,’ you lose the ability to grow.”
  2. “Ordinary thinking and ordinary effort are almost never enough to generate leadership.”
  3. “The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail along the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.”
  4. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
  5. “The organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission”
  6. “Settling is no fun. It’s a malignant habit, a slippery slope that takes you to mediocrity. Managers settle all the time.”
  7. “What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.”
  8. “The challenge for the leader is to help your tribe sing, whatever form that song takes.”
  9. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”
  10. “Part of leadership is the ability to stick with the dream for a long time.”
  11. “Leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but the key to success.”
  12. “Great leaders embrace deviants by searching for them and catching them doing something right.”
  13. “(Real leaders) not only do not care about credit, you actually want other people to take credit….Credit isn’t the point.  Change is.”
  14. “Leaders create things that didn’t exist before.”
  15. “You can’t mange without knowledge.  You can’t lead without imagination.”
  16. “Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there.”

Leadership is creative, and not always systematic. This should ring true in our hearts as creatives and leaders of creatives. If we’re doing what we believe in (do you believe in what you’re doing?) then, we have a picture – a dream – in our heads that we’re trying to lead people to. We aren’t afraid of failure, in fact we welcome it, because we feel we’re not trying hard enough or new enough if we’re not failing.

But failing doesn’t make us quit. Criticism doesn’t make us quit. We understand that change must happen if we’re going to move forward. And failure and critique can’t keep us from changing what we must to achieve what we dream.

We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing this for the future. We’re leading because we have a hope and a dream of how the world could be a better place. We want people to experience this world. We want people to know that the system they are maintaining isn’t good enough. It doesn’t have to be the same until they die. There’s so much more to life than the systems we get stuck in. We want to help people push the random button, and get off the repeat button. We want people to turn right who have been turning left. We want people to be upside down for a while. Not because we love change, but because we know that we grow when experience something different.