From time to time in this blog I will review books that have something to do with education. Since 2005, probably 1/3 to of the books I have read have had to do with education (thanks alot UVA). For most, these reviews will be incredibly boring (almost as boring as the current season of Grey's Anatomy -- yeah I watch it, so what? Seriously though, how bad is this show this year? I'm mean, get over yourself people). This book was read for job/educational purposes.
The book is called We Need You to Lead Us and it is written by Seth Godin. Although not about education specifically, it was recommended by a fellow educator who looks at education from more of a leadership perspective. This book, specifically, deals with leadership and how to become a leader of "tribes" of people. This book had some really ridiculous parts and some really great parts... I'll go through both.
On the bad side was this ridiculous title. The Tribes part doesn't bother me, but the "We need you to lead us" is goofy. This leads to another problem was the preachiness of the whole book. So much was about how it was all about YOU and that YOU can change everything just by doing a few things. Unfortunately his suggestions are so vague and overly general it lacks some significant substance. Ironically, he mentions in the book how people will criticize him for not being specific enough, well here you go buddy, you got it. The other annoying thing is that he is disagrees with himself throughout the book. He will say that one of the worst things is to lead without knowing where you are going and then he includes a quotation later that states something like "I don't know where I am going. I guess I will just lead". Silly author. Other times he will talk about leading by being innovative than others he says sometimes you shouldn't change what works.
I really like other parts of the book, however. Because the book is short and really written as a bunch of almost random blog entries, it's a very quick read. And since he does not have any extremely specific suggestions on how to lead or create a tribe, you are left with some major, BIG ideas. I actually like these thoughts. Like, don't be afraid. He states that fear is what holds most people back from moving up or forward in their jobs. Also, don't settle for the status quo. In fact, he suggests almost being a revolutionary in your work.
His overall point was that if you get rid of your fear, persevere through people trying to hold you back who want you to maintain the status quo, and follow your passions, you will become a leader and ultimately people will follow you. Your "Tribe" will be created and grow because of your passion and love for whatever it is you believe in.
Overall, kind of self-helpy but I actually full agree with his overall message. People, in general, are afraid to change and to try something new. Change is hard and its much easier to do nothing. But, in the end, more happiness and success can be achieved by trying something new and being different.
Check this book out if you are motivated to change who you are in your job or think about ways to differentiate yourself from others around you. Just be prepared that you have to get through some of Godin's "too cool for school" (no pun attended) way of thinking.