The Leadership Tenets of Seth Godin

In 2014, Guy Raz interviewed an author and entrepreneur named Seth Goden for NPR’s “The Ted Radio Hour”. The episode that aired was entitled “Disruptive Leadership” and Guy was asking Seth his impressions on what it means to be a leader. In the following section I give you a summary of his ideas for what leadership is, followed by excerpts from the interview:

  1. To Be A Leader Means Fulfilling a Need, and Doing so in a Superior, Popular and Unique Manner.
    • “…it starts with this: you’re not allowed to say I’m going to make an average product for average people, and then go find a tribe that’s going to adopt it. This is the mistake that people who grew up-as you and I did, with Mass Media-make all the time. Our instinct is to make average stuff for average people to have it appeal to lots of folks when in fact, tribes never want that. What the tribe wants is the obscure, the remarkable, the edgy, the thing that’s worth talking about.”
  2. To Be A Leader Means Disrupting the Status Quo.
    • “…the art of disruption, then is being able to figure out what is the likely path to get you from here to that better place with the least amount of appropriate fall out.”
  3. To Be A Leader Means Building a Culture (Tribe Creation).
    • “…they build a culture, a secret language, a seven-second handshake; a way of knowing that you’re in or out.”
  4. To Be A Leader Means Having a Curiosity About People.
    • “They have a curiosity: a curiosity about the people in the tribe, a curiosity about outsiders. They’re asking questions. They connect people to one another. Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don’t show up. They want to be missed when they’re gone. And tribe leaders can do that.
  5. To Be A Leader Means Committing.
    • “And finally, they commit: they commit to the cause, they commit to the tribe. They commit to the people there.”

You can find Seth Godin at, the “Disruptive Leadership” episode of “Ted Talk” at, and finally, you will be hearing more about the man here because I enjoyed Seth’s interview and I believe he may have more to say about this topic.


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