We’ve been talking a lot lately about Seth Godin’s book “Tribes,” and what it takes to lead them. We’ve looked at the marketing aspects, and starting a movement, and know that the best examples actually do both.
We’ve looked at some great examples, such as the marketing juggernauts of Viper owners, Starbucks devotees, and the fans of Cirque do Soleil and Jimmy Buffet, to name a few. We also looked at Barak Obama and Ron Paul; evaluating the amazing accomplishments they have done leading people toward a shared vision.
During this process, I spent some time thinking about this tribe of my own I lead. We’re in the process of redesigning my website and Alicia asked me what a wanted for a headline. I went through all of the usual suspects and finally came up with, “Community for Critical Thinkers.”
I think the Christmas poem posting was the perfect example of that. Because the best tribes are not one-person affairs. They are often started by one person, but then attract others to lead the charge.
The other day I mentioned I’m a member of the Parrot Head tribe, and went for a burger at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant. Of course afterward I went next door to the store. Now I’ve got every song he’s ever recorded, and I certainly don’t need more t-shirts. And I keep telling myself I won’t buy any more physical CDs, and stick with the iTunes instead. But I still ended up spending $130 before leaving.
I bought the “Meet Me in Margaritaville” double album because my old one had worn out, and his “Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads” 4-CD set, so I could download it on the jukebox in the Challenger for the ride back to South Beach. The four-disc set came with a “Parrot Head Handbook,” another brilliant stroke. It’s filled with articles about the parrot head phenomenon, notes from Jimmy, stories behind the songs, and a discography.
A Buffet show is as much about the crowd as it is Jimmy. And I feel that way about this blog, my work, and the tribe (or I should probably say un-tribe) I lead.
I didn’t put any rules or restrictions on the poem submissions, because you wouldn’t have followed them anyway. When you lead a group of critical thinkers, you don’t get followers. You get non-conformists who join you in the joy, high, and freedom of actually exercising that muscle we call a brain. And exercise it you did!
I spent a couple hours yesterday, just reading, re-reading, laughing along with and savoring all the submissions you posted. For the most part, I saw them as a reflection of me and what I do: clever, creative, slightly crazed, intriguing, serious, fun, rude, lewd, sophisticated yet crude. You guys know how to color outside the lines, and still get the picture finished with aplomb, creativity, and beauty.
If you look at the previous versions that I have done, I chastise us for the frailties and problems we have, but try to bring it around to something hopeful at the end. So I was hoping you guys would do that. And you certainly did.
Interesting to note what a huge role President-elect Obama played in the submissions. It shows how important a figure he has become around the world. And also that he does inspire a great deal of hope. Also interesting were the number of guys that followed the advice of the Christmas song to “keep the yuletide Gay!”
All told, what a great and fun demonstration of creativity and critical thinking. Initially I thought I might be able to parse together 8 or 10 verses submitted to create one final version. But with the number of great complete works, that wouldn’t work. So please just enjoy them as they are.
As far as the prize, I couldn’t nail down one winner. So ALL of the finalists will get to share in the grand prize I have selected – D!
Some other observations:
Robert Stack, the fame coach, was generous to a fault with his ideas on awarding the prizes. With my money, the bitch! Obviously David Feinstein, Mark Worthen, and Carole Boudreau were imbibing a little too much of their holiday eggnog.
Where was the submission from Bones? Anyone that can write a book about the chic pick-up techniques of Captain James T. Kirk, could write a God damned little poem! And who gave Bob Burg and Art Jonak permission to take the day off?
The Award for Best of the Best goes to: Gary Vincent, Will Kidd, Catherine McLean, Matt Seaman, Angela M.C. D'Alton, Linda Wallace, Nancy Chapman, and Jim “Mad Dog” Barber, not necessarily in that order.
With honorable mention to: Amber, Rachel Henke, Frank, Susan Sheehan, Randy in NJ, and Rich B.
As far as the many of you lusting after the prize of a night of hot steamy sex with me, Zhannur posted her picture here: And while she’s obviously a sexy hunk of woman and tempted me greatly, alas she did not post a submission. Among the winners, seeking the award, Will Kidd was cute enough to qualify, but since he’s married to one of my best friends, I think I’ll stay clear of that drama, for fear we might all end up on a Jerry Springer show one day.
Seriously, great job all of you. It’s great to be in a group of talented and creative free thinkers. I’m looking forward to working with you all in 2009, for a year of challenge, growth and empowerment!