Majora Carter and Josh Hanagarne: leading underserved tribes
Big tribes, rich tribes, tribes that change elections or root for sports teams get a ton of press. It's easy to imagine that all the slots leading these glamorous groups are already taken. While we might aspire to be the next Steve Jobs or Jon Stewart, we can fall into the trap of believing that these are roles are reserved for other people. And we're probably right. Leading the masses isn't a gig that comes along very often.
Josh Hanagarne is standing up to lead a different tribe… His new book (out in May) chronicles his lifelong battle with Tourette's (and I use the word 'battle' carefully). This book is funny and poignant and brave, and it will inspire and connect millions of people who have previously felt uninspired and disconnected. It's fascinating to see that his fellow librarians (a different, but also underserved tribe), are lining up in droves to support his work. It's worth a read.
Majora Carter made a huge impact with her breakthrough TED Talk seven years ago, and since then has woven a tribe both inside and outside the South Bronx. Her passion is evident not just in her talk, but in the work she does every single day in pushing governments and corporations to recognize and work with previously ignored communities. The courage and audacity of the underserved can turn into a force for good, and more than that, can galvanize the tribe itself to achieve more than it thought it ever could.
Both Josh and Majora are in the business of shining a light and giving identity to tribes that many would prefer to remain invisible. They are outwardly focused, doing the work for the tribe they care about. The magic of the times we live in is that these opportunities are everywhere we choose to find them.
The key is understanding that while the general public can root for you and learn from you, the people you truly care about number in the thousands (or possibly millions) but they're not everyone. They're the people who matter to you. And you to them.
[Lots of free stuff and Tribes book info here.]
Where's your tribe? They need you.