GIODN Book Review – Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss


By Cindy Banyai, Ph.D.

Timothy Ferriss has been a sought after thought leaders in business since the release of his best-selling book “The 4-hour Work Week” in 2007. He has a way of condensing and presenting innovative ideas that resonates. His latest book, Tribe of Mentors, was featured as the May OD Book Club for GIODN. Let’s look at some of the highlights.

Author Tim Ferris

What’s the gist?

There are many paths to greatness and there is something to learn from all of them. Also meditate.

For this book, author Tim Ferriss, interviews dozens of people from across the personal and professional spectrum, including DJ Steve Aoki, Researcher Brene Brown, Olympic Swimmer Dana Torres, Animal Expert Temple Grandin, and Actor Ben Stiller, just to name a few. He uses a standard series of questions and highlights the most interesting and useful in the book. Here are some additional takeaways:

3 lessons

  • Failure holds a lot of chances, if you look for them.
  • Learning to say no in new ways helps you make a long-term habit of it.
  • Always check why you should not take someone’s advice, then decide if you’ll listen.

Advice you should question

Reducing quality in favor of marketing – The cream always floats to the top

Being competitive and guarding your ideas – Sharing leads to improving, rather than stealing

Swimming with the stream – Don’t nod if you don’t agree. Teams thrive on multiple opinions.

Expert opinions – Most authorities got to be authorities because they broke the status quo. Maybe now it’s in their best interest to protect it.

Book list top mentions

  • One question Ferriss asks is what book do you most often give as a gift. Here are some of the top mentioned books. You can view the full list on Tim Ferriss’ website.
  • Man’s Search For Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl)
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Tim Ferriss)
  • The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)
  • Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu)


Thoughts on advice

  • Ignore anyone who tells you to go for security over experience – Patton Oswalt
  • Choose a profession that is really easy for you to do that also allows you to be creative. If it is easy for you to do and somewhat difficult for your peers to do, you will not have to work. – Jerzy Gregorek
  • Downloading ideas is not leading – Brene Brown
  • In this brave new connected age, the rules about what you hold on to an what you should let go of have changed forever. – Chris Anderson

Thoughts on saying no

  • Asking myself first if I’m saying yes out of guilt or fear. If so, then it’s a polite no. – Neil Strauss
  • Think of your time like a jar, your priorities as “rocks” and everything else as pebbles or sand…My jar isn’t very big to begin with; am I going to fill it with my rocks or am I going to let other people fill it with theirs?… Schedule specific time for your rocks so you don’t have to think about them. Don’t rely on wishful thinking… – Drew Houston

Thoughts on focus

“What makes a river restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”

– Hal Boyle (quoted by Maria Sharapova)

Overall this book was a great read with useful and applicable information, not matter what you are doing or how you want to do it. I have incorporated many of the strategies from the book into my personal and professional life. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for inspiration on their personal and professional path.

The Institute of Organization Development is proud to offer the Global Institute of Organization Development Network (GIODN) to provide opportunities to network, learn and share for all those who are passionate about Organization Development. The Global IOD Network (GIODN) is a Global OD Membership Network as it brings together people from across the globe to network, learn and share about Organization Development.

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