Sample
  • It Takes a Tribe

  • Building the Tough Mudder Movement
  • By: Will Dean
  • Narrated by: Elliot Hill
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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It Takes a Tribe

By: Will Dean
Narrated by: Elliot Hill
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Publisher's summary

The founder of Tough Mudder - the world's greatest obstacle course races - takes us inside his unconventional company and reveals how tribes form and grow in surprising and powerful ways.

With a lot of moxie and mud, Will Dean founded Tough Mudder in 2008. Shunning the advice of his business school professors, who told him he was crazy, Dean was determined not to follow his fellow Harvard Business School classmates to Wall Street or Silicon Valley. Instead, he staged the first Tough Mudder event in Allentown, Pennsylvania, building an obstacle course that included a plunge into ice water and a slide down the side of a mountain, and ended with a sprint through flaming stacks of hay bales.

It might sound like torture, but early participants loved it and came back for more - much more. More than 2.5 million people on three continents have now done at least one Tough Mudder event, with new "Mudders" joining the tribe every day.

The company's astoundingly rapid growth might seem inexplicable until you experience the camaraderie, iconoclastic spirit, and pure adrenaline of a Tough Mudder event. Dean has created not only a revolutionary business model but a true phenomenon: a true global tribe. His book reveals, among other things:

  • Why challenge, not competition, is the key to inspiring communities
  • How to constantly innovate to stand out in a crowded market
  • How to inspire the kind of deep brand loyalty that leads to tattooed logos

Dean's entrepreneurial story isn't a typical case study. The book is filled with colorful adventures and counterintuitive advice for every entrepreneur who wants to build a truly unique tribal business.

©2017 Will Dean (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“A wonderful, highly recommended book that will inspire all readers, including those interested in starting a business and those who have overcome personal obstacles." (Starred Library Journal review)

“At its core, It Takes a Tribe is a book about us. It goes beyond our ability to overcome obstacles and delves into how shared adversity is actually a powerful force in building deep, lasting bonds with others.” (Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last)

"Convincing people to spend hours running through the mud is no easy task. Building a business where millions of people pay money to do this would be ridiculous. But Will Dean has done it, and this gripping book takes us under the hood to describe how. It Takes a Tribe reveals what it takes to stand by your values and create an organization that stands for those values.” (Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take, and coauthor of Option B)

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