First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Leadership in a vacuum makes for biting humor and funny sight gags, but is painful in real life.

Founder of CD Baby Derek Sivers (@sivers) narrates a 3-minute video that illustrates the important roles that others play in transforming the person who starts an idea from a “lone nut” to a “leader of a movement” with important lessons for everyone who aspires to lead with or without organizational authority and who wants to authentically introduce a new message, idea, or destination to a group.

Here are the steps that are identified in the video by Derek:

  1. A leaders needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed. It is crucial to be easy to follow.
  2. Embrace the first follower – it is an underestimated form of leadership to be a first follower. You will stand out. The first follower is what translates someone from a lone nut into a leader.
  3. A new phase begins as soon as another person joins. It’s not just 2 people, you now have 3 or more, which constitutes a crowd, and a crowd is news! Remember that a movement must be public.
  4. Momentum builds as new followers join in. Notice that new follower at this stage emulate the other followers, not the leader. Leadership is overrated.
  5. Tipping point stage: you now have a movement. As more people join in, it is less risky. Fence sitters can join in without risking standing out or being ridiculed and if they hurry, they can still be part of the in crowd.

The video illustrates that being the leader is overrated – it’s the engaged followers who really make the magic happen.

When you unlock the growth potential of a team or company, be sure to pay attention to the importance of embracing the early followers and treating them as equals, to allow the group to organically build with momentum and shared ownership.

Watch this video and share your thoughts via the links below on the lessons you extract.