Wednesday, June 16

Leadership Thoughts: The Importance of the First Follower

One of the areas that I enjoy studying and writing about is leadership. Ideas about leadership often show up in this blog. This video by Derek Sivers presents some ideas on leadership and the way that movements happen that stretched the way I think about these issues.

Take three minutes and watch Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy.

Here are some of the key points that he makes:

The leader must be easy to follow and clearly show a path. He must welcome those who follow and include them as important parts of the movement. It's not about the leader. It's about them and what they are doing together. Therefore leaders need to nurture those who follow, making sure the focus is on the movement and not on the leader.

The key to what happens isn't the leader. It's the first follower. He shows the way and clears the path for others. As Sivers says, "The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire."

"A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers because new followers emulate followers."

Sivers closes the video with these remarks:

"Leadership is over-glorified. Yes, it started with the shirtless guy, and he'll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader. There is no movement without the first follower. We're told that we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective. The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow."


blambert said...

So is being a leader being the nut or is it being the first follower to bring others to the movement?

Mike said...

Both play a leadership role. One can't succeed without the other. We have to be willing to step in to either role when it is needed.