Monday, April 19, 2010

The First Followers make the Leader

I saw a poorly produced Youtube video called Dancing Guy. It shows a leader dancing alone who is joined by another person. The leader is brave to dance alone. To look ridiculous. To stand out. To not care what others think.

But the same is true of the first follower and the few after that. They brave ridicule. But as others join and it becomes a group, many more will join because to not join is to stand out as more now than joining.

People then praise the leader but it is the first followers who should get the credit. Followers make the leader.

Interesting Leadership Lesson.


At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, this also begs the question, should we follow the leader just because he/she is the leader or do we follow because what he/she is doing makes sense to us? If it doesn't make sense, then we shouldn't follow. Sometimes it makes more sense to challenge the status quo, not just follow it because the "leader" your blog!!!!

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous davidburkus said...

Love the video of the Dancing Man.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many lessons can come from that one video:
1. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't necessarily make it a good idea. Is this a fad or is it here to stay? Like those who didn't invest in the tech boom.
2. You never know what will take off. If you believe in something strongly, there will be others who believe like you, but also others who will do it just because it is the "in" or "new" thing. Again the tech boom - people invested not because it made sense, but because everyone was doing it even though prices were not supported by value or profits.
3. Be an early adopter. The last people missed the dance.
4. Don't laugh at another man's dreams. Reminds me of Susan Boyle from Britains Got Talent.
5. Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap. Had everyone not joined in, the only cost to those first few was to look silly for a few minutes - and chances are they wouldn't have even felt silly.
6. Trust in yourself - don't let others tell you it can't be done. Imagine if the dancing guy had a friend who told him he looked goofy dancing.
I'm sure there are others or ones above you don't agree with. I saw this video a while ago but I never thought about the business lessons it contained - so that's my lesson. The question is - would you have gotten up and danced?! : )

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jim!

Very interesting approach...
Real leaders are always great individuals.
Great individuals represent authority
and credibility.

I guess this is the reason why people
want to follow them.

The fact that they follow reveals
their own individuality.

But individuality always requires
courage and nowadays it's hard to find
such a courage. So your approach
is definitely right.


At 1:00 AM, Blogger Beyond Horizons said...

I think what this post says to me is the fact that there can be no leader without followers. No matter how good a 'manager' someone is, or how brilliant his ideas are, he won't be a 'leader' unless he has followers. Something to keep in mind.

- Sindoora (


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