Leadership lessons from the dancing guy  MAY 23 2013

This is possibly the best three-minute demonstration of anything I've ever seen. Derek Sivers takes a shaky video of a lone dancing guy at a music festival and turns it into a lesson about leadership.

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he's doing is so simple, it's almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it's not about the leader anymore -- it's about them, plural. Notice he's calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. 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.

I got this link from @ottmark, who astutely notes its similarity to Kurt Vonnegut's three types of specialist needed for revolution.

The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic genius -- a person capable of having seemingly good ideas not in general circulation. "A genius working alone," he says, "is invariably ignored as a lunatic."

The second sort of specialist is a lot easier to find: a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas of the genius, and who testifies that the genius is far from mad. "A person like this working alone," says Slazinger, "can only yearn loud for changes, but fail to say what their shapes should be."

On Twitter, Jeff Veen shortened the three personas to "the inventor, the investor, and the evangelist".

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
Derek Sivers   Jeff Veen   Kurt Vonnegut   video

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