There is much written about leaders but not enough attention is given to those who follow. In this video clip “Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy” Derek Sivers highlights the critical role that followers play in creating a movement –especially the pivotal role of the first follower.
“The first follower publicly shows everyone else how to follow,” he says. Once someone follows the leader “it’s not about the leader anymore; it’s about them.”
We often give accolades and recognition to the leader but could do more to acknowledge the role that early followers play in creating change. It takes courage to be among the few who pledge their support to an early movement. It requires bravery to be an early adapter and to join in instead of waiting on the sidelines to see if others accept what is happening.
Leaders should think carefully about who could be the first followers to help them build the momentum needed for their plans to gain traction and then line up the early support of those people.
But everyone can play a critical role and exert influence in change efforts. Take the bold step of being a first follower to jump-start the movement you care about most.