Source: How to be a great leader | Playlist | TED.com

I love hearing passionate, creative folks talk about their views of leadership. It’s not a “one size fits all” concept. Instead it’s a “framework” topic, and Derek Sivers has a novel presentation and perspective on how to start a movement. He focuses on the “first follower.”

Potential leaders need the courage to step out from the crowd and risk ridicule and failure. But leaders don’t live out their potential until someone actually believes in their vision and chooses to take action by following vs. observing. Derek encourages leaders to embrace their first followers as an equal. “It’s the first follower that transforms one lone nut into a leader.” Every negative and positive movement actually began when the first person chose to follow publically. Their bravery gave other observers permission to make their own decision to follow the leader. As folks joined the movement, it gained momentum and others followed, not wanting to be left out.

Derek’s tongue-in-cheek example of starting a movement offers valuable insight into leadership. Think back to attending a party where dancing or karaoke was offered. Didn’t everyone look at each other awkwardly until someone had the courage to be be first? But it would have stayed awkward unless someone followed, and then someone else after that until the majority had joined the fun.

So how does Derek’s talk relate to you and me? I picked up 3 tips:

  1. We need to be willing to step out of the safety of the group and even look a little silly in sharing the passion we feel about our own leadership framework.
  2. We need to acknowledge and validate the courage it takes for our first followers to choose to follow our lead before there’s public momentum.
  3. Everyone who wants to be a leader must own their own personal framework of how they see leadership.

Do you need to develop your own leadership style? Schedule a free phone consult and let’s talk about your needs.

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