First Follower: How to Start A Movement

During a meeting today, the term “first follower” was brought up. In context, it was about making sure one of our programs resonated in remote locations, and identifying who those first followers could be, but it was more about finding the lone nut.

This reminded me of a TedTalk back in 2010 by Derek Sivers: How to start a movement. You’re probably one of over 6 million who have seen it.

Sivers makes some key points:

  • Nurture your first followers are your equals, so its about the movement, not you.
  • Leadership is over-glorified. The first guy may get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader.
  • We’re told that we should all be leaders, that would be really ineffective.
  • If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.
  • And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.

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