How To Start A Movement

I was intrigued by a TED Talk that showed precisely how to start a movement.

Of course, it starts with a courageous leader. Every new venture needs a change agent with the guts to champion a new idea and risk looking ridiculous.

Like the dude in this video.

As you’ll see in the clip, he’s so transfixed by the music that he doesn’t even try to hide his crazy. He’s locked into his own private groove – until another guy joins in. Somehow, that second dancer validates the lone nut. Soon, it’s the fans left sitting who feel like outsiders. Even the greatest leaders need another believer to ignite a movement..

In his talk about leadership, host Derek Sivers singles out these ‘first followers’ as under-appreciated and deserving the credit for getting others to follow.

Here’s my take. Imagine the reaction when Bill Gates proclaimed “there will be a computer in every home.” Silicon Valley thought Gates was crazy until Paul Allen backed him. People doubted that Steve Jobs could build a handheld computer-phone device that stored thousands of songs. But Steve Wozniak bought into the vision. And it seemed impossible when Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon would deliver millions of packages, overnight, to our homes. But his ally Tom Zhu had Jeff’s back.

It’s no surprise that Bezos named his yacht, Wingman.

Sure, leaders are the risk-taking outliers who soak up all the oxygen. But, their big idea will crater without a second banana who truly believes in it. Those first followers wield tremendous influence.

So, stand tall and dance to your own tune. It’s only weird if nobody joins you.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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