14 February 2010

Lone Nut to Leader

I ignore people writing about, or yapping about leadership because my long-standing bias is that these TAG Body Spray-ed charlatans are fleecing $9.95 from hoofed ruminant suburban TV viewers for a CD full of snoring bromides.

I agree with some-time circus clown Derek Sivers when he says
Leadership is over-glorified
I have long confused leadership and management.
I bristle at being managed. I can abide being managed by someone if they are mensa-scale smarter, or more experienced. But in all due modesty, few are. If all goes well, I can persuade everyone to work as a team of equals lending talents to the effort. I believe in self-organization. Other biological systems do it, so why can't humans?
Here's the thing
Leadership is some nut inspiring me to do crazy shit. 
Management is a lamp shade blocking my light. 
If someone hasn't done it already, let me say without equivocation management is dead.

Management  & Leadership have never intersected on any Venn diagram universe I have known. One's about control. The other is about inspiration. I don't know about you, but I ain't having the control shit.

Are most innovations born in environments of control or inspiration? Easy question.

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Derek Sivers' Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy is an inspiring must-be-seen 3-minute video

Derek's salient observation is that
The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.
This simple observation was a slap on the head from Captain Obvious. Sivers espouses the First Follower idea. He is also the first person to explain how cultural movements get started that made sense.

Coda and Coca-Coda
  • The leader embraces the First Follower as an equal. 
  • The First Follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.
  • The First Follower calls his friends to join then publicly shows everyone how to follow.
  • Being a First Follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. 
  • A few more followers joining the movement stokes momentum.
  • Sustainable movements eventually reach something akin to Gladwell's Tipping Point.
  • As more people jump in, it's no longer risky
Before you know it Bob's your uncle - you've got a movement!

Read the full text of Derek Sivers' TED talk in the blog post Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy.

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