I am always enjoying watching the video above. It was first shared with me by Ron Meyer at a leadership-training I attended. It contains a couple of remarkable findings about leadership nicely explained by the narrator in the video, among them:

  • you don’t need to be Nelson Mandela to be a leader – just doing something inspirational to others may be enough to attract followers. Having followers turns what is called a lone nut here into a leader.
  • embrace your first followers and make sure to embrace them as equals – putting the cause into the center, not yourself!
  • if you want to attract followers as a leader – you better make sure you are making it easy for others to follow you. This may sound easy, but can be hard in practice.
  • the first guy was apparently having fun doing what he was doing and did not mind being the odd one out initially. He was not the bravest guy in the clip, though – it is the role of the first guy to join the dancing guy, who really turned things around. Sometimes, being the first to follow a great idea, putting a stake in the ground and saying “I believe this can work!” shows more leadership than anything else.
  • once a critical mass of followers has been reached, things explode. In economic science, I believe this is called the tipping point and it is the point when so many early adapters have joined a movement that it becomes fashionable for the early majority to join. Without those early adapters, the early majority would never consider dancing with the strange guy in the video. Not to even mention the people in the so-called late majority group :-) .

And last but not least my own personal lesson from this video: signs of leadership occur everywhere – you just need to walk through live with your eyes open :-) .