March 10, 2012

The 1st follower

Attending the TEDx Warwick today, I had the opportunity to watch a video about leadership which enhanced my understanding of leader-follower behaviour. That particular video shows a man dancing alone in a park where a lot of people are hanging out. At the beginning he is the only one who dances. After a while a second person joins him. As the video points out that's the time when the leader has a meaning! As the time goes by more and more people joining the funny dancing and almost everyone follows the leader.

Although it is very logical that when the first follower appears the act of leadership is actually happening, I haven't thought about it. Indeed, if someone is at a park and starts dancing everyone thinks he's being crazy. But when the second person joins in, and then the third and so on, the whole deed seems like a movement!

Despite that I didn't totally agree with the definition of leadership that says that someone is a leader when (s)he has followers, that particular video made me reconsider the value of followers. Of course leadership is an act that involves more than a leader-follower relationship, but when the first follower appears the leadership can start happening!

Here's the video and I suggest those who haven't seen it should give it a try! And who knows, maybe we all can start a movement and become leaders in just a second!

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Natnicha Tangkijngamvong

    I have always believed in the relationship and connection between a leader and followers. It is essential for a leader to have followers. Followers are one of many components that define and shape the leader, thus giving that person a chance to step up and become a leader. As state in the leadership framework, leadership is made up of several components, one of that is followers. A person dancing alone in the park may look crazy in the eyes of others, but if he has other people to dance with him, observers will then perceive him as an effective leader who is able to encourage other people to dance along!

    13 Mar 2012, 01:17

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