#SoG119 - How to start a movement?

I met this writer friend (who also wrote C4E's globally acclaimed culture book) and while discussing some ideas, I told her about Derek Siver's TED Talk. Do see the 5-minute talk. Has one of the best leadership lessons that you will ever come across. See - Video Link.

What was I talking to her about? What is the context?
The point of conversation was that as creative individuals each of us tries to create a movement. We do so in our own little ways. Some of us write, some make movies, some click photos, some do a mix and match. And so on and so forth. And all of us try and use whatever tools, knowledge and/or resources that we have access to. We go tell our friends and family. We seek support from neighbours. We rely on the kindness of strangers. We pray, hard as hell, for divine intervention and make our movement go stronger and larger and farther.

In one line, everything we do is an attempt to create a movement.

And this video from Derek can actually act as a nifty guide to help us create these very movements.

Wait. What is a movement?
Simply put, a movement is an attempt to change the way we live. Think of Mahatma Gandhi trying to start a swadeshi movement to nudge people to try and ask for freedom. Think of a Steve Jobs trying to start a movement by asking people to think different. Think of Krishna Das standing at a busy intersection asking people to love everyone. Think of a stand-up comic using her talent to spread awareness about a certain cause. Think of a Rabbi Shergill creating Jugni to tell stories of how India is disintegrating. Heck, think of a Surk Excel telling the world that dirt is good! A Dangal started a movement and wrestling became mainstream.

There are numerous examples of these movements. And each has required that lone nut to stand up and do something ridiculous. And it has needed followers to seed, sustain, grow and in some cases, spread like wildfire.

And yes, movements die. And in case you don't want these movements to die, you need tools, ideas and other things to help you. Just like this video from Derek.

The lessons from the video?
Truth be told, every time I see this video, I have a new set of lessons. For this iteration, here's a list of lessons. In no order.

  1. You have to be a "lone nut" to be able to even start thinking of creating a movement. You need to have the "guts to be stand out and be ridiculed".

  2. You will need the first follower to mimic what you are doing. And more importantly, you need to treat the follower as an equal. The movement cannot be the leaders. It has to be communal. It has to be both of yours. "The first follower transforms the lone nut into a leader".

  3. A movement has to be public. You have to "show" to the world that you are creating a movement. That makes them join you. Yes, a lot will ridicule you but invariably some will join you.

  4. Make it less risky for others to join in. Most people in the world don't want to stand out. They don't want to be ridiculed.

  5. Sustain the interest.

That's it. Simple.

Super powerful idea.
Use it in your respective companies, businesses, workplaces, lives and you will see magic happening.

Oh, my greatest takeaway from the video?
Instead of looking at the video as a leader, see this as an enabler. As the first follower. Who all can you support by being the first follower? If you wish to embark on an idea and you need someone to be your first follower, I hereby volunteer.

Second large takeaway? Next time you see a lone nut, rather than ridiculing him or staying on the sidelines, go support. Be the first follower. Life will look rosy and you will be better!

What did you take out of this video? Pray, do tell.

Thank you for reading,
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Streak: 6
Tags: Leadership, Derek Sivers, Marketing, Cultural Movements, Movement.

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