This TED video provides a fantastic illustration of the dynamics of a critical element of effective leadership. There are some great insights into the shape of leadership in this clip. It illustrates some of the qualities we see coming through in 360-degree feedback reports.
A motivated, engaged team of people is the Holy Grail for most businesses, and we need leadership within our organizations to provide the motivation that leads to engagement. There are some great lessons in this video, beyond those that Derek Sivers mentions.
Who are the effective leaders?
If the leader doesn’t have absolutely conviction that what they are doing, it shows and that just doesn’t work.
The most effective leadership isn’t focused on the leader. That’s blindingly clear in this video. On the surface, the dancer may appear to be attention seeking at the outset. But if you look at his actions, he’s actually seems unaware of who is watching him – he’s absorbed in what he is doing and his gestures of encouragement are aimed at getting others to take part rather than to focus attention on himself. It’s not about him. It’s about the movement.
As Derek points out – the first follower is in fact a leader. He’s just a leader of a different type. He’s an early adopter of ideas. He’s willing to take a moderate risk and once he’s made the decision to get involved, he’s just as committed as the original dancer. Think about what this means for a new business or project. It’s not just the person at the head who builds the team and drives progress. The first follower is a critical recruit. Getting this right is essential if you’re going to be the best you can be.
Quite often, the first follower or, if you like, the first collaborator, is not as well-known as the leader, but they undeniably play a role in the success of the venture.
Just take a look at some of the most successful leaders in business: Bill Gates; Sir Richard Branson; Steve Jobs; and Elon Musk all of them co-founded their companies, all of them are globally recognized while their collaborators are not as widely known. Some of the collaborators stayed with the companies and are very successful, some moved on. Even if they started out as equal partners, their more famous counterparts must have recognized in them, a kindred spirit and they must have seen someone with vision; drive and conviction.
Even after companies are established, identifying leaders and first collaborators is important for developing and expanding the business. Being able to pinpoint perseverance, commitment and vision while moving the company forward can be tricky, but it’s increasingly acknowledged that these attributes are critical to success in leaders. It is well worth taking the time to consider tools which can be used to highlight these skills in team members, so that they can be nurtured and coached to step into leadership roles.