In this episode of the podcast I unpack some of the ideas that we can apply to our own lives from Derek Sivers’ wonderful TED talk about how a movement started with one lone nut dancing in a field.
I consider how we can use this example to become empowered as introverts and highly sensitive people to make our own unique impact on the world by doing something very small and simple.
In the show I examine the following ideas:
1. It takes no time at all for a movement to emerge
That dancing guy may well have been dancing for years without anyone joining him. Then one day someone decided to turn a lone nut into a leader as they stood by him and danced as well. That day the movement happened. He didn’t ask it to, it just did.
2. You just need guts to do something simple on your own
If you’re doing something new or going out there on your own then remember that not everyone will understand. It’s natural that you will look ridiculous to many people, especially at first.
The dancing guy danced. That was it. He kept going, not caring what people were saying about him.
We can all be the lone nut and instigate change in this way. For example if you work in a really negative environment and you wish that something would change, step up and lead that change. Be the dancing guy. Start saying positive things to people. Thank them, encourage them, tell them you appreciate them, ask them advice, make them feel respected and important.
Do whatever it is that you believe is missing from that situation.
3. The first follower is a leader
Derek says that followers emulate the followers not the leader. So the first follower shows others how simple it is to follow. In some ways they are even braver than the leader because they have chosen to follow someone and take a big risk.
4. A movement is nothing without people
It takes people to build a movement, and it may well be the very same people who didn’t understand it at the start that end up being the biggest supporters as it grows. Peoples’ roles are constantly changing.
5. Momentum Leads to the Tipping Point
Derek highlights a tipping point after which the initial push or risk that goes alongside joining a movement is no longer there. People have no reason not to join. It’s where the movement is completely accepted and normalised.
He identified this moment on the dancing guy video where people are just coming in from all directions and dancing along. You can’t pick out anyone, no one stands out or looks stupid because everyone is involved.
In fact, if the dancing guy and his early adopters were to leave the crowd the movement would continue. Most of the crowd wouldn’t even know who they were. This is the point at which the leader and early followers need the humility to let go.
Over to You
Question: Have you ever felt like a lone nut, or ridiculous following something on a whim? How did it feel? (I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below)