On Derek Sivers, being gutsy and how to start a movement.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had more than one person refer to me as “leader.” The l-word often induces a severe panic attack that can only be treated by taking deep cleansing breaths into a family-sized bag of Cheetos.
Apparently, I now live in a parallel universe where 65 women are willing to run a half-marathon to raise $50,000 with me.Jump)
I lay awake at night tormented by the following thoughts:
- How am I going to run 21 km?
- Are my thighs ever going to get smaller?
- How are we going to raise $50,000?
- No seriously, I think my thighs are getting bigger…
My terribly unimpressive life, that mostly involved binge-eating bread and browsing the Internet, radically transformed overnight. I’m suddenly an email-answering ninja who runs at night. How did I become this unlikely cocktail of Anderson Cooper and Lance Armstrong?
The best part? It’s contagious.
The 65 women who said yes are experiencing a similar phenomenon.
I’m witnessing first-hand, a small but significant underground movement. Women are waking up from a deep slumber. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are no longer lounging in their 300 thread-count Egyptian Cotton sheets, waiting for Prince Charming to come rescue them. They are going to tag-team with Cinderella, Belle and Jasmine to kick some serious booty.
How To Start a Movement?
I got some interesting responses when I posted the question on my Facebook Wall:
Some of my faves:
- “One compellingly worthy, passionate, adoptable idea that breeds its own momentum through people moved upon to act.” -Doug
- “Start a conversation about something that matters… and keep inviting people into that space.” -Kelley
- “Just move” -Andy
I’m pretty sure that last one was meant to be a joke but it still packs a punch. How many times have we wanted to do something but have been too paralyzed by the fear of failure to “move.” It is reminiscent of Nike’s slogan, “Just do it.”
Since all of life’s big questions are answered on Google I did a search on “How to start a movement?” That is when I found a fascinating TED talk by Derek Sivers best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby.
You have to watch this 3-minute video. It’ short, sweet and resulted in a huge paradigm shift for me.
‘How to Start a Movement’ according to Derek Sivers:
- A leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed.
- The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.
- Now it’s not a lone nut, it’s not two nuts, three is a crowd, and a crowd is news.
- A movement must be public.
- It’s important to not just show the leader, but the followers because new followers emulate the followers, NOT the leader.
- The biggest lesson– leadership is over-glorified. Yes, the shirtless guy was first, and he’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader. <- This rocked my world
- We’re told that we should all be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.
- If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.
- When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.
I love Derek’s take on leadership.
According to his definition I’m just the shirtless “lone nut” shaking my groove thang on the grass. It was only when my first follower (Idelette) joined me that I suddenly became a “leader.”
All the “new followers” emulate the followers. NOT the leader. NOT the original lone nut. NOT me.
If you’re doing something captivating, people will follow, validate and endorse you.
The large scale adoption of the “leader-follower” combo committed to one goal, idea or cause starts a movement.
That’s how a video goes viral on YouTube, a movie like Slumdog Millionaire wins 8 Academy Awards and millions of Egyptian protesters from different socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak’s powerful regime.
There was one shirtless lone nut that got the ball rolling.
I encourage you to either:
- Be that lone nut, or
- Support that lone nut and make him (her) a leader.
Huzzah… I can breathe again!
Here are 5 things that made me smile this week!
Joggers ‘Before & After’ + Inspiring NY Apartment + English Problems + Potato DIY Project + Rachel Platten= TGIF!
1. Joggers Before and After: Sacha Goldberger created an outdoor studio at a park near Paris and stopped joggers to ask them, if they would sprint for him, and then pose right after for his camera. Strangely enough many out of breath, joggers obliged. A week later he shot the same people at his professional studio recreating the pose from the park.
“I wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society,” says Goldberger.
I find this series fascinating. To see the more images click: here.
2. I’m tickled pink by designer and style icon Iris Apfel’s in-your-face eclectic style. Her bold use of colour and patterns are inspiring. Her New York apartment would make a killer location for a photoshoot or music video. To see more pictures of her home click here.
3. English Problems: Here’s some YouTube goofiness for ya. My favourite is the “em-pha-sis” guy.
4. Potato Print DIY project: I love how this simple project that involves 5 potatoes and acrylic paints in rainbow colors, completely transforms a room. I’m tempted to experiment over the long weekend. For the DIY tutorial click here.
5. New York City singer-songwriter, pianist and beatboxer Rachel Platten’s album ‘Be Here’ is getting a lot of playtime on my runs. The album is full of head-bobbing music perfect for your morning commute to work.
So … my global SheLoves sisters:
- Is there a lone nut in your world that you need to be supporting?
- Are you the lone nut stalling for time, because you are afraid of putting yourself out there?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, fears and inspirations!
Dear half-marathon Bravehearts,
- I would love to hear what your friends and family have been saying to you, since you said yes.
- Are they using the word “inspiring” or “leader” to describe you?
I’d love to hear about what this experience has looked like for you!
Love you more than refreshing summer fruit Papillotes with a scoop of lavender ice cream,(<- Recipe)
To read more TGIFs from Tina: Click here.