I was reminded of the this 3 minute Ted talk yesterday by Dr. Michelle Mazur, my all-time favorite speech coach. In it, Derek Sivers described the leadership lessons we can learn by watching a wild, shirtless, dancing guy on the beach.
I laughed, hard, again.
What’s interesting though, is the first time I saw it, back in 2012, I was just considering getting started with HeartStories. I was still working for a device company with a desire to do something more meaningful. I remember watching the dancing guy and thinking… I’ll be that guy! I’ll get out there and dance. I don’t care what anyone says. This world needs more love and I’ll go dance for it!
And so, I did.
Three years ago this fall, I got up and started dancing all by myself. It’s certainly been a little awkward at times. Awkward for me, my friends, and my family. That’s mostly because it just takes a while to figure your groove before anyone can even tell what in the world you are doing. Once people get a general idea of where you’re heading, they can decide if they’d like to join you.
What hit me watching this video again yesterday was entirely different from the first time around.
It was the hugely important role of the first follower. Derek makes the point that, “It’s the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader.” I couldn’t agree more whole heartedly. Without those first few believers, I don’t know how long I would have kept dancing.
When I think back to those first few months of my ridiculous dancing, there were some key people, some I didn’t even know just a few months prior, who took a risk and danced with me. They ran over and high-fived me saying, “I’m with you. Let’s do this” and started dancing.
The impact of their words, their presence, and their trust in me simply cannot be measured.
So today, if you feel like dancing. . . get on up! Shake that stanky leg. And pay close attention to the ones who come join you. They are your tribe. They are your people. Love them well.
Just as importantly, if you’re sitting on the lawn and you see a lone nut stand up to start dancing for something you believe in, by all means, join in! I know it’s risky. I know most people won’t understand. But we need you to believe. Your role is so vital.
It’s not just about starting movements and creating big change.
It’s about supporting spouses, children, friends, and colleagues, even in the smaller, less public dances. If you see someone you love dancing, join them. Be courageous enough to join them, even if you don’t know where you’re heading.
We all need someone who is courageous enough to dance with us.
Be that someone today.
Transform a lone nut into a leader.
All it takes is a little dancing.
to more love,
P.S. Dear friends, you know who you are. Thank you. Thank you for your courageous dancing. Thank you for believing in me then and still believing in me now. We may all still look crazy, but I love dancing with you by my side.