Who’s leading? How a movement is made

Derek Sivers received a standing ovation at TED for this talk about leadership.

This really made an impression on me. I realised that, yes, it’s the first follower who plays a crucial role,

he publicly shows everyone how to follow.

This is so true, and I can speak from experience when I say this. Last year, when I took the risky step of creating a ning for a class, my brave and trusting friend Maria was the one who said yes, I’ll do it with you.

It takes guts to be a first follower! (Thankyou Maria! You’re the best)

She trusted me (even when I didn’t trust myself), and together we joined forces not only to create the ning as a learning and teaching platform for the year 7 class, but we forged new territory as we went, supporting each other and later demonstrating to the rest of the staff what this new learning environment looked like.

The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.

This year our school has taken off with Web 2.0 platforms for classes, a couple at first, serving as examples for others. Thankyou, Una and Catherine, for making the ning such a rich learning environment and inspiring other teachers.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

Now there are more and more teachers wanting to try nings, having seen the wonderful examples.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

I may be jumping the gun a little, but I’m predicting that soon the Web 2.0 learning platforms and tools will be part of the everyday learning and teaching practice at my school.

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

I love the advice that Derek Sivers gives about leadership – listen particularly if you don’t consider yourself a leader:

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

Check out Derek’s biography.

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6 Comments

Filed under Leadership, Web 2.0

6 responses to “Who’s leading? How a movement is made

  1. Great post and so true! Well done in leading the way at your school! You were always a leader to me, never a nut!

  2. Thankyou, Judith, you’ve always been most encouraging. I don’t actually mind being nutty.

  3. This is a wonderful video. Sometimes it takes courage to follow the visionaries. Do we have the sensitivity and the insight to support them? A great discussion could take place here in a student context.

  4. You’re right, Paul, about the students discussion possibilties. You’ve got me thinking…

  5. This is great Tania! So true!. My school is having the same experience but using wikis- nings are a bit scary for them yet. Every class and every homegroup is expected to have a wiki presence and this adds to the idea of a nearly paperless environment which fits with a whole bunch of other leadership ideas as well. Still working on the blogging thing but the talk is all about wikis from folk who would have been the ones sitting watching in the video and they are now up dancing. Congrats on your nomination BTW- very deserved for your fabulous posting and school contributions.

  6. Great to hear from you, Sue, and sounds like you’re leading the way at your new school. I’m interested in keeping up with how it all goes. Thankyou for your kind comments and support – greatly appreciated. I’m happy that I’m blogging less this year because I’m involved in much more – my new year’s resolution!! See you at ACEC!

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