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How to start a movement (when following is more important than leading)

by Petar Dyaksov, 22.05.2015  read-time  { content|word_count } min
Petar Dyaksov

Petar Dyaksov

My name is Petar Dyaksov and I am a digital entrepreneur, online marketer and manager. At least most of the time. Oftentimes I like to transform into a lecturer, blogger and trainer. Learn more about me here.

Starting a movement is, by no means, an easy task. The benefits of successfully starting a movement, however, are numerous and they will inevitably pay off for all your efforts.

Here’s what you’ll receive if you manage to effectively start a movement:

  • a committed group of people following you (followers)
  • the power of collective identity
  • the willingness for a change of the status quo
  • a common purpose
  • an open door to innovations/new ideas
  • great targeting options
  • the possibility to achieve global success (through online channels)

A (social) movement represents a (sometimes very large) group of people, following the same leader. What’s typical for a movement is that all its members share the same focus. They are dedicated to the cause, powerful in their collective identity and willing to take risks – qualities each leader dreams about regarding his followers).

The question is: How to make all these people follow you?

A good leader knows that it’s not always about leading. Sometimes it is following that makes all the difference. According to Derek Sivers (the speaker from the video below), leadership is glorified. As he says, “If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.”

Of course, it is the leader who has to “stand out and be ridiculed”. But the most important role in forming a movement is played by the first follower – the one who joins the leader, showing the others how to act (what to do) in order to be part of the movement. It’s the first follower that the leader should value most – the one who the leader should consider an equal. It’s also the first follower that’s the hardest to get – the more followers you have, the more followers will follow them (as Derek Sivers explains, it is followers that attract more followers, not the leader himself).

The following short video brilliantly explains the stages of forming a movement (and the reasons behind them). In a funny, yet straight to the point manner, it presents some great ideas that are worth the 3 minutes of watching. Enjoy!

Petar Dyaksov

Petar Dyaksov

My name is Petar Dyaksov and I am a digital entrepreneur, online marketer and manager. At least most of the time. Oftentimes I like to transform into a lecturer, blogger and trainer. Learn more about me here.

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