Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

By Crystal O.

The fourth TED Talk I chose to analyse was "How to Start a Movement" by Derek Sivers. "Derek would like to talk about leadership and how to start a movement. So let's watch a movement happen, start to finish in under three minutes and dissect some lessons from it." [Derek Sivers: How to Start A Movement|Video on TED.com]

Who knew it would take two to actually be a leader. In this TED talk by Derek Sivers, he opens up leadership to the audience. Most people would think that a leader only takes one person, but Derek can show you the real truth. "First of coarse you know, a leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed." [Derek Sivers] Appearing on the screen behind him is a shirtless man dancing to some music. By now, you can see what Derek means when he says it takes guts to be a leader. "Here is his first follower with a crucial role. He's going to show everyone else how to follow." [Derek Sivers] Now what we see is the step to becoming a leader. The guy was first a lonely dancer and now has a sidekick by his side, showing everyone that the act is fun. "Now notice that the leader embraces him as an equal. So, now it's not about the leader anymore, it's about them, plural." [Derek Sivers] Originally as Derek Sivers showed in the video, it was all about the guy; the soon to be leader, dancing and making a scene out in the open. That is, until another person joins in and calls to his friends to merge in too. "The first follower, is actually an underestimated form of leadership itself. It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader." [Derek Sivers] As the video proceeds on, more followers begin to join the dancing couple. It now has gone from one person, to a couple, to a crowd. The newcomers are actually not following the leader, rather the follower who joined before them. "As more people join in, it's less risky. So, those who were sitting on the fence before, now have no reason not to. They won't stand out, they won't be riducled but, they will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry." [Derek Sivers] More and more people join in, as the crowd of dancers gets bigger and bigger. This turns the whole situation around because, now the people sitting there watching the movement, are the ones who will be ridiculed for not following in the movement. "Leadership, is over-glorified. It was the shirtless guy first, and yes he will get all the credit but, it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader." [Derek Sivers] He ends off by encouraging people to make a "lone nut" into a leader by simply being brave, and following in the movement.

I think this talk is hilarious not just because of the funny video of the people dancing in bathing suits or shirtless, but because of the jokes Derek Sivers makes and the similes and metaphors he uses throughout his talk. Derek did a great job of keeping the audience's attention simply because his voice was clear, he had a projection of a video to support his talk, he was enthusiastic, and used humour to pull everything together. His hook was clearly taking a topic that many TED Talks are about - leadership, and dissecting lessons from the topic. His hook is rather simple then complicated as he just spits it right out at the start. With the video already up and running, people can tell the talk is going to be interesting, especially if it's of a man dancing shirtless. I know that I have always wanted to become a leader by changing the world and soon figured out that I couldn't do it alone, but I never really understood why. When I was thinking about how leadership works, I didn't even take in to mind the fact that a leader is nothing without a follower. Before Derek's talk, I just thought that a leader was someone who stands out and makes a difference. Derek explained his points in a fun and entertaining manner for everyone to enjoy. By addressing his topic I think Derek turned all of his audience, from lone nuts into leaders, as now he has processed the truth about leadership and has given his audience the encouragement to either make a leader, or become one.

In conclusion, there is no leader without a follower. So, you need one person to start the movement, and one person to follow to make the movement succeed. With the faith and belief to stand out and try, we can all become leaders one day.

No comments:

Post a Comment