Brighton Leadership Group

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Lone Nuts and First Followers

How do you lead change? The same way you create a movement. WATCH this video of Derek Sivers explaining this concept of a movement unfolding.
A movement begins with a lone nut. This is the person with the strategy or new idea who commits to change through his or her actions. Stage two of movement-making is the first follower who joins the lone nut. The adoption of and unwavering commitment to the change by the first follower starts drawing others into the movement.
There is no movement until the second follower joins in. This is the person who makes a tipping point in mass adoption of the movement. Stage three of movement making happens as the masses feel more pressure to join in than to sit by idly because they see the first follower and then the second follower.
Tips for Making Movements (or leading change)

  • Be the Change. Actions speak louder than words. It’s not enough to talk about change (or the movement.) Communication is important but people believe what they see more than what they hear. Staying actively and visibly engaged in the change is a critical change leadership behavior.
  • Build a Coalition. These are the underestimated leaders who have the courage to follow.
    • Create gravitational pull to the movement by carefully identifying your First Follower. Make sure you know who has influence within the group you want to change. Then get them actively engaged in the movement for the rest of the group to see.
    • You cannot influence a group until they see someone else in support of the change. Reduce risk for others to join in by showcasing the followers who change.
    • Nurture the follower and embrace them as equals in the change.
    • People follow followers not leaders. The first adopters in a change are what make the difference between making a movement and a nice idea.

To lead a movement you must be actively involved, find a first follower and then a second follower and then the rest of the group will follow them. Movements are not made, they are led. It takes more than communication to make a movement.

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