In June, a spontaneous outburst of dancing captured on video at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington showed the power of leaders to sway crowds.
One guy’s goofy expression of joy led, within three minutes, to a second happy dancer, a third and then a teeming horde of young people pulsing to the tune “Unstoppable” by punk-electronica phenom Santigold.
Watching the video (just click below to see it yourself), business bloggers Seth Godin and Todd Taskey shared their thoughts on how real leaders get enthusiastic followers:
1. Being the leader may feel weird but it gets you noticed. No one will ever pass judgment—good or bad—on something they don’t know exists. The risk of looking foolish is something leaders take in stride.
2. The second guy, an early adopter at about 18 seconds into the dance, demonstrates acceptance and appreciation. He takes the fun from an individual act into an event.
3. The third guy represents what we all now call the tipping point. He’s obviously a regular fellow who shows up almost a minute into the festivities and proves that you don’t need to act smooth or do somersaults.
Within seconds, the crowd doubles, then doubles again. At this moment, Taskey’s take is that it’s harder to hang back than to join in. He makes the analogy to creating a new product or service that customers love.
“You have momentum, you have a hit, and if you manage it properly, you may even have a successful business,” Taskey says.
Godin’s take is that it’s scary to be the leader, but it’s also fun.
And the beauty of the third guy—also a leader, but your garden-variety, everyday kind of leader—is that he makes the goofy dance safe for everybody. Which is why we need more Guy No. 3s.
— Adapted from “Can I Learn Business Innovation from a Topless dancer?” Todd Taskey, Business Management Daily