I was introduced to the TED Talk given by Derek Sivers at a workshop, and as an admitted introvert, it struck a chord with me. In the video, Sivers makes the point that we are constantly encouraged to be leaders. Being a leader is the ultimate accomplishment, and it is an elusive quality for many people. But if you don’t find yourself leading the pack, Sivers says that it is even more important to be what he calls the “first follower.” He challenges us to have the courage to be the first one to “stand up and join in” when you see someone doing or saying something great.
Here’s his explanation:
Sure, being a leader requires confidence. But following a leader requires confidence as well. You have to believe in the leader, which commands a leap of faith. You have to be willing to risk your reputation by supporting someone else’s ideas or actions. And even though you’re following someone else, you have to show others who join in how to follow as well.
Exuding confidence isn’t just about leadership – it’s also about supporting someone you choose to follow. Maybe you’re not meant to be the captain, president, or CEO, but being the “first follower” is just as important, and demands confidence. Find someone who has a great idea and follow. Movements don’t happen with just one person.