As a society we have a tendency to talk about leaders and the virtues of leadership. And yet — the crucial piece we’re missing is celebrating the first followers.
Without followers leaders are nothing. You can’t lead if you don’t have followers. It takes special people to become first followers. To follow a leader into unknown terrain. To risk ridicule. To support someone and take on their mission.
The best leaders know this. Their mission is bigger than themselves. Their tribe is more important than their ego. They celebrate the first follower and make her an equal. They create the circumstances for a tribe to develop. And than they serve the tribe. As the tribe embodies the mission.
It’s never about you. It’s always about the mission and the tribe. That’s great leadership. And if you’re a first follower: You are the most important person in any movement!
P.S. You might have seen this — Derek Sivers voice-over for “First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy” is spectacular and gives me goosebumps.