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First Followers

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

The power of movements correlates to empowerment of first followers.

Inspiring and empowering followership is critical because change is a numbers game–a compounding numbers game. We need to rally a critical mass of people who are committed to making something happen. Change takes time, so we must build sufficient energy into the journey to see an idea through to fruition.

What is the question you need to ask this week?

Write it down.

Consider: do you treat your followers as equals?

Practice: endowering people who buy into your idea early with a piece of the action

Decide to: honour your first followers as the real heroes of the movement

The first followers

Derek Sivers delivered a legendary TED talk on first followership. Let’s see if we can apply his theory to the diffusion of adoption model:

The confident leader (innovator): The leader is fearlessly confident in their idea. They are unafraid to stand out from the crowd with the guts to handle whatever ridicule they may face in getting their own big idea to take off.

The first follower (early adoptor): The first person to follow a leader is actually displaying an underrated form of leadership. The first follower is a hero who transforms the ‘lone nut into a leader. They should always be acknowledged as such.

The influencers (early majority): When new friends show up and resonate with the innovative idea, it’s critical that the leader embraces this community as equals. They will only continue to follow because they trust the leader and feel a part of something new. This represents the climb to a tipping point.

The joiners (late majority): The late majority will join only when it is safe to do so. At this stage, people who aren’t participating begin to look like the out of place ones! When ideas or products reach a tipping point, all of a sudden it’s the non-adopters that stand out.

The laggards… okay when these peeps join you need a new idea!

We have to find a way to inspire hearts and minds to amplify our voices and strengthen our push for change. This enables the momentum to make the movement sustainable. If we can do build followership, our ideas and organisations can achieve a multiplier effect with reach beyond those who are in our orbit.

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