The Importance of the ‘First Follower’
I had the good fortune of being part of the YMCA of Greater Toronto‘s Learning Forum on Diversity & Social Inclusion organized by colleagues Jim Milligan, Mike Dodds, Atena Moehring, Kim-Ha Nguyen, and Marcy Robertson.
There are many concepts, perspectives and tools that I take away from this experience. These will be extremely useful to me in my work both at the YMCA and in my other education world.
The concept I wish to share with you here is that of the power and influence of the ‘first follower‘. Here are some of the main points from a video that was shown.
- Leaders are over-rated. If someone does not follow, they are just lone nuts.
- The first follower is the one who creates a leader.
- The leader had the wisdom to treat the first follower as an equal, which encouraged him to join and stay.
- The people who come next are excited to join because now it is still cool and is safe as a lot of people are rushing in.
- Somewhere along the way, the people who do NOT join are now appearing to be the nutty ones.
- First followers provide an underrated form of leadership.
How might this experience relate to leadership in your school, district or other work environment?