Would you like to inspire a movement and become a leader?
Well according to this video, there are certain things that need to happen for a movement to take place. And, in this short video, you will learn what those things are.
Watch the video, read the transcript, see more examples of the key language, and then answer the question below.
The following transcript is taken from Ted.com
So, ladies and gentlemen, at TED we talk a lot about leadership and how to make a movement. So let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under three minutes and dissect some lessons from it.
First, of course you know, a leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed. But what he’s doing is so easy to follow. So here’s his first follower with a crucial role; he’s going to show everyone else how to follow.
Now, notice that the leader embraces him as an equal. So, now it’s not about the leader anymore; it’s about them, plural. Now, there he is calling to his friends. Now, if you notice that the first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader. (Laughter) (Applause)
And here comes a second follower. Now it’s not a lone nut, it’s not two nuts – three is a crowd, and a crowd is news. So a movement must be public. It’s important to show not just to show the leader, but the followers, because you find that new followers emulate the followers, not the leader.
Now, here come two more people, and immediately after, three more people. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point. Now we’ve got a movement. So, notice that, as more people join in, it’s less risky. So those that were sitting on the fence before, now have no reason not to. They won’t stand out, they won’t be ridiculed, but they will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry. (Laughter) So, over the next minute, you’ll see all of those that prefer to stick with the crowd because eventually they would be ridiculed for not joining in. And that’s how you make a movement.
But let’s recap some lessons from this. So first, if you are the type, like the shirtless dancing guy that is standing alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals so it’s clearly about the movement, not you. Okay, but we might have missed the real lesson here.
The biggest lesson, if you noticed – did you catch it? — is that leadership is over-glorified. That, yes, it was the shirtless guy who was first, and he’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader. So, as we’re told that we should all be leaders, that would be really ineffective.
If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in. And what a perfect place to do that, at TED.
A leader needs the guts to stand out
To have guts means to have courage. This is quite common in everyday language, and can be used both seriously and when joking.
- I didn’t have the guts to ask her out.
- I bet you don’t have the guts to play me at FIFA (computer game).
To stand out means to look and/or act differently from the everyone/everything else:
- Wow, your yellow shoes really stand out!
- People spend their time at school trying to fit in, but once they graduate, they want to stand out.
- I really want to stand out in my interview.
To be ridiculed
If someone is ridiculing you, it means that they are making fun of you and most likely laughing at you. Everyone who was watching the dancing guy was probably ridiculing him before they joined in.
There he is calling to his friends
There is a difference between call and call to. In the video it shows that the second guy is waving at his friends and telling them (through body language) to come over and join in – he is calling to his friends.
But, when we’re talking about using a telephone, then we don’t use the preposition to.
- My boss called me last night.
- I need to call my mother; it’s Mother’s Day.
The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader
A lone nut is someone who is doing something crazy on their own. It can be used in a funny way (like describing the dancing guy) or a serious way (like describing someone in general). The second way is used to describe someone who is a little (or very) crazy and doesn’t have any friends.
Be careful how you use this one.
Because you find that new followers emulate the followers, not the leader.
To emulate means to copy/imitate someone and to follow their lead.
This is the tipping point.
The tipping point describes the point when something starts to become significant. You can clearly see the tipping point of the movement in the video.
So those that were sitting on the fence before, now have no reason not to.
I love this saying, and it’s very common in English. To sit on the fence means to be undecided, to not have an opinion, or to not take sides in a dispute.
In this case, a lot of people were sitting on the fence and didn’t join in. But, once there was a lot of people dancing, they got off the fence and joined the dancers.
They will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry
To be part of the in-crowd means to be involved in the popular group. At school, there’s always a few people who are the most popular, and they are in the in-crowd.
What I like about the video is that it takes a funny event and gives an important lesson. The talker explains that it is the second person who is the real key to the success, and it takes a lot of guts to do this.
And, if that you really want to inspire, you need to have the courage to follow, and then encourage others to follow.
Now, my question to you is this:
Would you have joined the dancing guy? If you answered yes, when would you have joined in?
Leave your answers below.