Catalyst: Leadership Lessons From Dancing Guy

We did a double take when Julia, our resident Storytelling Coach, sent us the video we're sharing today.  Maybe you will too. At first glance – it's grainy, poor quality, and consists of a shirtless man dancing to some, frankly, dubious music.

Then we watched it, and watched it again – and it became apparent just what an amazing act of alchemy Derek Sivers has created in adding his voice to the video.

From a scrap of random footage, he's narrated a powerful leadership lesson in under three minutes, using the spontaneous unfolding of these events as his guide.

Intrigued? Hit "play" on the video below, and see if you agree.

There are a few things to note here. Firstly, the message itself. Derek has some great insights into how to start movements. Most important is his point about followers. In his words,

"There is no movement without the first follower. We're told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective. The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow."

The leaders we work with want to make a real difference in the world – to leave a thumbprint that's uniquely theirs. The first thing this clip teaches us is that leadership might mean courageously following a person or idea that seems "out there", and showing others just why their message is so valuable. Or it could mean being "dancing guy" yourself; showing up first and lighting the way for more people to join you. Starting with what matters to you; with your own unique values and experience is the best way to find the path that's authentically yours.

Secondly – and no doubt this is what grabbed Julia's attention – this quirky video is a powerful demonstration of the impact of storytelling. With a gripping narrative that dives straight into his message, Derek makes this wobbly handheld footage not just bearable, but compelling. He's using story to lay out his unique take on leadership, both more succinctly and more memorably than a blog post or bullet-pointed list.

Your business might not feature pounding dance music or shirtless men, but that principle of using powerful storytelling to convey a message is one that bears repeating. Watching the video now, it's almost as though the people in it act on Derek's cues, to illustrate his point. In the same way, finding a powerful narrative to give your business a story that draws people in can be the difference between a brand that's bland, and one about which people are excited to find out more.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on this video? Were you drawn in, or was the visual element too distracting? Have you seen other examples of storytelling in action as a tool for leaders? We'd love to know your thoughts – come over and share on Twitter.

Ready to tell your story?

If Derek's unique approach has captivated you and you'd love to stand out in your own way as a leader, our Lead, Influence and Inspire package could be for you. You'll work directly with Julia and communication specialist Richard Fallon to clarify your message and transform it into one which engages and inspires your own followers – dancing optional. Click here to book your place.

PS: Spread the word

Found this useful? Come on over to Twitter and let us know, or spread the word using the "share" button below. And don't forget to sign up to our email list to be first to hear about more articles like this.