The best three-minute video about leadership you will ever see

The best three-minute video about leadership you will ever see


You might think you have a pretty good grasp on what makes an effective leader. You might even think you’re pretty good at explaining it to others. But it’s unlikely you can do a better job explaining it than this roughly shot three-minute video of a lone, shirtless guy dancing at a concert. The narration by Derek Sivers is spot on about leaders, first followers, popular movements and human nature. It has the insight and authority of a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough.

You can read the transcript of Sivers’ narration here.

Hat-tip @Tian_Yang

UPDATE: Thanks to Paul M who points out in the comments that Seth Godin first blogged about this video in June last year. That Godin is such a loon. 😉

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  • Steve Sherlock

    thats funny.

    reminds me a little bit about tatoo’s. once upon a time they were a sign of rebellion and now its the norm.

    or bald heads – now everyone’s got one…

    • James Tuckerman

      Not necessarily by choice (from one ‘baldie’ to another) 😉

      • James Tuckerman

        I think this is my favourite Anthill TV video for a while.

        Awesome! I want to be ‘shirtless dancing guy’!

        • James Tuckerman

          Steve – And you can be my first lone nut (Yes, that’s a reference to your head. Heh heh).

    • Paul Ryan

      I remember Zolton Zavos from Lost At E Minor saying that when he moved to Brooklyn, so many people had tattoos that he felt like he was making a really unique statement with his “clean” look.

      Just think of all those great leaders who would have gone down in history as lone, shirtless loons groovin’ on a grassy knoll if not for those brave first followers who joined them. And how many first followers have been branded as creepy loon accomplices (Igors) because no one else joined the movement?

      The truth is, this stuff happens all the time. But we only hear about leadership when it works.

  • Jennie

    Fantastic! Now I don’t feel so bad about being a lone nut, now if only I could find the first follower lol

    Thanks – I’ll definately be passing this link around.

  • Paul M.

    Yes, cool.
    And not to take anything away from Derek Sivers, but, Seth Godin discovered and commented on this phenomenon, crediting the ‘leading followers’, a good seven months before:

    • Paul Ryan

      Thanks Paul. I wasn’t aware of Godin’s post. I’ve updated this post to reflect that.

  • Jim Beasley

    Paul and James,

    You keep coming up with incredible stuff.
    Your resources continue to amaze.
    (Your ‘serious’ stuff gets tweeted by me all the time too!)
    Keep it up ………….. and Thanks.

    • Steve Sherlock

      hey? – jim i thought this was the serious stuff – just easier to digest in this format;-)

    • Paul Ryan

      Thanks Jim. Glad you’re finding it all useful AND entertaining.

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  • Babette

    Fabulous lesson – learnt the importance of true leadership but also the important role of the first follower!! Fascinating… thank you

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  • Paul McArdle

    Thanks Paul,

    Both informative and entertaining.

    Some further comments here, as it relates to us:


    PS = In response to the other Paul M’s comments – is there anything Seth has not commented on? He’s such a prolific blogger

    • James Tuckerman

      Beating Seth to the punch is a tough ask… But we all need a goal, right? 🙂

  • http://YourWebsite Thierry Talon

    Hello, watching the lone nut did not make me feel uncomfortable for him – I did not find him ridiculous. The first follower I found a bit more ridiculous. And of course when the crowd came up that’s when I felt unease, and a bit of nausea.

  • Jeff

    This is such an awesome video. Derek actually inspired me to create a social movement to unleash ideas and build networks by doing 5-minute well prepared talks that are thought provoking, inspirational, and fun. I am up to six followers now and I am blogging about the experience. Going through the process I can totally relate to the lone nut and the importance of getting that first follower.

  • revive ramesh

    thanks for this. i learnt it and i need to be skinny, take my shirt off and wiggle endlessly and get some fat follower to do the same and treat him well.. – just kidding – but it ia amzing how the human nature tilts after the following starts…

  • Bob

    Except this video it about 4 years old

    • James Tuckerman – Anthill Mag

      “The Richest Man in Babylon” was written in 1926.
      Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” was published in 1937.

      This post was is also more than a year old.
      Does age diminish the value of a lesson?

  • Stephen Wilson

    Very very funny. All the hallmarks of virality: fly-on-the-wall, social, instructional, highly analytical, authoritative tone, with an empowering moral. And a level of seriousness completely at odds with the data: a triumph of style over substance. In other words, total bullshit. A bunch of stoners start dancing, and that’s a big deal? Has the narrator ever got out of the management school library and gone to a party?