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Let’s Start a Movement

by Amanda Erickson, Sellen Construction, SMPS Seattle President

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that how one treats an empty dance floor at a party could be an excellent personality test.

I decided this after watching Derek Sivers’ TED Talk, “How to Start a Movement,” which, if you haven’t yet seen it, is an excellent distraction. I’ve included the link at the bottom of this post, and I highly recommend you check it out (after you’ve read this, of course).

In Sivers’ talk, he uses the example of a solo dancer, the “lone nut,” as a metaphor for leadership and how to gain followers. It begins with that one intrepid couple that’s dancing on an empty dance floor like no one’s watching. Many will laugh at them, but eventually they’ll be joined by a few more brave dancers. Before you know it, everyone at the party finds their dancing shoes.

This, according to Sivers, is how you start a movement, and every element is integral to making it work. The first dancers are the leaders – the “lone nuts” with the idea but not the support. The second dancer is the first follower, and it’s the leader’s job to embrace the first follower and show him how to follow. From this point, more and more followers join. The lone nut isn’t so crazy anymore, and everything becomes about the movement.

So where am I going with this? This year, the SMPS Seattle board wants to start a movement – or, at the least, a number of smaller movements. We have a few new programs that we’d like to get off the ground this year in the hopes that they will gain momentum for the years to come. Basically, we’ve got a lot of lone nuts on the board – and we need you to help shape our crazy ideas into reality. Watch the newsletter for specific volunteer openings, join a committee, get involved in a roundtable, or reach out to let us know how you’d like to help.

Starting with next month’s blog, I’ll outline our goals and programs so you can learn more. In the meantime, we are looking for all types of volunteers to help us start a movement – so whether you’re the lone nut doing a solo dance, or you’re the first, second, third or 15th follower, we’d love to hear from you – there’s a place and a need for every type of dancer in SMPS Seattle.

How to Start a Movement, TED Talk by Derek Sivers

Interested in learning more about SMPS Seattle’s “lone nut” ideas and can’t wait a month? I’m always ready to talk!

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