I just found this from the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development. See the full article and a link to the original below.

It reminded of what we're trying to do here with Middle Main. We've been out in Poughkeepsie for almost two years now, doing the neighborhood revitalization dance. We've definitely gotten people to join in, and we just had a very successful inaugural Christmas Tree Lighting at Governor Clinton House, that brought together many different parts of Poughkeepsie. We've got a good critical mass of Middle Main supporters already, but as the initiative grows, there will be many different dances going on, each of which will benefit from key first followers.

One early guest at the tree lighting was a woman and her son who recently moved to Rose Street, and can see the Clinton House lawn from her window. Now they and the rest of the neighborhood will have a Christmas tree right on Middle Main.

Here's to all the first followers that have made Middle Main such a success so far. Let's keep dancing!

Andrew Sawtelle

Hudson River Housing


How Do We Incent and Reward ‘First Followers’?

By Jim Capraro
Published: December 8, 2010

My next blog post was going to be about economic development. But that was before an old “organizer” buddy sent me this youtube link: Leadership lessons from the dancing guy.

Since my main objective in life, these days, is to seed and feed a comprehensive community development “movement,” I thought it might be better to send out this link. Or, I should say, send out this link with an appeal for comments – I’m expecting comments from you, lots of comments.

Even though this video is humorous, don’t take it too lightly. In a way it is profound. And apparently it has a lot of followers itself, as it has been viewed more than 662,000 times.

The voiceover text (http://sivers.org/ff) concludes: "Leadership is over-glorified. Yes it started with the shirtless [dancing] guy, and he'll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened: It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader. 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. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in."

The video was presented by Derek Sivers (www.sivers.org), who is personally credited with reforming the way we buy music via the internet, at TED (www.ted.com) in the “compelling presentations under six minutes series.”

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences – the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer – TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Enjoy and comment!

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