Create a Movement

Creating a movement is not easy. It requires that you do things that others seem as unnatural and maybe even weird. People will say you should stop doing whatever it is. They may think you are crazy and even laugh a little. Most living things feel safer as a member of a crowd, not out on their own. We are no different.

How are we supposed to create any positive change if we always remain part of a crowd? The answer is simple but definitely not easy to put into practice. This  short video by Derek Sivers breaks it down very well, with a story about a shirt-less dancing guy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ&feature=player_embedded]

The lessons:

  1. A leader needs the guts to stand-alone and look ridiculous.
  2. A movement must be simple and easy to follow.
  3. A leader embraces followers as an equal, it’s about the movement not the leader.
  4. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership.
  5. New followers emulate followers and not the leader. Movements must be public and transparent.

The best way to create a movement doesn’t require that you create one on your own. If all everyone did was create their own movements, there would be no movements! Instead, be an early follower. Find something you believe in, and have the courage to support a movement that is already underway, no matter how obscure it may seem at first.

How to Make Powerful and Fast Decisions

Bridge outside the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. I went to this place on a spur of the moment, a quick decision I was happy to have made!
Bridge outside the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. I went to this place on a spur of the moment, a quick decision I was happy to have made!

Decision making can be tough. At the end of the day our time and energy are our most valuable resources. The ability to make clear and powerful decisions is therefore a gateway to reducing wasted energy on unimportant things and providing a focus towards those things that really matter. Even just the act of decision making can itself suck the life out of you if you let it. Just think about the last time you deliberated over what to eat for dinner, what movie to see, what shirt to buy, what job to take!

I was reading Derek Sivers blog (he’s the founder of CD Baby and a great writer) and he illustrated a powerful tool for decision making. Here is his advice:

Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I’m trying:

If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.

Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no.

I tried this advice out over the last few days and it has been incredibly powerful. In fact, you can apply this philosophy too all sorts of things. From figuring out what to eat for dinner, what activities to do or even who to hire. As an example of the latter, I was recently having a conversation with a co-worker about a potential candidate for a position on my team.

The co-worker was wondering if a recent interviewee would be a good fit. I simply said to consider if having the person on the team would get you excited and make you say ‘hell yeah, I want to work with this person.” If no, then there probably isn’t a good fit. The co-worker was clearly not super enthusiastic about the candidate, and this simple question just made his answer more clear to himself.

I also used this philosophy to decide on whether to go out last night. It was already 10pm and I was pretty tired from a long week of work, but I also wanted to see some friends I had not connected with in a while. They were all meeting up and it was sure to be a late night. I asked myself if I would have fun reconnecting with these folks…and of course the answer was “hell yeah.” My decision was made, even though my body was pretty tired. I am glad I went.

Try this little tool out for a week and see how it improved your own ability to make powerful and clear decisions in your own life.