On Teaching by Kahlil Gibran

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

Starting a movement; the role of leaders and followers

Here is a neat little video from TED : Derek Sivers: How to start a movement.

We often think that leadership is about being out in front and being brave to stand out and for taking certain initiatives.  While that is part of it, leadership is also about nurturing the first few followers.

Another form of leadership was shown in the video.  It was the first courageous follower.  It was this guy that transformed the first guy into a leader.  Interestingly, the leader embraced – publically – the first follower as an equal; it matters how new leaders treat and develop their first few “direct reports”.

The embraced follower then brought in another follower.

More followers joined in and before long, a tipping point was reached.  It was at this point that it became un-cool not to be part of the movement.   What extraordinary influence was exercised by the first few guys.  Interestingly in the end, we lost sight of them in the crowd, the crowd clearly was not watching them waiting for the next steps and everyone was just getting on with getting on!

“…it was the shirtless guy who was first, and he’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader.”

The first follower had tremendous influence!  The early followers emulated the first follower, and very quickly, the crowd became a movement!