Lee Iacocca famously proclaimed, “Lead, follow or get out of the way!”
This quintessentially industrial-age sentiment is irrelevant to social media age leaders, who focus on creating movements rather than silo-centric relationships and infrastructure.
A movement’s growth is basically unlimited; but traditional institutions are inherently self-limiting. They can’t grow beyond the vision of their leaders.
Institutions and movements differ in the way their leaders and followers support, promote or build on each other’s efforts.
One of history’s greatest movements is Confucianism. Yet it might be merely an historical footnote without Mencius. A century after the death of his leader, he defined how Confucianists should live and educate each other, and millions have followed Confucius’ analects since then.
Western philosophy is largely a Socratic movement, yet Socrates’ methods live on thanks to the work of a few followers, especially Plato.
Today’s leaders and followers are equally important to each other’s success. And for the first time in history they can lead and let others lead at the same time. They’re like “Zedonks” (mixed donkeys and zebras).
They can also create a mini-movement spontaneously (here’s a fun demonstration of how that occurs).
Many leaders are “lone nuts.” Great leaders inspire and nurture the best followers they can find or enlist. Figure that process out, start your own movement, and succeed.
(p.s. Contact me if you’d like to have a tool that can make movements happen)