Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

A friend of mine makes music, and her first CD was published by a company I had never heard of called CD Baby. I fell in love with their wonderful ideas concerning customer service. Here is an example taken from an e-mail after I bought the CD:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Sunday, November 19th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as ‘Customer of the Year’. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

CD Baby was founded by Derek Sivers, who has some really interesting ideas on community, running a business and social contracts. On his blog today he posted a link to a Youtube video called “Leadership Lessions from Dancing Guy”. It was from a talk he gave yesterday at TED.

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons.

It’s pretty cool and worth a few minutes to check out.

2 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

  1. Awesome.

    Loved the takeaway on (1) the leader has to embrace the first followers and make sure they feel it’s part of the the movement, not the leader and (2) the leadership role of the first follower.

    It reminds me of several things, of course:

    1. Amandeep Jawa’s Trikeasaurus and flash dances in SFO (outiside group dancing crowds that are primed for movement but need a catalyst)

    2. Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm (leadership, early adopters, etc.)

    3. Where the Hell is Matt (outside group dancing with a wacky leader)


    4. Your long ago observation that white people are the only culture on earth walk to the dance floor, dance on the dance floor, then walk back to their tables.

  2. Ever listen to the song “Alice’s Restaurant” all the way? Towards the end they have the same thoughts.

    Please pardon me if I don’t get all the words right…it has been a long time:

    “If one person sings a bar of Alices’ Restaurant, they will think you are sick and they won’t take you…..”
    “If two people sing a bar of Alices’ Restaurant, in harmony they will think you are gay…..”
    “If three people sing a bar of Alices’ Restaurant, they will think it is an organization…..”
    ‘And if fifty people a day sing a bar of Alices’ Restaurant, they will think it is a movement…”

    And it *was* a movement.

    Here are the correct lyrics…I looked them up.


    And if you look at them and read them, make sure you follow the link at the bottom of the page to the “Tribute to Officer Obie”

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