First Follower Leadership in Moneyball

There is a scene in the  Brad Pitt movie,  Moneyball where Billy Beane (Pitt)  is being offered a huge contract from Boston Red Socks owner John Henry. Henry is describing how Billy Beane revolutionized the game of baseball and demonstrated incredible success yet still faced intense criticism from his peers and  the media.

John Henry –“I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always. It’s the threat and not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it’s threatening the game. But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs, it’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They will bet you’re crazy.”

I thought about this scene when my friend and part time super model, Kim Hodgson sent me this  video.

Titled “First Follower Leadership Lesson from Dancing Guy”  The video illustrates just how important the first guy through the wall is to the leadership dynamic.  Click on this link  and take a minute to see this video-


Here are some lessons from the Dancing Guy Vid;

1) Leaders must be easy to follow and embrace the first followers

2) First followers are under-appreciated- it takes guts to be a first .  The leader is nothing without his first follower.  One is the flint the other the spark.

4) It becomes about the followers not the leader

5) The  first followers must be seen because the new followers are following them -not the leader

6) This creates momentum and a movement.  Others can join the crowd without fear of riducule

7) Leadership is over glorified. Its the first follower that transforms the “nut” and creates the movement

Whether your a crazy dancing guy or Brad Pitt ,  Leaders of all types who are comfortable in their own skin, approachable and embrace their followers  -shouldn’t be afraid to assume some risks, look silly or venture into uncharted territory. Be prepared to get bumped and bruised along the way and remember- the leader doesn’t exist without the first follower.

– gary askin

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