I hope to convince you that Collin Wynter wasn’t crazy but rather a genius for his solo dancing during the Sasquatch music festival in 2009.
If you haven’t seen the viral video of Collin dancing wild at the Sasquatch music festival, here’s a reminder.
What started as one guy dancing by himself became a massive movement fully embraced by everyone. Every leader, community, movement, or brand would LOVE to have this happen to their thing. But most fail, except Collin Wynter from Calgary, Canada.
The question, then, is, who was the leader of this contagious event?
The most obvious answer is to pick Person #1, Collin! If Collin had never started dancing in the first place, the movement would never have happened. Someone has to start it, and Collin took a leap of sanity, went out there, and danced his heart out. Sure, he looked a little… a lot… funny. Sure, people were looking at him and laughing. But had he never risked it, the moment would’ve never happened.
How often have you felt like Collin while trying to get something going in your team, organization, or community?
When I ask that question during one of my programs, almost every hand goes up. Leaders often have to put themselves into situations where they look a little different and silly. All in the name of getting something going. It can be embarrassing, scary, and even disheartening because no one shows up to your event even after you put all the effort in.
What if I told you there is a better way? Let’s see if maybe being Person #1 isn’t the best option.
What about Person #2? Person #2 joins Collin and starts dancing. He looks like he’s having a good time, and it’s great to see Person #1 even embrace his new buddy. But there’s a moment with Person #2 where he turns back around to his friends, points, and starts laughing. As if his friends said, “I double dog dare you to go dance with that crazy guy down there.”
Person #2 gets points for showing up but loses points for not being there for the right reasons.
What about Person #3? Person #3 shows up, dances, and, by all accounts, seems to be there to genuinely help the movement grow.
As leaders, we usually spend all our time being Person #1. We develop the idea and do everything possible to get other people to join us. Sometimes, we look silly, embarrassing, and even a little crazy.
What if instead of being Person #1, we focused on being Person #2 or #3?
A core principle of Dance Floor Theory is more friends equals more fun, and the dance will last longer. As leaders, we should spend much time building social connections with the people in our teams, organizations, and communities.
There is an added benefit to this beyond just building social capital.
While leaders connect with their people, they will most likely hear about what their members are doing and are passionate about.
What if, instead of trying to start our own parade and getting people to join us, we found parades that were already in motion and used our resources as a leader to help make them successful?
In other words, instead of trying to start your own event and getting your members to join you, look for things your members are already doing and help them expand it to the larger community.
Let them be Person #1. Let them be silly, wild, and maybe a little crazy about their passion. And then you slip in as the cool, confident leader as Person #2 or #3 to help them out.