Marketing Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

A shirtless dancing guy might just be the best example of what it takes to lead a marketing culture and inspire an inbound movement in your organization. I kid you not.

Watch this 3 minute video below for leadership lessons from dancing guy which we’ll then apply to a marketing movement:


Applying Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy to Marketing

Derek Sivers’ shirtless dancing guy teaches us:

  • “A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.”
  • “What he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional.”
  • “You must be easy to follow!”

So let’s apply this leadership lesson to marketing in an example – Shirtless Dancing Guy is HubSpot.

Why? Because they burst into the marketing world with guts enough to dance to their own tune:

  • Go inbound! Attract leads and stop doing interruption marketing.
  • It’s as easy as writing blogs to grow your business.
  • Make marketing that people love!

Sounds a little too crazy and too easy, right?

marketing leadership lessons from dancing guy

Brian Halligan, CEO and Co-founder of HubSpot, fully embracing his own dancing guy moment during his Inbound 2013 keynote

Enter the leadership lessons from the crucial first follower:

  • The first follower publicly shows everyone else how to follow.
  • “The leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural”
  • “The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.”
  • “Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.”

So who is the best example of HubSpot’s first follower to complete this marketing leadership example?

HubSpot’s First Follower is Marcus Sheridan. Marcus saw HubSpot’s vision and got it. He applied inbound marketing to River Pools and Spas and danced his heart out to the tune of serious business growth. Now his examples are shared to teach and inspire many other inbound-ish-ers via TheSalesLion. And HubSpot is smart to shine the light on followers like him because followers emulate followers.

marketing leadership lessons from first follower

Like a great “first follower,” The Sales Lion inspires many more followers to join the inbound movement

And now we’ve got a movement!

What about your own marketing leadership?

Important Marketing Leadership Lessons

If you want to lead a marketing culture and transform your organization, make everything about the movement, NOT YOU. Think WE not ME. It’s not about your agenda. It’s about all the great things that we can accomplish together.

Even more encouraging, Derek Sivers reveals “The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.”

Maybe your greatest leadership opportunity is to be that first follower and courageously inspire others to follow.

Remember, there is no movement without a first follower.

Which Aspect Should You Work On?

Whether you consider yourself a first follower or the dancing guy, the calls to action are the same – Be courageous and shine the light on others. So which one should you work on to be a more effective leader? Are you going to be a more courageous follower… or are you going to shine the light more on others?


  1. The leader’s task is complicated by certain basic conflicts that are inherent in group activity (Thelen, 1954). For example, there usually is some degree of conflict between individual and group needs and between various aspects of the group’s activity. How will the group’s time be spent? What problems must be solved first? What goals are most important? The effective leader must be sensitive to such conflicts, help evaluate them objectively, and guide the group toward a satisfactory compromise program.


  1. […] Marketing Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy by Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “Maybe your greatest leadership opportunity is to be that first follower and courageously inspire others to follow. Remember, there is no movement without a first follower.” […]

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