Three good ideas and a ‘viral leadership phenomenon’ later ….

Where the hell is Matt?

Matt used to make and play videogames.  After a couple of years he became disillusioned with the demand for nothing more than war and gangster games on X-box and in February 2003 resigned his job in Brisbane.  He used the money he’d saved to go ‘walkabout’ around Asia … until his money ran out. Prior to travelling he made a website so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he was.  A few months into his trip, a travel friend gave Matt the idea of doing a dance and have his friend record it for posting on his website.  Matt had a particular dance … the dance he did as a five-year-old.  And that’s the only dance he can do!

A couple years later, someone stumbled across the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on, i.e. the video went semi-viral.  Someone influential at Stride Gum asked Matt if he’d be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video.  Matt asked if they’d be paying for it.  They said yes.  Matt thought this sounded like another good idea.

In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal.  The second video that resulted from this trip went a little more viral!

In 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea.  He realized his bad dancing wasn’t actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it.  He showed them his inbox, which was overflowing with emails from all over the world. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who’d written him to come out and dance too. The Stride people thought that sounded like yet another good idea, so they let him do it. And he did. This is when Matt became a leader. In the words of Derek Sivers (‘How to Start a Movement’ – see, “… what he was doing was so easy to follow … “

The attached video is the result … and this went totally viral on YouTube … so you may have already seen it.  If you have, I think it’s worth another viewing!

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About theknowledgebiz
Carl Taylor Born in London, my early career spanned research in marine science, corporate strategic planning, internal consultancy and new ventures development - all within the Shell International Group of Companies. Following my assignment in new ventures, I took an 18 month sabbatical and ran a business development agency. This opened my eyes to the realities of leading and managing a non-corporate small enterprise and in recognition of my efforts I was granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1990. On returning to the corporate fold, I was instrumental in leading the development of a Shell/Philips joint venture. In 1990 I made the decision to move into independent working and have provided consultancy, executive coaching and leadership programmes to an extensive client list. I live in Kent, England. Scarlett Taylor (one of Carl's daughters) - I love horses and my contribution is the Punki Ponies Blog which I wrote when I was seven years old.

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