"The Power of the Second Person"
By Donna Garner

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A few years ago in an attempt to analyze leadership, a rather funky video began to circulate. The message of the video was focused on the "Power of the Second Person."

The video shows a group of people evidently celebrating a special occasion. There is music being played, and the attendees are simply standing around talking. All of a sudden one of the bystanders (a rather unusual looking person) decides to dance. Everyone else watches him for quite some time, evidently thinking that he is a very odd person. Nothing happens until a "Second Person" decides to join the first person. Then the party scene quickly changes as everyone else begins to join in with the dancing.

The message of the video is that it is important for one person to step forward on an issue, but it is not until the Second Person joins the first person that the masses are influenced to step forward and join the cause.

It is wonderful when people have the courage of their convictions to take a principled stance; but the truth is "They may not make a real difference unless 'Second Persons' join them." This means it is up to us to quit worrying about whether these conservative leaders look "weird, strange, or odd" when they take a visible position on an important issue. We must not let them "hang out there on that limb alone." It takes our being willing to join with them (at the possible cost of public vilification) before the masses will join our cause. This is the "Power of the Second Person." Are we willing to take the risk to do the right thing for the sake of this and future generations?