A great leader will exhibit a number of qualities:
I am only going to direct attestation on influence in this article…primarily for the reason that the true measure of leadership is INFLUENCE, no more and no less
A leader is a person that will do all they can feasibly do to “influence” their down-lines to do what ever they need to do to accomplish their network marketing success. Now, no doubt there will always be those who just won’t be prepared to do “whatever is required”, probably for the reason that they tell themselves that it is too hard, they just can’t do that, or whatever. But a great leader will be able to persuade, enthuse and provoke more people to transform, grow and develop skills etc. than will the person with less significant influencing capacity.
If you don’t have influence, you will by no means be able to lead others. That assertion begs the question…”How then do you assess influence?”
To answer that question I’ll give you a story…
In 1997, the world was shocked by two events that occurred less than a week apart: the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. On the surface these two women could not imaginably have been more diverse. Diana was a tall, young attractive princess from England who mixed in the highest society. Mother Teresa, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient was a small elderly Catholic nun born in Albania who served the extreme poverty stricken in Calcutta, India. Nevertheless the extraordinary thing was that their impact was mind-bogglingly alike. In a 1996 sample, published by the London Daily Mail, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa were voted in 1st & 2nd places as the world’s most caring people. Now, without being extremely influential, that doesn’t just materialize. How could someone like Diana ever be regarded in the same way as Mother Teresa? Simply put…she demonstrated the power of “influence”.
When she married Prince Charles nearly 1 billion people tuned in to the televised wedding ceremony. After taking a little time to settle in to her new position, she started travelling & representing the royal family in an official capacity around the world, she quickly made it her aspiration to work for the betterment of others less fortunate than her, raising money for several charitable causes. Throughout the process she built countless significant relationships…politicians, leaders of humanitarian causes, entertainers and heads of state etc. In the initial stages she was basically a catalyst for fund-raising, but over time her influence enlarged…as did her capability to inspire changes.
She rallied people to causes like AIDS research, caring for people with leprosy and a ban on land mines. That final issue she successfully brought to the notice of world leaders, even persuading the Clinton administration to champion a world conference outlawing the devices. Such was her influence that she put the issue on the world agenda, influencing even the US President.
Initially, Diana’s title had simply provided her a platform to speak to others, but she quickly became a person of influence independent of her title. When she was divorced from Charles in 1996, she may have lost her title designation, but her bearing (read “influence”) on others in point of fact continued to escalate…while…regardless of titles and position, that of ex-husband Charles became less and less. Amazingly, even after the event of her tragic death her influence continued. When her funeral was broadcast on TV and radio the total watching/listening audience was estimated at in the order of 2.5 billion…well greater than double the figure who tuned in to her wedding. A classic demonstration of the law of “influence”.
Diana is probably hardly ever referred to as a leader…yet that is just what she was. She made things happen for the reason that she was an influencer, and leadership is influence…nothing more, nothing less.
Leadership is NOT:
Management…management typically comes with some kind of designation, but a title isn’t needed to have influence. A manager can continue direction, but they can’t change it unless they are also a leader. To realign people in a new direction influence will be required.
Knowledge… there are lots of extraordinarily learned and well-informed people with capability to think so towering it is difficult for an “average” person to comprehend…but whose aptitude to lead is so small it hardly even registers on the scale.
Entrepreneur… one can very well be unusually inventive, innovating, successful, outstanding salesperson etc…but have no long term influence with people. So not all leaders are entrepreneurial, and not all entrepreneurs are leaders.
Pioneer… it is a misapprehension to think that anyone “out the front” is inevitably a leader. Being first and being a leader are different. To be a leader one not only should be out front, but also have people voluntarily coming behind & following the lead, acting on the leaders vision.
Position…position and leadership have nothing to do with each other. There are many people with “position” but who have little or no influence and a lot of people who have absolutely no rank but who are exceedingly influential. “It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.” Stanley Huffty.
A leadership proverb: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” If you are unable to influence people, they won’t follow you. And if they won’t follow, you’re not a leader. That’s the “Law of Influence”.
No matter how you imagine and speak of yourself, a truly successful leader is someone that motivates their down-lines to reach their network marketing success. You have got to coach your down-lines how to find their own leads and find their own prospects…both offline and online.
As a leader you need to empower others. A first-class leader is not a person who does it all themselves but who teaches others to be self-reliant and to be reasonably capable of completely replacing you. The greatest position you can be in is where you are no longer needed.
You will moreover know that you are not there to be their boss, to bully them, or to give orders. People do not join network marketing to be ordered around by their up-lines, but to be independent business people. You can learn to be firm when you want your down-lines to do something for their own achievement, but be firm in inspiring…not firm in bossing.
Finally, a good network marketing success leader is someone who is keen to serve and make sacrifices. There is no long term network marketing success without sacrifice and even though it can at times be demanding to surrender your time, money and sometimes your comfort, it will pay off if you work diligently and build a stable team so that your down-line leaders will be ready to duplicate what they have observed and experienced you doing.
I am in the process of successfully building an awesome life long residual income in the Network Marketing industry.
I have been in two network marketing companies in the past…with dismal results. So I know the feeling of failure. As a result my view of this industry wasn’t overly positive…although I really knew all along that it was in fact a brilliant business model.
I believe the failure rate in network marketing industry is mostly due to poor or total lack of mentoring & training made available from up-lines…also the fact that many up-lines treat their prospects like just a number. These people are recruiters…not sponsors. They never get to know you, your dreams, your partner’s & kid’s names, your WHY…anything about you.