Six Traits Of A Great Leader
Having a great idea, and assembling a team to bring that concept to life is the first step in creating any successful business. While finding the right opportunity is hard enough; the ability to successfully execute this idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs.
However you see yourself, whatever your age may be, as soon as you register the first person on your team, you have taken the first steps in becoming a leader. In the Network Marketing industry, as with any industry, EVERYTHING rises and falls with leadership. Building a large team without a leadership base is like building a skyscraper without laying a foundation. The first storm that passes through… and everything falls down.
That is why personal growth and leadership training is critical if you want to build an enormous team. When asked if someone would love to have 10,000 people in their business, everyone always is quick to say YES. However, they quickly become silent when I ask them if they believe they have the ability to successfully lead them.
While becoming a leader in our industry has many facets, here are six of the top leadership traits that I have seen in the best of the best.
The first step of leadership is “leading.” It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s another thing to take action and do it. Two questions I regularly ask my teammates are; “Would a thousand people like you on your team be a good thing or not?” and “Would you follow you?”
Every parent with grown children will tell you that there came a day that their children followed their example rather than their advice. The same holds true with leadership… True leaders must not only teach the way, they must also show the way!
The natural flow of success in our industry is Learn - Do - Teach. In a day where everyone wants to “build their brand,” realize that in our industry it is virtually impossible to teach someone how to do something you haven’t done… So go to work and set the pace. Your team will listen to what you say, but eventually, they will only do what you do.
Whatever ethical plane you hold yourself to, when you are responsible for a team of people, it’s important to raise the bar even higher. Like your children, your team is a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.
John Maxwell teaches that leadership is Influence. As leaders in our industry, we typically don’t have buildings, office space or hundreds of employees for people to see. What we do have is reputation. People will forgive the leaders that make an occasional mistake, which is great since I have made many. But they will not follow someone who has been shown to have a character flaw. Leading with Character and Integrity are the only way you will make a career in our industry. If you can’t do this honestly, leadership in our industry isn’t for you.
Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but if you try to explain it to someone else and are met with a blank expression, you know there is a problem. If this has been your experience, then you may want to focus on honing your communication skills by reading the many books available on the subject. Being able to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.
Training new promoters and creating momentum depend on healthy lines of communication. Whether that is in the form of email lists, group texts, or regular phone calls is up to you, but staying in touch with your team on a regular basis is critical to your overall success.
Sense of Humor
If your company website crashes, someone quits, or there is a challenge facing your team, guiding your people through the process without panicking is as challenging as it is important. Good leaders will typically stay calm and keep their ‘poker face” when challenges arise. However, great leaders lighten things up, take the tension out of the equation, then they can easily lead the team to a positive solution.
Encourage your team to laugh at their mistakes instead of crying. If you are constantly learning to find the humor in the struggles, your work team will have less stress as well as be more productive. .
It doesn’t matter who you are or how big your team is, there may be days where the future of your business is uncertain and things aren’t going according to plan. This is true with any business, corporation, or organization. This is where true leadership shows and false leaders are exposed. I have always referred to it to the “squeeze test.” When you squeeze something you see what it’s made of inside. Squeeze and orange, and you should get orange juice. Squeeze an apple… apple juice.
The real test of leadership comes from being squeezed. Our industry is magnified by this principle by the number of people who build large teams on the outside without growing leadership principles on the inside. Like the building that gets blown over, these, so-called “leaders” fall apart. I have seen this a hundred times. Rather than staying calm, they go through a state of panic, then denial, then blame. Then they quit or jump to something else.
Your job as a leader is to put out fires, maintain the team morale, and stay calm. Keep up your confidence level, and assure everyone that setbacks are natural and the important thing is to focus on the larger goal. As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same. Remember, your team will take cues from you, so if you exude a level of calm damage control, your team will pick up on that feeling.
Ability to Inspire
Building a business often involves a bit of forecasting. Especially in the beginning stages… inspiring your people to see the vision of the future successes of the team is vital.
This starts with the individual. The best leaders are those that see people not as they are, but rather see them as they can be. We are all beat down on a daily basis so when someone we respect tells us that we have greatness inside of us, we all light up! I know I do. This can’t be some kind of phony compliment or simple flattery, people see through that. What I am talking about is searching for possibility in your team mates, and point out their strengths to them and others who may be listening.
Your ability to inspire must also flow into your organization and team. Casting a vision and generating enthusiasm for the hard work you are all putting in is so important. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. When you are all running hard and energy levels start to fade before the results are seen, It is your job to keep spirits up by keeping your teammates focused on the prize, rather than the price.
Finally, many people join our industry thinking that the money they make will change their life. While money may have an impact on your life, who you become and the lives you are able to change will be your greatest reward!
You’ve got this!