No Leadership, No Success – Know Leadership, Know Success
There probably isn’t much need for an article pointing out that there is apparently no leadership to be found in so many business opportunities these day. Every week, clients in my mentoring program tell me that the lack of leadership in their companies or the non-existent support from their immediate uplines is hurting their business credibility in the marketplace.
I get it. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and that is what I want to talk with you about today.
Let me tell you the story of a couple very different entrepreneurs:
Our first two entrepreneurs might, at first glance, appear to be cut from the same cloth. Both are affable, intelligent and I believe genuinely kind women. Both possess a certain charisma that just draws people to their circle of influence. Both have had some significant influence on helping women reclaim their rights to financial independence. And as people go, I like both of them a lot.
But the first woman, whose “success” in this industry is marginal at best, although she talks a good game, is very different from the second women in some very significant ways.
She’s the type of person who will literally tell a business partner, who brings more potential to the table than anyone in her organisation, “I don’t mind being on your webinars, as long as you don’t discuss any other companies on them. I am only interested in helping if it’s all about me and my agenda, and my business.” Now, this is a woman who pretends she is all about helping other people brand themselves, grow their companies, and make a memorable mark in the world. So it’s frankly disappointing, and honestly, disgusting that she misrepresents herself in such a major way. She doesn’t really know leadership, because she’s always settled for mediocrity, and pretended it was success.
By contrast, the other woman is someone who reached out to see if I might help her with someone who was facing some challenges that lie completely outside the scope of her business or mine, simply because she cares. And even a cursory glance of her level of engagement, encouragement and involvement in her social media connections instantly lets you know that she’s not only wildly successful at what she does, earning five to seven times what the first woman earns each month, but that she’s also five to seven times the leader that first woman will ever be.
Why? Because it’s not all about her. It’s all about the needs of the people she serves. As a result, she doesn’t talk about helping people build their brands… she rolls up her sleeves and actually does it. She doesn’t talk about how much she cares about seeing people become successful, because she leads the way by example.
Our second two entrepreneurs are similarly the kind of people you might want to connect with on the surface, but so completely different, when you take a closer look at what’s going on in their day-to-day practice.
The first guy comes across as being wise and insightful, and promotes that he actually has a handle on the metaphysical principles of successful entrepreneurship. He’s genuinely affable, caring and such a gentle soul. But despite the bravado, he doesn’t really even begin to comprehend what it takes to be a successful new thought entrepreneur, because he’s never committed himself to becoming one. He doesn’t do the work. He isn’t coachable. He finds excuses for not taking daily action. And he’s not terribly loyal. As a result, when by accident, he actually signs up real entrepreneurs into his group, they either demand a refund after a couple weeks, or wish they’d chosen a more committed and involved sponsor, because he literally brings zero value to table. He seems to put a little more effort into the need to be recognised as some sort of expert on the metaphysics of success, rather than doing what his heart truly calls him to be, and that is a caring, gentle and effective pastoral counselor.
By contrast, the second guy, who embraces all the same new thought principles, and who shares the passion for teaching, counseling and coaching people, spends less time telling people what an expert he is, and actually gets in there and shows others the way to apply those principles in ways that transform their lives. So even when he’s helping people find their way in companies that have nothing to do with his, or those whose needs are not related to business at all, he’s creating a new generation of leaders, who will transform the world… because he only sees the entrepreneurial niche as a vehicle for transformation, not a vehicle for recognition and ego gratification.
And as I said, I personally like all four of these people, pretty much equally, because they are beautiful people. But the same cannot be said for the level of business respect I have for two of them.
In my own career, there have been people who have essentially tried to steal the programs, concepts, and even business models I’ve created, after I spent months or years patiently trying to support them. I would have given them access to even more material, if they would have only asked.
Folks have sharply criticised me, saying that I seem to have given up on the industry, when I made the decision to mostly retire from traditional network marketing. They say that I’ve settled for a mediocre life, because we now live in a smaller home, with only one vehicle, and traded in oceanfront, country-club living for an old, historic riverfront rental, in the heart of our Commonwealth’s capitol city.
What they don’t understand is that I’ve never abandoned the network marketing industry, and I never will. In fact, I will remain a staunch advocate of network marketing, and that was one reason for my departure from traditional companies… not because I don’t believe in it, but because I believe strongly enough to feel compelled to lead the way in the industry’s transformation and evolution into something bigger, more effective and life-changing. And while I do that, I will still be there in the trenches with the men and women who call me their mentor, who come from dozens of traditional MLM and direct sales companies.
Yes, it’s true that more than $250K in out-of-pocket medical expenses, since 2014, has really hit me hard, and the likelihood that I will have to continue to pay more than $9400 a year, out-of-pocket, for medications, because of the level of corruption and inexperience that marks this country’s new governmental administration will eat away at another $800 that could have been spent on “lifestyle”, I suppose.
But that wouldn’t change the decision I made, in 2008, after a catastrophic accident caused me to sharpen my focus on what mattered in my life; in which I decided I didn’t want the bigger house, the cars, the “stuff” that occupied so much of my time (and income). I’ve been a social justice and environmental advocate since 1982. And while every home I’ve ever had was eco-friendly, and every car I’ve driven was too, that doesn’t mean I was always as mindful as I should have been about my carbon footprint.
If it were up to me alone, I would probably choose to live in a “tiny house” somewhere near the ocean or in the Arizona high desert. But the compromises that come with being in a committed relationship are important to me, and I am grateful that both of us chose to downsize a couple years ago, and I am hopeful that as Craig finishes up university, two years from now, we will downsize one more time, because for me, we could reduce the expenses of living where we now live, and enjoy a much simpler life, that frees us up to do more for others, to travel without as many concerns about maintaining a home, and simply allows us to be more present in the moment.
Once you know leadership, you lose the need to prove success. You start to actually live the success you’ve earned. And there is nothing I want more for each and every person reading these words than that experience of leadership and success.
If there were a time when this really “clicked” for me, it was when I watched my personal mentor, the late Mr. Jim Rohn, on the Herbalife Broadcast Network, some years ago. My hope is that this will make it from my notes and journal into your own…