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What Defines A Leader

Aug 17, 2007
In this industry, as well as any other, it is the leaders who get paid. In fact, I've noticed, even bad leaders get paid...

Recently, Robert Nardelli stepped down as CEO of that well known orange apron sporting home improvement giant. In total he was compensated over $200 million for the smidge over 6 years he was at the helm, while total return to shareholders went down 13%. Yup, down. Shareholders of course revolted and essentially caused Nardelli's stepping down, but not without a $210 million retirement package. Not bad for a few years 'work' Robbie.

There is a lesson to be learned here that ties into Network marketing and it explains something in our industry; leaders get paid whether they do a good job or not. We see it all the time, sponsors who make a killing as 'recruiting machines,' but leave their downline in the dust with very little duplication to speak of. Unfortunately, it's likely that you're one of them.

This article will change that.

In my early days I asked myself repeatedly how I, Shannon Hansen, could 'be the leader' everyone in NWM said I needed to be. It was a question, at times, I was told that "only I could answer." Hogwash.

There is a simple and concise definition of a leader. One so simple that anyone reading this can become one immediately: A leader is simply someone who makes powerful decisions.

The Golden Rule Of Network Marketing: People follow people who make powerful decisions.

You may ask what defines 'powerful' and we'll get to that. First you must understand one thing about your prospect and that is they are looking for a solution. Their decisions up to the point of talking to you have been based entirely upon their own best reasoning. Their reasoning has not worked. Here's the kicker; your reasoning wont either. They have likely made every 'reasonable' decision thinkable before resorting to answering your ad. Don't kid yourself, it is not reasoning that will solve their problems.

You see, there are only two ways to make a decision; by reason or faith. Most day to day decisions do not require a great deal of faith, but a powerful decision does.

Powerful decisions are those which are based on faith alone.

People are looking for a leader because deep down they know their best thinking got them where they are. They wont admit this to you, incidentally. The only decisions which will carry them out of their situation are those based on faith. And why should they follow you if you haven't made decisions based on faith yourself? It's likely this is what has held you back for so long in NWM.

What is an example of a decision based on faith?

Well, the author was once in what most people would consider a financial calamity. What this meant to me was a maxed out $210,000 home equity line of credit, $60k in credit card debt, and no forseeable way to pay the bills in two weeks. (The last set of them were of course paid late.)

There was no reasonable answer. I was paying the credit card minimums from my retirement account!

It was actually a gift. You see, I had given myself no escape route. I had closed my brick and mortar business one year prior. I was otherwise unemployable, and certainly no job was going to even pay my minimums. I had created a 'sink or swim' scenario for myself, and to be frank, it was the best thing I ever did.

Yes, you read that right.

You see, I was forced, for the first time in my life, to make a 'powerful' decision. I could either make no decision, make a powerful decision, or make a decision in between. The former and later choices offered no forseeable resolution to the problem at hand. The only thing left was to be unreasonable.

It's no party making powerful decisions, but here was mine; I decided to spend yet another $1500 on marketing I truly did not have on the faith that somehow in 2 weeks time I would have the $10,000 needed to right the ship...that month. In fact, the first credit card I gave my marketing company came back declined. That's a call nobody wants to get. I knew for a fact none of my other cards had that much limit left, but I gave the rep another number and instructed her to process it while I was on the phone with her...I figured it would liekly decline too. What would I have done if that number too was declined? The world will never know for sure, but I planned on sitting on that phone with her until she denied every last card I had in my wallet. For reasons unknown, it was approved.

Powerful decisions are based on faith alone.

I could have used that $1500 in credit to put towards my bills due in two weeks, but that would have done nothing for me. The only possible way out was a decision based entirely in faith. Decisions based on faith are unreasonable, but there is a difference between unreasonable and irresponsible.

You see, my family has never been without shelter and food. If they had ever, I would have been irresponsible. And yes the thought crossed my mind that it 'could' happen, but again, that was reason speaking.

The end result is that I made my $10k and more because of that powerful decision I made, and in turn it made me the leader I needed to be. I cannot illustrate in words how quickly things changed. Suffice to say, providence moved in when I made that decision.

So what powerful decision will make you the leader you need to be?

It all depends on your situation. Spending $1500 on advertising at any other point in my NWM career would not constitute a powerful decision. It would not have been based entirely in my faith. Now had I spent all $210k in equity plus the $60k on my credit cards my first month in the business that would have qualified. So what a powerful decision is in your case only you will know.

The point is that anyone can make a powerful decision to play full out based solely in faith at any moment. This includes you. And if you do it, people will follow you immediately because you made a decision which qualified you as a leader.

The world will move for you that day, and life will never be the same. You will have instantaneously become a leader, and (good, bad, or mediocre) leaders get paid.

Now that we've defined what a leader is, lets look at what separates the really good ones from the rest of the pack...

In our industry of network marketing, a good leader is rewarded with duplication. Bad leaders do not, or struggle to, have any duplication in their organization. You see, as we learned before, people will follow anyone who is a leader. Good or bad leader makes no difference.

What matters is that good leaders in NWM are responsible leaders. A responsible leader in our business is one who understands what a leader is, and makes it clear to their organization what is required in order to become one. A good leader in our business will, if necessary, force his or her associates to make powerful decisions. This act alone will make or break the associate's success.

The longer a powerful decision is put off or avoided, the worse. Without a powerful decision, there will be no leader. Without a leader, there is only loser.

Young eagles are carried high up in the sky on their mother's backs and dumped off into seeming oblivion in order to learn how to fly. It seems to be a cruel trick, but the result is they learn to fly! And fly high they do...higher than any other creature. The young eagle is 'forced to flap.' In relative terms, they are forced to a make a powerful decision; don't flap and die, or flap like there's no tomorrow on faith that it will do something!

Incidentally, nature has also programmed the mother eagle to swoop down at the last moment in order to save young eagle from oblivion. It turns out that she too must make her decision based on the faith that she will indeed arrive in time. No reasonable decision could prompt a mother to drop her baby.

In closing, it is our duty, as 'good leaders' to, if necessary, force our associates to make a powerful decision or give up early. This is nature's way; sink or swim. You make it now or you don't make it at all. The funny thing is, like the young eagle, when faced with 'live or die' most associates will live...and eventually thrive.

Good leaders in NWM make powerful decisions, on occasion based solely upon their faith, and require the same of their associates.
About the Author
Shannon Hansen is an entrepreneur and coach who dedicates his business to creating success levels in his student they previously thought impossible. For more information visit Shannon's site at http://www.LightfootAssociates.com
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