Today we’re going to talk about what happens to a team without good leadership.
First I’m going to share with you the number one role of a leader and how to tell if your leader is doing it. Next I’m going to share with you how to spot or be a real leader. I’m going to give you a hint, they make tough choices. Lastly I’m going to share with you a leadership warning that more people need to hear.
What is the number one role of a leader?
What is the definition of a leader? What is the role of a leader? There’s a lot of different definitions out there. Some people say that they have to be the example, some people say that they have to be inspiring, inspire others. My favorite definition of the role of a leader is from Vern Harnish. Vern Harnish is the CEO of Gazelles and he wrote the book, Scaling Up. It is a very big book and it’s a little dry but it has some really good content in it if you’re looking to grow a serious business. He says the role of a leader is to make things easy.
Now, at first pass I thought that doesn’t sound very cool. Make things easy? But the more I dwelled on it and the more I thought about it and kicked it around….it means the leader has to look at who they’re leading and make their lives easier. Make it easier for those people to succeed at whatever it is that they want. If you’re a leader in the military, your job is to make it very clear what your soldiers should be doing. They need to know the instructions, you need to make it easy for them to comprehend what is it that they should be doing in all these different situations that they may be placed in.
If you’re the leader of a network marketing team, same thing. How do you make it easy for them? Making it easy should be a drive of yours. It should be something that you’re always looking at and thinking, who am I trying to lead? how do I make their lives easier? Whether you are a nutrition expert or (fill in the blank), whatever it is that you’re doing, look at who am I trying to lead, how do I make their lives easier so that they specifically accomplish what they want to accomplish in an easier fashion.
You can tell if you’re under the guidance of a great leader if they’re constantly trying to make your life easier and simpler. If your leader is constantly throwing you totally different suggestions and totally different advice that contradicts with the past or conflicts with past things that they’ve told you, then they don’t understand this rule. In that case…you’re going to have to lead yourself. You’re going to have to figure out how to filter what they’re giving you and make your own life easier if you want to be self-leading.
How do you spot or be a real leader?
The truth is you have to be willing to make the tough choices. Specifically, I want to share with you something I learned from Jack Welch, who has recently passed away. I believe Jack Welch was the head of General Electric for (I think) 25 years or something like that. Very tough business mind, very tough business leader and he broke down something that was very profound to me when I first stumbled upon it. He said there’s four types of employees. Now, I know that I’m talking about employees but this could be people in your network marketing team, people in your sales team or whatever.
There’s four types.
There are people that abide by the culture and they hit their metrics and those types of people, really easy. You hug them, you squeeze them, you take care of them, love on them, really easy.
There are people that do not follow the culture and do not hit their metrics, they don’t do the work and those are fairly easy too. You (if they’re an employee of yours) probably are letting them go.
The third is someone where it gets trickier. Someone who has the culture (of your team and your company) but isn’t quite hitting their metrics or their numbers. That’s someone you mentor, right? You mentor them and help them out.
The toughest category and this is where you know if you have a real leader or not or if you are a real leader or not, the toughest category the person that hits their numbers, hits their metrics, is a producer, is a performer but doesn’t hold the culture, that’s the person you have to terminate.
Now that’s tough because as a business owner or as a leader, obviously you want more results in your team or in your business or whatever it is that your doing. You have this person getting your results but they’re causing so much conflict. They’re not abiding by culture, they’re treating people terribly, people are complaining about them and that’s the person you have to make the tough decision of either terminating (if they are an employee) or you have to put them into some kind of disciplinary action. That’s the call that separates a great leader from a not so great leader. Are you making the tough choices?
Recently I saw a really powerful video from Gary Vaynerchuk. In the video he said he was on social media and he saw two of his former employees bashing him and hating on him. He thought “man what the heck? I love those guys,” but upon reflection…. If you know who GaryVee is, he uses a lot of candor. He tells you what you may not want to hear and he’s very straightforward. He’s like that to anybody in the ether or anyone he meets at a meeting or seminar… but he wasn’t always that way with people who actually worked for him, people that were close to him.
I can really resonate with that because I was the same way. I would tell my coaching clients, exactly “hey, you need to straighten up, you need to do this,” but if my employees screwed up, I would be like “ah you know it’s okay, try and do better.” I didn’t give them the type of mentorship that honestly they deserved. They deserved, people deserve candor, they deserve you being straight with them. That doesn’t mean be mean to them but you need to give them guidance, you need to give them leadership. You will always know who’s a good leader when they’re willing to say the unpopular thing but is the thing that needs to be said.
Step into that role more and you will see a higher quality of people in your organization, in your team and you will actually (I know it sounds counterintuitive) feel better about it.
Let’s hear from you!
Before we get to my last point, I would love to hear from you. Who is a leader in history that you really admire and why? Is it Gandhi? Is it Churchill? Who is it? Who is someone in history that you really admire and what’s one reason that you really admire that person? I would love to hear from you. I read and respond to every single comment.
What is the leadership warning?
What is this leadership warning that I believe more need to hear? Leadership is not doing everything for the people that you’re leading. I see this all the time. I coach and train a lot of network marketers and a lot of times a network marketing leader (because of some mom guilt or because they feel bad that someone paid money and they’re not making money yet) they will tend to overextend themselves and do everything for that person. That is not good leadership for two reasons specific to network marketing.
Number one: obviously you’re not teaching them how to be self-sufficient. If you’re hit by a bus tomorrow and your team falls apart then you weren’t a great leader. If they can’t operate without mama around then you haven’t led them well. You need to be equipping them on how to show up powerfully and how to figure out the stuff that they need to figure out. Whether it’s pointing to training archives or pointing to systems, operating standard operating procedures or systems or checklists. You need to be pointing them to resources that are around whether you are or not so that they know how to run it.
Number two: sabotage. In network marketing especially…whatever you do for your team, they think they have to do for whomever they bring in. If you’re the mama hen and you’re doing everything for them, you’re checking their status, you’re logging into their account, you’re checking the shipping, you’re helping them reset the password, then they think that’s what they will have to do for people they recruit and they don’t want to do it. You doing everything for them can actually sabotage them.
Leadership is allowing your people to possibly make mistakes but learn along the way. It’s not you constantly trying to do everything for them, it’s you teaching them a way of thinking so that they can do it for themselves, that’s real leadership and that’s the type of leader you want to step into and become.
Want to learn more?
If you would like to grow in leadership, we have a leadership specific free resource for you. This will really help you with some of the common stumbling blocks that leaders face. Here is the link higdongroup.com/leader. It’s totally free and is a series of three videos that will help you improve as a leader.
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