I believe that the key to effective leadership is found in the world “Leadership”.
The word “lead” implies that you do it first! If you want your team to give presentations,
you start by giving presentations. If you want your team to show up for events, YOU show up
for events. If you are afraid to step into your greatness, then YOU take on your fears and step into
your greatness. Give people something worthy to follow. Ask yourself the question, “Would I follow me?”
If the answer is no . . . figure out why and then take it on. Leadership means “You go first!”
Have you ever been in a situation where there was a group of people all getting ready to do something
epic or challenging. And the facilitator asks . . . “Who wants to go first?” Everyone hesitates and one person
finally says, “I’ll go first!” And by doing this, it sets an example and gives all the others a little more
courage to go. After you watch 20-30 others walk across hot coals, its just a little easier for you to walk
across hot coals knowing others have done it. You want to be the one that steps up as the example to others.
That’s what it means to lead.
So let’s explore some of the traits of an effective leader so that you have what you need to be a leader:
1. LEADERS WORK HARDER WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH – It’s easy to lead when things are going great.
A leader is born when the road gets rough. It’s easy to nod your head and agree with this statement until
you are in the middle of it. This is the real challenge of leadership. When the team is faltering or you are faced
with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, do you retreat or do you step-up? When your best person quit do you
consider throwing in the towel or do you activate the fight in your to go find 3 more that were even better than the first.
This is easier said than done. This is why only a few make it to the big money. Succeeding takes leadership and most
won’t take it on. You will get down. You will doubt. You might even question why you are doing what you are doing
But leaders don’t quit when things get tough. Leaders step up when things get tough.
2. LEADERS ARE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO OTHERS – To inspire others, you must set an example that
others want to follow. Be you. Live your dreams. Work hard. Be consistent. Overcome your obstacles. Care. Think about those
that inspire you. Isn’t this what they do? Who do you want to be like? Why? What did they do that inspired you?
3. LEADERS SHOW UP – Leaders do show up. They are at the events. They are on the calls. They are on Facebook
“liking” and appreciating the accomplishments of others. Leaders are not “lurking in the shadows!” Leaders are out front
and setting an example for others to follow. Be a leader. Make yourself known. Lift others up. What do you want others to do?
Do that! If you want the members of your team to be on the company incentive trip, then you work super hard to qualify for it.
Be a pacesetter. How can you convince others that something is worthy of their efforts if you are not going for it yourself? Don’t
leave everything to chance. You lead the way. Show up for everything that you possibly can!
4. LEADERS RARELY COMPLAIN – Leaders are positive. Leaders speak success into the people they talk to and the people in their teams.
The words you use make a difference. You can get someone down with your words and you can lift them up with your words.
Give others hope by using words of encouragement. Don’t accept negative talk in your group. If someone starts complaining, call them on it.
Ask them to tell you 5 things that they love about what’s happening or 5 things that give them hope or excitement. You will never see
a real leader posting their complaints on Facebook. I have found that there is a direct correlation between someone’s outlook and the
growth of their organization and income. A positive outlook does effect your future and your bank account. We all have feelings of negativity.
But try not to get sucked in. Catch yourself when you find your feelings are heading south. Tony Robbins says that we can control our emotions by
paying attention to our focus, language and physiology. Again, the reason most people fail in business is that most have a hard time controlling their emotions.
Negative emotions are a part of life . . . but if they control you you won’t make it. If you control them you can have it all.
5. LEADERS HAVE VISION – As a leader you must be able to think ahead of the pack. You must be do your research and take calculated
steps to plan for and anticipate growth. For example, leaders don’t just fly by the seat of their pants. They put things in place and give others
a track to run on. Most people need a path to follow and a target to chase. Getting together with the members of your team by phone or in person and planning business building campaigns leading up to events can be really healthy for growth. Contests can be great IF you have an active team. Contests work best if your team is already growing but don’t work well if you team is stagnant and inactive. Business building campaigns can include 90 day blitzes, contests, initiatives to to achieve a rank promotion by a specific date or event, 30 day runs to a promotion, guest contests, etc. Be creative with your team and look for ways to lead up to an event with some energy and growth. Begin to practice this skill by projecting into the future what you want your team to look like in 3 months, 1 year and 3 years. What can you do to help them get there?
6. LEADERS ARE CONSTANTLY IMPROVING – Leaders are readers. This is not just a fancy phrase. Leaders are on a daily quest to learn and grow. They hang out with people better than them. They seek out a skill level and perspective in others that challenge them. They are constantly investing in themselves and reading books and listening to audios written and produced by people that inspire them. You can become a conduit for relevant training and information that will help your team grow. You will stay inspired by those that have achieved more than you simply by tapping into that resource of information and training. Your relevancy as a leader will be shaped by the books you read, the audios you listen to, the events you attend and the people you hang around with.
7. LEADERS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY – Taking responsibility means to blame no one but yourself if things are not going your way. Leaders always look for ways to
make things work with what they have. And they look for opportunities to make things better. Leaders don’t blame their team, the company, the comp plan or anyone else if things aren’t working out. The truth is, there are hundreds of ways to make things work. As a leader, we must use our ingenuity, creativity and work ethic to take action and inspire action in others to success. Each time you blame something or someone other than yourself for a setback, you are giving away your power and delaying any possible progress in your business. Even if the cause of your setback has a source outside of you, blaming serves no purpose other than to delay any future growth. I have seen many people blame others for their lack of growth as a reason to stop or quit. “It’s not my fault that I failed!” Really? It’s not your fault? You are the one that quit! It is YOUR FAULT IF YOU FAIL. Say it! “It is my fault if I fail!” Ouch! Time to take responsibility. There will always be someone or something to blame. Catch yourself and stop making excuses. Don’t negotiate with your future.
8. LEADERS DON’T NEED THE LIMELIGHT. LEADERS WANT TO SHINE THE LIGHT ON OTHERS – Leaders need to lead from the front but step back and allow others to have the limelight. It is possible to overshadow others to the point that it limits their growth. Your job is to get people started and as they succeed brag about them! Brag about others more than you brag about yourself. Look for reasons to celebrate others at events, on phone calls and on social media. Lift others up.
Kody Bateman always says, “Appreciation wins over self-promotion every time” This applies to you and your team as well. Self-promote 20% of the time and Appreciate 80% of the time. As long as you focus on lifting others up in appreciation, you will get all the recognition you need. Every day, look for someone to lift up in appreciation. You can never do too much recognition. I have seen people leave their company because they were not being asked to speak at events or they were not getting recognized for their efforts. As a leader, focus more on getting others recognized and your time will come.
9. BE THE LEADER YOU WISH TO ATTRACT – People tend to follow leaders that are going somewhere. The other night, we were with a group of distributors leaving dinner at the Flamingo Garden Buffet and heading over to the Donny and Marie Showroom to see Legends. The casino was packed and it was difficult to know what direction to go to find the showroom. I just started walking and everyone started following. Gary asked me if I knew where I was going and I said, “No”. But I looked like I knew where I was going so everyone followed. You must look like you know where you are going and people will follow. You want people to follow. Learn the system and do it with confidence. People will follow and your team will grow. People follow decisiveness. People follow certainty. People follow confidence. If you flip flop or are inconsistent, people will not follow (but if you wear flip flops they may follow if they want to spend more time at the beach) Think about those that you follow. What qualities are attractive to you? Adopt those qualities! Anyone can choose to be a leader. Leaders and made every day. Leadership is a choice.